“The Ark” by Boyd Morrison

The author of this thriller was handing out Advanced Readers Copies at Left Coast Crime in LA last month, and I snagged one after he gave me this pitch: “In eight days the hero must find Noah’s Ark or the world will be destroyed.” How to resist? All the makings of a good thriller, a tight time-line, coded messages, ancient secrets, and … a boy and a girl too beautiful for words! Boyd sold the book after many rejections, he told us at a panel, then offering it on his website and Amazon Kindle. It became a big seller on Kindle, attracting the attention of a publisher, and the rest, as they say, is history — and sales in eighteen foreign countries.

The plot is a potboiler, full of attacks on the manliest man you can imagine, an engineer with a Ph.D. (like the author), ex-Army Ranger (I didn’t ask the author but he does have a flat-top hairdo) and grieving widower. His sidekick is a beautiful archeologist whose father searched his whole life for Noah’s Ark. The writing, and plotting, suffers from some common first-time novelists problems like protagonists that are just too perfect and slow patches that should be exciting. Morrison has some work to do on his action sequences if he wants to write novels, not screenplays. Or maybe I’m just not that excited about the descriptions of gunplay, gadgets, and gargantuan trucks. There was one point where the hero goes down into a dark, dank cave and I thought to myself: He left out the snakes… and the fear of snakes! Not sure if I’d read a novel about Indiana Jones but at least he had flaws.

That said, it was intriguing and kept my interest up, much like The DaVinci Code. Sort of a cross between DaVinci, Dirk Pitt, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, right down to the melting flesh. “The Ark” comes out in May, just in time for the beach.

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