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The Alexander Cipher

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Overview

Egyptologist Daniel Knox's lifelong fascination with Alexander the Great and his tomb, a fabled wonder of the ancient world, could be the death of him. After construction workers excavating in Alexandria expose a catacomb dating back to ancient times, Knox eagerly sneaks in to scout the cavernous and dusty site. Among the relics he finds clues that may solve one of the world's greatest mysteries: the last resting place of Alexander the Great.
An unconquerable warrior king, ...

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The Alexander Cipher

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Overview

Egyptologist Daniel Knox's lifelong fascination with Alexander the Great and his tomb, a fabled wonder of the ancient world, could be the death of him. After construction workers excavating in Alexandria expose a catacomb dating back to ancient times, Knox eagerly sneaks in to scout the cavernous and dusty site. Among the relics he finds clues that may solve one of the world's greatest mysteries: the last resting place of Alexander the Great.
An unconquerable warrior king, Alexander was the single most powerful man on the planet and thought to be a god. Now, nearly 2,500 years later, the discovery of his tomb, seemingly lost forever, is within reach, triggering a deadly hunt for one of the greatest treasures of all time. Knox is not the only seeker; others are after the prize, and they would kill to win it . . .
In the spirit of the great adventure-thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Clive Cussler, Raymond Khoury, and Steve Berry, THE ALEXANDER CIPHER keeps the pages turning with a rip-roaring ride through history, archaeology, and the great deserts of Egypt.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Daniel Knox, a dive instructor and former archeologist, is just one of many characters searching for Alexander the Great's lost tomb in British author Adams's less than suspenseful debut. Aboard a dive boat in the Red Sea, Knox goes against his better judgment and rescues an attractive young blonde from the clutches of wealthy Hassan al-Assyuti, who's intent on rape and battery. Knox must then go on the run, leaving him barely enough time to fall in love with Gaille Bonnard, a demotic language expert working on a dig connected to Alexander in northern Egypt. In Alexandria, construction manager Mohammed el-Dahab has stumbled on a necropolis that will eventually point all the competing searchers toward Alexander's actual tomb. Thriller fans with an interest in Egyptology and Alexander will find much to like, while those seeking swift action and adventure will find themselves bogged down in too many subplots and historical factoids. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In a welcome respite from the glut of Christendom-shattering, artifact-protecting, Secret Order thrillers, debut author Adams offers up something new. A cobbled-together team-a Greek archaeologist, her French assistant/language specialist, and quasi-corrupt Egyptian antiquities officials-finds a clue that, when deciphered, leads them to the real tomb of Alexander the Great. Here's the twist-the whole operation is funded by a wealthy Macedonian nationalist who will use Alexander's body to mobilize his compatriots to wage war against Greece for sovereignty. Rival archaeologist Daniel Knox is our misunderstood action hero and romantic lead in the style of Indiana Jones and Dirk Pitt, fractionally more skilled at eluding peril than becoming ensnared in it. Adams racks up a generous body count; some victims we have grown to like. The violence is graphic and the language at times coarse, though commensurate with the world of baksheesh, graft, and unchecked power depicted here. Not literature, but a plausible, fun heist-thriller that compels the reader to wonder, What if? Recommended for most popular fiction collections. [Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/08.]
—Laura A.B. Cifelli

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446404709
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 235,812
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Petre worked as a shop salesman, painter & decorator, warehouse porter and microfiche technician, before joining a Washington DC-based firm of business history consultants. He wrote a series of corporate histories and biographies for them, taking time off between projects to travel in search of exotic settings for his stories. More recently, he worked for a London communications agency, but he now concentrates on writing fiction full-time. He lives in Essex, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Good stuff!

