Since discovering an ancient scroll in a cave in Hebron, Israel, American biblical archeologist Thomas Hamilton and his trusted friend and colleague, Israeli biblical linguist Michael Sieff, have been consumed with the notion of the Samson Effect—the idea that a long-lost elixir can allow an ordinary person to perform superhuman feats. When they happen upon a worn Hebrew parchment that not only confirms the existence of the Samson Effect but could potentially lead them to its source, the scholars embark on an impassioned crusade for the truth behind the myth. But Hamilton and Sieff aren’t the only ones intent on uncovering the secret of Samson’s strength. An unrelenting sect of Jewish protectors will let no one stand in the way of their mission to reclaim what they had hidden nearly three thousand years ago, and a brilliant but ruthless Palestinian leader will stop at nothing to find and use the Samson Effect to empower his army of soldiers for a jihad against the world in the name of Allah.
It isn’t long before their joint pursuit becomes a deadly one, and Hamilton and Sieff come to the grim realization that the Samson Effect is more powerful and far-reaching than they ever anticipated. In the wrong hands, it could trigger a worldwide catastrophe. A chilling and suspenseful tale of political and religious intrigue set in the unforgiving landscape of the Middle East, The Samson Effect wanders the boundaries of obsession and love, betrayal and allegiance, and vengeance and justice.
I don't believe you could not give this book less than 5 stars! I will do things backwards here and state my recommendation first in this review instead of adding it last as I have in my previous reviews: Highly Recommended!
What a ride, Eldridge takes you on in this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it and could not put it down. It held me every day I read it on the train to and from work without me nodding off to sleep that I am prone to do!!
There are some good twists in the plot; one especially I did not see coming! I won't spoil it for anyone here.
I liked how something hinted at in the first few chapters of the book set the scene for future plot development especially at the end of the book. I regard that as good plot development.
For a first novel, Eldridge has done a fine job. I look forward to successive novels.
I have one question for this very promising and talented author:
Tony, you end the book with a hint of what a possible sequel could be? Am I correct?
Eldridge's knowledge and in-depth studies of Old Testament history pays off in this novel. He has developed the history of the Samson Effect well and is very believable. At first reading of the blurb, I did consider that growing a plant after thousands of years would be the Achilles Heel of his plot, but having since been to his website, I read that what he proposed in his story has recently come true:
"In June of 2008, Dr. Sarah Sallon of The Louis L .Borick Natural Medicine Research Center at Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, Israel announced that she had successfully grown an extinct tree from 2000 year old dormant seeds found in Masada, Israel. The high quality Date Palm of the first century, important to the region and prominent in biblical history, became extinct over the next two millennia."
This fact adds so much credibility to his story even though he wrote this without knowledge of the above discovery!!
I liked the character development Eldridge has created. They are not presumptous, over the top or too good to be true. Just ordinary people like you and I.
I can see why author Clive Cussler has endorsed this book and agree with that endorsement. I can also see why Hollywood has also bought the rights to it as well! It would make a great movie!