Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The thrill of the thriller

Long before he became the ‘most popular author on the planet’ (sic) I read some Dan Brown novels. No, they weren’t particularly well written or even original, but he told a good story and I enjoyed the religious aspect of the plotlines. Nowadays, the general fiction shelves in bookshops are groaning under the weight of religious, mythological and legend based thrillers of mixed quality. I have to admit, I enjoy reading this type of novel especially when the plot involves subjects such as Atlantis, Tibet, Nostradamus, Mayan prophecies, and of course the Bible. However, while there are long established authors who have been writing this type of thriller for years, the Dan Brown phenomena has opened the proverbial floodgates. How to sort out the good from the also-rans is becoming tricky as the choice available now is huge. Here I will share some of my favourites. Will you agree with my choices?

Clive Cussler has written over 40 bestselling novels, most reflecting his love of marine archaeology. They have been described as techno-thrillers as advanced technology tends to be a recurring theme in his adventures. My favourite book (and the first one I read) is Inca Gold, and Atlantis Found is another enjoyable novel, both featuring Dirk Pitt of NUMA [National Underwater and Marine Agency].

James Rollins also writes fantasy as James Clemens (The Banned and the Banished and the Godslayer series). I enjoyed both Last Oracle, set in Tibet with links to Nazi Germany, and Amazonia and have several more of his novels on my TBR pile.

Mario Reading wrote The Nostradamus Prophecies, set in France and involving the Roma (or gypsy) people. I am currently reading the sequel, The Mayan Codex, where the action moves to the Americas. The first book was very detailed, involving lost prophecies of Nostradamus, and I am thoroughly enjoying the continuation of the story in the second book of a trilogy.

The Atlantis trilogy by Thomas Greanias (Raising Atlantis, The Atlantis Prophecy and The Atlantis Revelation) was another well plotted and interesting read, especially the second book which included detail about the American founding fathers and their Masonic associations.

Other books I have enjoyed are:
  • The Last Secret of the Temple – Paul Sussman
  • The First Apostle – James Becker
  • The Atlantis Code – James Brokaw
  • The Last Templar – Raymond Khoury
  • Temple – Matthew Reilly

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