Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Lies of Our Fathers’ by Jonathan Mark organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
Antioch 1098. A Crusader knight saves the lives of a Muslim family.
A city under siege by the army of the First Crusade. Sickened by the slaughter of Muslims, an English knight rescues a family and helps them escape. In the midst of battle he discovers a holy secret. When the tide is turned and the Crusaders find themselves besieged within the walls of Antioch, the same Muslim family must risk their lives to save the English knight.
Ankara 2000. An ancient bible is discovered.
An original version of the Gospel of Barnabas, supporting the Islamic view of Jesus and suppressed by the Christian church for centuries, is discovered by Turkish police in an anti- smuggling operation.
Iran 2005. A son hunts his terrorist father.
Richard Helford, MI6 agent, is searching for his father, a wanted terrorist. A search for the truth will take him from the Greek islands to the deserts of Iran, via Turkish occupied Cyprus. Embroiled in the bloody rivalries of Iranian politics, could his father be guilty of a murder that hurts Richard to the core of who he is? Richard must find the secret of the Crusader knight and the proof that the Gospel of Barnabas is not a forgery. Or will the assassination squads from the CIA and Mossad get there first?
What are The Lies of Our Fathers?
The Lies of Our Father is the second book in the Barnabas trilogy, and I have to say that it works much better as a sequel than a standalone, which is what I originally read it as. However, after going back and reading book one – The Last Messenger – I found that more of the narrative and character paths unfolded more clearly, so I would recommend reading this series to get the most impact from the book. I also must mention the cover, which is incredibly striking and was what first caught my attention about this book and which is incredibly fitting for the story.
This was an interesting read, and I particularly enjoyed the historical aspect of the narrative, as well as how it explored religion and society, with clear effort given to researching this aspect without losing track of the fact that this was a thriller. I would have loved to spend more time in the period from the introduction, as that was what hooked me into the story, but that said, I did enjoy the use of the three different timelines that were used, and for the most part, found that each was well-defined and easy to keep apart. I also enjoyed how the information about those different times, as well as the other aspects, was woven throughout the story, with the reader learning about them as they become necessary rather than info dumps, and it created a world with breadth and depth that served as a fascinating backdrop to the narrative itself.
While there was a particular focus on these aspects, The Lies of Our Father was also very much an action thriller, and those parts were as well-written and captivating as the other aspects, which combined with a fast-paced plot made for compelling reading. There was a large cast of characters, which I found a little much in places, but the characterisation was well done, and I especially enjoyed the protagonist Richard who was an interesting divergence from the more typical action-thriller, Bond-esque main character, which added another dimension to the book. There was also a good level of moral ambiguity across the cast, with well-developed and believable motivations, against a complex and believable world.
The Lies of Our Father is everything that you could want from an action-thriller, and I look forward to seeing where the story will go with the next book, and I would highly recommend this series.
About the Author:
Jonathan Mark worked for nearly forty years in the City of London financial district, he retired early to pursue his long held ambition to write novels. He shares his time between Essex and Cornwall and travels around the world to research material for his books.
To kick start his writing career he completed an MA in Crime and Thriller writing at City University London. At the time, this course was the only creative writing MA in the country which focused on commercial crime fiction. The Last Messenger was the novel submitted to complete the MA.
The Lies of Our Fathers (The Barnabas Trilogy #2) – Jonathan Mark (Published in paperback and digital formats on 25th August 2020) – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.