    One of a handful of book that i picked up in paperback @ wal-mart. I wasn't dissapointed. Like one of the other reviews here, i have a fascination for archaeology related stories. Thanks for a good book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Turned into a great read

    I was a little concerned when I first started reading this book that I wouldn't like it--it seemed to start a bit slowly for me, but I am happy I stuck with it. I was soon immersed in the story. The plot moves the action ahead and kept me interested. The characters were well rounded and I cared about them. The setting of the story in Egypt fascinated me, especially the history of Alexander. I actually wanted to visit the area after reading the story. So I highly recommend this book, I almost gave it a "5". I plan on reading more by Will Adams.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Fast paced

    Totally enjoyed this book both from historical perspective as well as plot.

    Gives a good look at how people lived in olden times.

    Would recommend to anyone interested in archeology.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2009

    Exciting book

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am about to read Adams' next one,
    The Exodus Quest.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2011

    Rick Riordan for Adults!

    If you like the mix of mythological/archeological facts with a fictional story, you will love this author and his works. This is fast-paced, multi-faceted yet well-tied together, and simply fascinating. Enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    Slightly Different for the Genre

    I liked the book. It has different subject matter from the usual Judaeo-Christian conspiracy archaeological thrillers, which in itself is refreshing. The characters are, for the most part, more everyday people rather than supermen and women. People get hurt and tired. Things break. Motives are, for the most part, believable. The author's writing style is clear, wry, and enjoyable. It's a great book for a rainy afternoon or two, and would make a decent movie.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In a sea of Dan Brown wannabe's, this stands out! What do you g

    In a sea of Dan Brown wannabe's, this stands out!

    What do you get when you cross Alexander the Great, Homer (not Simpson) and Ancient Egyptian lore? You get The Alexander Cipher—a race to discover the lost tomb of the ancient world’s greatest warrior. Anyone who’s met me knows that I’m a self-professed historical fiction/adventure enthusiast. If Indiana Jones had a secret affair with Michael Bay, the resulting love-child would be my favourite kind of book. Something like, say, this one. Written in the style of Clive Cussler or Steve Berry, Adams has crafted a riveting narrative full of action and adventure with a twist of compelling mystery.

    Alexander the Great is an incredibly intriguing figure and it’s evident that Adams has done his homework. His research blurred the lines between fact and fiction seamlessly and there’s definitely something to be said for that. The main problem I’ve found with this genre is that there’s a thin line between need-to-know fact and tedious detail. Many novels go so far in-depth with the facts that you’re left feeling like you’re sitting in a classroom. Adams balances the nitty gritty detail with just enough flair to keep you feeling engaged, not bored. There are plot twists and cliff-hangers looming around every corner; enough to keep you on your toes. Any novel that can blend the likes of history with the throes of an edgy thriller is a total winner in my book.

    I guess my only real problem with The Alexander Cipher was the lack of an appealing main character. It’s not that they weren’t likeable, for all intensive purposes, they could be worse; it’s just that they aren’t notably strong. Adams missed the mark in making our main man, Daniel Knox, identifiable. He’s an enigma with one too many personality shifts—American to British to Egyptian—it’s just distracting. Our leading lady, Gaille, is way too weak and fickle for my tastes. One minute she hates Knox and the next minute she loves him. I couldn’t quite keep track. And look, I get it. Archaeologists aren’t action heroes. Understood. But would it have been too much to ask to take a little fire from Gaille’s overbearing boss, Elena, and shove it into her instead? Her timid act was just not relatable from a reader’s standpoint. I wanted to shake the meekness right out of her the entire time I was reading.

    While this might seem like a huge issue (believe me, in most cases it is) Adams supplements this loss with an amazing cast of supporting characters. Tell me you’re not intrigued by a man like Mohammed, who risked everything to save the life of his terminally ill daughter. Tell me you wouldn’t like to kick some serious ass with the likes of Knox’s Aussie pal, Rick. Tell me you weren’t floored by the dedication of Dr. Ibrahim Beyumi. I’ve never seen someone who loves their job so much and it’s inspiring. Oh and the honorable goon Nessin. Honorable goon? An oxymoron, yes, but still true nonetheless. These guys are worth reading about and these guys made me overlook the book’s inherit flaws. Girlish side note here: I have a bit of a bookish crush on Knox’s wayward friend, Augustin. He’s just so damn charming! I’d be like total putty in those French hands of his!

