Book Review: The Volcano That Changed The World by James W Mercer

Description

An attempted murder at the Florida State University ice core laboratory leaves geology professor Mark Malloy wondering who wants him dead and if they will try again. Fortunately, Mark is leaving for the Greek island of Santorini to spend the summer resolving the mystery surrounding the lost island of Atlantis. He believes Atlantis’ fate is linked to the mysterious annihilation of the advanced Minoan Empire, the cradle of European civilization, on the island of Crete. While studying the Thera volcanic eruption on Santorini, Mark teams with Greek archeologist, Alexandra Papadopulos. Building on the work of others, their studies uncover information linking the downfall of the Minoans to Plato’s story about the destruction of Atlantis, identifying the actual Atlantis location that had been shrouded in myth. Mark’s sojourn to the warm and sunny Greek islands is interrupted when a colleague discovers Thera volcanic ash in Egypt and asks him to come help investigate. While in the Nile Delta, Mark learns firsthand how far-reaching the impacts of the Thera volcano were; how the eruption changed the entire world. Meanwhile, back in the States, the attempted-murder investigation is underway. Even while far away, Mark is haunted by the investigation stateside and by a simultaneous attempt to prevent his tenure at the university. As the summer field season draws to an end, he must return home to face the unknown person who wants him dead.

Review

A double edged thriller which tries to scientifically explain Atlantis and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a few things along the way. I did guess the whodunit on both counts and why.

This book is brimming with passion for geology and science in general. It even explains DNA and its use in paternity tests, not necessary since CSI hit our screens in the last decade. There is also much passion for literature as Shakespeare is quoted often, in fact each chapter begins with a poignant quote from various people.

I particularly liked Detective Carter and Brennan and although Mark Malloy is amiable he didn’t charm me as much.

An intriguing novel a bit heavy on science to begin with but definitely worth a read, especially if you have an interest in natural sciences and geology.

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