By Sam Bourne

April 2003: As his kingdom descends into chaos, an Iraqi boy loots an historic clay capsule from a long-forgotten vault within the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities—unaware that his activities may possibly ignite the warfare to finish all wars.

Years later, at the eve of a historical Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, bodyguards for Israel's top minister gun down a potential assassin—and find a blood-stained be aware clutched within the useless man's hand.

With center jap tensions speedily achieving the boiling point—in the wake of a daunting wave of likely random revenge killings—Maggie Costello is distributed via Washington to attempt to maintain the peace. a central authority negotiator with previous sins to make amends for, she instantly comes face-to-face with old secrets and techniques, extremist violence, and unexpected, inexplicable demise. For Maggie turns out to carry the foremost to the final unsolved riddle of the Bible—a surprising revelation that can finish the world's such a lot sour clash . . . or go away the earth in ruins.

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She ordered a Scotch for every of them and all yet pressured him to down his sooner than ordering one other around. Doubles. She chanced on the early night gloom of the bar soothing. ‘What approximately this brother then, Uri? ’ ‘There isn't any brother. ’ ‘You certain? may your grandfather have had an past marriage? A mystery family members he stored hidden? ’ Uri appeared over his glass, his eyes reflecting the light amber of the drink. He controlled the faintest smile. ‘After every thing else, after Ahmed Nour and the final will of Abraham, it wouldn’t shock me if my father had a mystery brother. not anything could shock me now. ’ ‘So it’s attainable? ’ Uri regarded drained. ‘I feel it’s attainable. should you can maintain one mystery, probably you could retain many. ’ with out pondering, Maggie positioned her hand on his. It felt hot. She enable it linger, even after she felt self-conscious, only for a moment or . ‘OK, let’s placed the brother factor to at least one part. We’ll come again to it. ’ on the different finish of the bar Maggie spotted an orthodox Jewish guy munching peanuts and studying the Jerusalem publish, as though looking ahead to somebody. She couldn’t consider if he have been there after they arrived. ‘Come,’ she stated, all of sudden and loudly. ‘I have to take a seat on a formal chair. ’ She eased herself off the stool, beckoning Uri to persist with. as soon as she had chanced on a place a very good distance clear of the bar, and without delay in the back of the peanut-muncher, she put her drink at the desk and sat the place she may have a transparent line of sight. Now if the fellow desired to watch them, or learn their lips, he must flip round and display himself. She seemed round back, over either shoulders. nobody else yet them. She known as over a waiter and ordered a few meals. They waited after which, on impulse fairly, with out making plans, she started to inform Uri what had occurred that morning. She saved it short and authentic, operating challenging to teach no self-pity. She spared a number of the anatomical info, yet nonetheless she observed Uri’s face flip from horror to anger. ‘The bastards—’ he begun, emerging to his ft. ‘Uri! sit. ’ She grabbed at his arm and tugged him again into his seat. ‘Listen, I’m offended too. however the purely manner we’re going to discover those humans is that if we hold calm. Lash out now they usually win. ’ He paused, her. ‘The those that killed your mom will win. ’ Slowly he got here again to his seat, simply because the waiter introduced over plates of sandwiches. Maggie used to be completely happy of the diversion. ‘Look,’ she started, as soon as she used to be certain Uri wouldn't bolt back. ‘You comprehend what I can’t determine? Why they keep on with us, yet don’t strike. Why they don’t simply take us out. They’re killing every person else. ’ Uri chewed for your time, as though attempting to swallow his rage. ultimately he spoke, creating a transparent attempt to sound lighter than he felt. ‘Speaking as an ex-intelligence officer of the Israel Defence Forces, I’d say in the event you stick with like this, yet don’t strike, it may suggest one in every of issues. ’ ‘OK. ’ ‘Either the objective is simply too dicy to take out. that may be you. If those are Palestinians who're following us, the very last thing they want is to kill an American reliable.

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