    Despite the book’s shortcomings, all in all, the twists and turns kept me satisfied enough to overlook them. There was an unpredictability in where Adams was going with storyline and enough action to keep the Bay in me at bay. When I finish a historical book and feel an immediate thirst for more knowledge on said subject, I know something was done right. The Alexander Cipher accomplished such a task and did exactly what a book of this genre should do—kept me turning the page and wanting for more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great concept-just left me wanting more

    I love the genre of historical fiction where the author gives me a history lesson but with a bit of fantasy. I think that Will Adams certainly accomplished that goal. I enjoyed learning more about the conflicts between Macedonians and Greeks. I just felt that the final outcome of the story left me wanting more. It was all wrapped up in a bow too pretty for me. I'm hoping that the ending will lead to further stories with the main character. He was scrappy without being too perfect (a la Cussler's Dirk). I will certainly be looking forward to a sequel if there is one in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Fun!

    A fun adventure!

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Excellent Book!! I couldn't put it down! I hope that Will Adams

    Excellent Book!! I couldn't put it down! I hope that Will Adams writes a third one to make a cool trilogy. This book is face-paced and has a lot of action. Would make a great movie!!!

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    Good escape a la Dan Brown(ish)

    This was a pretty interesting archeological adventure-type book focused on the mystery of the location of Alexander the Great's remains with modern-day political repurcussions - something of a combination of the movie "National Treasure" and the Indiana Jones movies. Easy to read, characters are pretty static, plot has some interesting twists and will keep the book in your hands - overall, what you see is what you get here. In other words, the maxim "don't judge a book by its cover" does not apply here. If I see another book by Will Adams, I will read it, because this was his first, and for the first try, it was pretty darn good. He can only get better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    Love archaeological mysteries/thrillers.

    This is a good one, keep 'em coming. There's a lot of history to draw material from.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Alexander Cipher

    Will Adams is at it again....He has written another top notch thriller. I predict that Will Adams is a name to watch in this genre...If you like action, adventure and suspense. This is the series for you....Cudos to Will for producing another great read.....Excellent for the virtual adventurer. You will rip the upholstry from your armchair with this one.....

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review by www.cymlowell.blogspot.com

    Will Adams creates a new thriller character destined to be a long-running series of best sellers. Daniel Knox is a knock-around archaeologist in Egypt with a history of interesting relationships with his brethren and sponsors.

    The supervisor of a construction project in Alexandria stumbles onto a potential site of the final resting place of Alexander the Great, whose body was coveted as a justification for power by his successors in Egypt, the Ptolemys, Alexander's native Macedonians.

    The race begins in the fashion of an Indiana Jones movie. Knox is pursued by a bad guy for saving a young girl from being raped by the tyrant. Along the way, there is a budding love affair with a woman who blamed Knox for the odd death of her archaeologist father, an evil female colleague who seems easily seduced by lovers and sources of money, a little girl desperately in need of a bone marrow transplant, rich Macedonian nationalists intent on using Alexander's body as the means, after more than 2,000 years, of fomenting revolution to establish a separate Macedonia out of Greece and Balkan states.

    The Alexander Cipher beautifully blends the history of Alexander and his successors into an entertaining, rip-roaring, action-packed, page-turning adventure. The past of Daniel also will not remain there, as the female protagonist in the story, Gillie, moves from a hatred attributable to the strange death of her father to something more beautiful.

    This is an excellent, well-crafted story. It cries out for a sequel in the adventures of Daniel Knox.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Indiana Jones & Lara Croft

    I really enjoyed this book. The search for Alexander the Great's tomb was a great topic. The writer infuses history with mystery, bad guys, a romantic interest and other interesting characters.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    Great Movie Script...Although, Rambling "Sand Storm" of a Novel.

