Cairo, Egypt. When the curator of the Museum of Antiquities is slaughtered in a horrific ritual by a group wearing the masks of Ancient Egyptian deities, local authorities ask for help from ARKANE, the agency tasked with investigating religious and paranormal events. Then, in Washington DC, a decapitated Arab body is discovered. The head is placed on the replica Ark of the Covenant along with a chilling message that warns of a terrifying escalation of violence in the Middle East.
ARKANE agent, British-Israeli psychologist Dr Morgan Sierra, must race against time to uncover the real Ark – aware that her nemesis, the vicious mercenary Natasha, is also in the hunt and out for bloody revenge. Morgan travels across Egypt and Jordan, retracing the steps of the Biblical Exodus and following a trail of clues that takes her into the mists of history – and mortal danger…
The third novel in the bestselling ARKANE series, EXODUS is a pulse-pounding thriller for fans of Dan Brown and James Rollins. Filled with puzzles, adventure and excitement, it also asks serious questions about the nature of religion…and the beliefs that lie at the very heart of humankind.
I really liked this third book in the ARKANE series. Morgan Sierra is thrown into another adventure, this time to find the Ark of the Covenant before Natasha el-Behery, who we met in the second book in the series, Prophecy. Sadly, another character from the second book, Jake, doesn’t feature in Exodus, because he’s recovering from his run-in with Milan Noble.
Villains don’t come much creepier than Natasha, but I loved how Penn included some of her background via flashbacks. She’s not just your typical crazy baddy—we get an insight into her life that shows why she is how she is. Having said that, the scenes that include Natasha are written with chilling realism. A scene that stood out for me was the one in Natasha’s family’s crypt, which gave me shivers! If you’ve read the book, you’ll no doubt know what I mean…
This book is very well researched, as are all of the ARKANE books. I was a little wary of reading it, because I have a degree in Egyptology and find that most books mentioning ancient Egypt in any way are packed full of jarring inaccuracies (artistic license aside). But this isn’t the case with Exodus, and it’s obvious from the detail that Penn really throws herself into her research.
I definitely count myself as a fan of J.F. Penn’s fiction now, and I look forward to any future books that she writes. (And hopefully, Jake will be back by Morgan’s side in ARKANE book four!)