The Last Testament Paperback – 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Bourne uses real events like the Geneva Accord and the American capture of Baghdad on which to anchor his story;
2. The development of personalities in the story is very plausible. Characters like Maggie Costello come with a well-explained background that helps the reader understand why they are where they are, taking risks and making decisions on behalf of humanity;
3. The story focuses on the pressing need to resolve a major issue standing in the way of world peace, namely, a Middle East peace accord. Though various parties are committed to overcoming the challenge of bringing the Israelis and Palenstinians together for a deal, it is going to take a lot of individual courage, skill and patience to work through this one;
4. To make this story even more involved, Bourne introduces a couple of new fields of inquiry in the form of artifacts from the past and technology from the future to liven up the plot. There is an elusive archaeological tablet recently stolen from Baghdad and making the rounds that contains a very cryptic message as to who really owns the Temple Mount. Then there is a captivating scene in the story where a possible scenario of the ongoing conflict is played out with the use of avatars or alter-egos as the main operators;
5.Read more ›
There has been some amazing discovery related to Abraham that must be uncovered and in the meantime some mysterious evil villains are trying to keep it covered. At stake is nothing less than peace in the Middle East! In the end, the bad guy will be revealed and he will blab his secrets for the secret videotape. Yeah, this book is about that dumb. You may safely give it a pass. Unless you really enjoy that sort of thing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Anyway, to get to "The Last Testament", the book seems _somewhat_ more believable than "The Righteous Men". Even so, it still doesn't seem plausible and thus never really got me hooked. It kept me reading but I never really cared very much about what happened. It may have been better as a movie than as a novel.
Save yourself some time and frustration- read other authors like James Rollins, Lee Child, or Harlan Cobin.
1. She had made mistakes and became blacklisted in the world of peacemaking. However the writer is very repetitive with this fact. After about 150 pages of the protagonist complaining about her mistake, you say, "Alright we get it." You almost don't even care what happened.
2. There isn't that much adventure. Sure there is the basic points of people chasing them and needing to find out the "secret" information they don't have yet, but overall, it was intensely boring. It was simply the protagonist complaining and talking peace negations. (Now although this was interesting to me; it wasn't something that should take up over half the book in what is supposed to be a thriller).
3. The ending was just plain ridiculous. You have all this build up excitement about what is on the tablet and when you find out your like "that's it?" You expect this great discovery. However, I blame the author on this point. He could've made this the greatest discovery of mankind, however, he chose to write it as just a dull enlightenment. There is one point in the end that set my opinion on the book in stone. I can't say because it will ruin the ending for anyone reading this review, but let's just say it has to with Second Life and "being chased" in cyber world.
4. The outcome of the discovery was too simplistic and unrealistic. Harry Potter seemed more real then the outcome of this book.
I don't recommend. However, the reason that I give this novel 2 stars instead of 1 is because the author did very well in creating an interesting flair for the politics.
As the violence escalates and the body counts rise on both sides of the issue, world leaders intervene to quell the bloodshed and salvage the tenuous peace accord.
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, Irish-born Maggie Costello, a skilled yet flawed negotiator, lives a dull life with a boring and controlling boyfriend. Once a rising star on the political horizon, Maggie fell from grace and tumbled to the earth following a disastrous, high-profile misstep in Africa. After she is visited in Washington by a representative from the United States government and offered the opportunity to get back into service to help get the Middle East peace talks back on track, the guilt-ridden Maggie sees it as a chance for redemption --- and to extract herself from a less-than-stellar relationship.
Maggie agrees to intervene and travels to Jerusalem to mediate amid the turmoil across the explosive Middle East. After meeting with the family of the slain man and digging into his background, more deaths occur, some very close to Maggie. She becomes swept up in the situation and discovers other murders, whose primary targets for assassination are biblical scholars and archaeologists.
Set on the world stage of Baghdad, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, London and Washington, D.C, THE LAST TESTAMENT is an intriguing story that has all the elements of a bestselling novel: an ancient secret of biblical proportions, high-stakes strife and subterfuge in the Middle East, a dangerous yet thrilling love interest, and the requisite, vanilla-flavored-evil-power-obsessed American bureaucrats and covert operatives out to change the world (groan). Despite the novel's anti-American political bent, I found the story engrossing; I could not put it down. While I should have been spring cleaning or doing yard work, I had the book planted in my hands. I glossed over long passages of narrative to get to the story, which is compelling.
Regardless of one's political persuasion, I recommend THE LAST TESTAMENT to readers who love biblical thrillers, or any kind of page-turning thrillers, because, after all, it is a work of fiction.
Despite the fact that people connected to the testament keep turning up dead, and Maggie and Uri are frequently pursued by parties unknown, the first half of the book moves at a slow pace. There is a great deal of political discussion, and Bourne inserts several chapters that tell the story of the discovery of the testament, following it to the point at which Guttman obtains it. Bourne draws out the mystery by only revealing to the reader the first portion of the testament. Once Maggie and Uri discover its existence, we play the waiting game along with them as they must discover its location and find out who is trying to stop them.
The Last Testament has an interesting premise, and some clever bits, particularly in respect to how Guttman hid the clues to the location of the testament. I would have enjoyed faster pacing of the plot, and a little more reason to care about Maggie. We know she is a good negotiator who did something very unprofessional, and has now let herself slip into a relationship with a controlling boyfriend. Beyond that, she simply moves through the story, and we get minimal exploration of her character. The climax of the story is a little bit cliche, but satisfying. Overall, I recommend The Last Testament for readers who are interested in Middle Eastern affairs, or enjoy a heavy dose of political intrigue.