    This was a first good attempt by Will Adams in his attempt at fiction. He obviously has done his homework in terms of history, and his own background is well established by his knowledge of the content/geographic locale in which the book takes place. However, in reading this novel, you end up asking yourself if you've ever watched a movie where EVERYTHING was just too conveniently CO-mingled, and the realism went out the door? Despite the differences in characters, by the end of the novel, it's like this guy was trying to write the next Guy Ritchie script using an inbred family from Appalachia. The Characters all seem to have a history with one another, literally - all of them are within the 2nd degree of separation (ref: 6 degrees theory). I'm not going to give things away because the plot is well founded and makes for great reading. But the way Will Adams put this thing together, it would make for a better movie script than an actual novel.
    Now, don't get me wrong, and you may disagree with this. But every author writes in their own style/syntax - it seems as though Adams is trying to come into his own. There is a great deal of confusion in terms of character references. He uses a lot of pronouns without a lot of congruence. There are times when there are 2 or more characters involved in an event and it becomes a chore in deciding "who the F#" just said/did/or is the author referring?! Again, I will say that this was a good read. It would have been better, had Adams put this novel through at least one more edit.
    The main story, the overall plot, and its originality are great. The characters are "so-so", the back story of the characters is very blah (because of the "co-mingling" of their fates - seriously, it's like a "red-neck" family feud set in Egypt). I'm sorry...no one group of "strangers" can be so intermingled - and then flip-flopped into knowing each other because of the central belief of a deranged lunatic and his son - especially in a place so big as the Mediterranean.
    Which brings me to my harshest critique - the author is writing in English. But it's like he's writing Americans, Greeks, Frenchman, Australians, and Arabs like a Briton. I'm not being racist, but there are certain things that different people of the world say in terms of their manner, syntax, and slang. The text didn't come across that way. The characters were dynamic to a certain degree, but it came across a bit contrived. That and the fact that again, the pronouns (He, She, and They)were so overused that you couldn't readily tell who was doing what, without doing a double take.

    Overall - the book has the potential to be a better movie script. A novel...not so much. A historical view of some really neat facts on Alexander, Ptolemy, and the chaos that still plagues Egypt regarding her history - absolutely a find. To the author....try a bit more editing on the next story. But hey if you can sell this one to Hollywood...do it!

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a terrific thriller

    In Alexandria, excavation of a site to construct a new hotel reveals the ruins of an ancient tomb. Construction manager Mohammed el-Dahab shuts down work to notify the authorities of the find as proscribed by Egyptian law. The Feds send archeologists to catalogue the tomb. The professionals quickly determine the artifacts come from the age of Alexander the Great. As a side consequence of an Alexander age discovery, there is renewed interest in finding the tomb of the Great Macedonian conqueror.

    As the fervor arises Daniel Knox works on a dive vessel in the Red Sea until his chivalrous nature gets him in trouble when the Good Samaritan rescues a woman from a sexual predatory mobster with money, connections and anger. Forced to flee, he rushes to Alexandria where he has a haven to hide in with an archeological friend Augustin until the Red Sea incident becomes forgotten. Daniel gets inside to see the new Alexandria tomb and realizes the greatness of the discovery because there are clues to where Alexander the Great was buried. He soon meets ancient Egyptian language expert Gaille Bonnard, who is part of a team working on an Alexander dig to the north. Before he knows what happened Daniel is in love and searching for Alexander's tomb.

    Although overwhelmed with too many subplots, THE ALEXANDER CIPHER is a terrific thriller that cleverly interweaves historical tidbits of Ancient Egypt and Macedonia during the Alexander era into the contemporary adventure. Readers will root for Knox, a sort of modern day Indiana Jones, who gets into one hot water situation after another until the audience assumes he is an over cooked hard boiled egg. Fans will enjoy his escapades in an entertaining brisk archeological thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted April 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

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