The Last Ember

( 33 )

Overview

"Jonathan Marcus, a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among less-scrupulous antiquities dealers. But when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client's fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret. The discovery reveals not only an ancient intelligence operation to protect an artifact hidden for 2000 years, but also a ruthless modern plot to destroy all trace of it by a mysterious radical bent on erasing all remnants of Jewish and Christian presence from

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The Last Ember

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Overview

"Jonathan Marcus, a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among less-scrupulous antiquities dealers. But when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client's fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret. The discovery reveals not only an ancient intelligence operation to protect an artifact hidden for 2000 years, but also a ruthless modern plot to destroy all trace of it by a mysterious radical bent on erasing all remnants of Jewish and Christian presence from the Temple Mount." With a cutting-edge plot as intricately layered as the ancient sites it explores, The Last Ember is a riveting tale spanning the high-stakes worlds of archaeology, politics, and terrorism, in its portrayal of the modern struggle to define - and redefine - history itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Da Vinci Code addicts will enjoy Levin's debut, a dense, complicated novel of religious suspense. Jonathan Marcus, classics scholar-turned-lawyer, is sucked back into his former life in archeology after becoming involved in an antiquities theft case his law firm is handling. A few minutes in the presence of a chunk of the ancient Roman Forum and a reunion with an old girlfriend from his student days, Dr. Emili Travia, and Jonathan is ready to cast off his three-piece suit and return to unearthing ancient subterranean mysteries. The prize this time is the 2,000-year-old Tabernacle menorah, eight feet of solid gold stolen from Herod's Temple in Jerusalem and hidden somewhere in Rome. The forces of evil are represented by Sheik Salah ad-Din, who seeks to find and destroy the menorah. The fevered pace slows only to deliver a multitude, perhaps too much of a multitude, of interesting historical factoids. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594488726
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/6/2009
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Levin

Daniel Levin earned his bachelor's degree in Roman and Greek civilization from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific Brownian like religious thriller

    Until the accident that killed his best friend and kicked him out of Rome's American Academy, Jonathan Marcus wanted to become a field archeologist. Filled with guilt and remorse, he studied law and became an attorney with a suit representing some of the most scurrilous rogues in the fine arts.

    He is sent to Rome to destroy the reputation of a U.N. antiquities expert. There he meets his girlfriend from the Academy Dr. Emili Travia, whom he never forgot. She is searching for the legendary two millennia old Tabernacle Menorah stolen from King Herod's great Jerusalem Temple and brought to but lost in Rome. The sacred Menorah is allegedly to be eight feet of pure gold. Muslim Sheik Salah ad-Din searches for the precious menorah too, but if he obtains it, he will melt it down for the gold and even more so for religious reasons.

    This is a terrific Brownian like religious thriller that never slows down once defrocked archeologist Jonathan returns to Rome and never looks back until the thrilling finish. The cast is solid and believable while the action is unabated but interweaved with historical information. Daniel Levin provides an exciting tale that will have readers breathless throughout.

    Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Rivals Steve Berry

    I'm going to stray a bit from the normal book review form and ad lib this one. Since you can read the book synopsis on the Internet or the dust jacket, I'm assuming you are reading this review because you want to know how well this novel stacks up to its hype. Get ready for an amazing adventure - you will not be disappointed! I thought the plot sounded intriguing when I first picked up this book, and I was more than thrilled to be treated to a novel that rivals the likes of Steve Berry. Yes, you read that right, rivals Steve Berry. If you are a fan of historical fiction and if you have any knowledge, even a tiny bit, about ancient Jewish history, you are in for the ride of your life!

    Daniel Levin not only wrote a compelling mystery-thriller, he did it with the skill of a veteran novelist's prose. There are no hiccups in the plot line, no weird dialogue, and no shortage of twists and turns. His characters are fully believable and their interactions are not forced or akward. In short, this was a brilliantly written novel!

    My biggest complaint about historical mysteries are their endings. Levin did an amazing job tying the loose ends together. He didn't leave you hanging, wondering what happened to all the players, but he did leave you wanting another novel to follow immediately on its heels. I for one cannot wait until the next book comes out. My only suggestion is to make this a series. I want to know more about the ancient world through the adventures of Jonathan Marcus!

    Here are my updates while reading:
    I'm loving this book! I read half of it in one sitting, only stopping because I needed enough sleep to function at work. Now here I am, sitting at work, wishing I was racing through underground Rome with the protagonist. This book makes me want to learn Latin.....

    OK - I'm finished! I just couldn't put this book down! Daniel Levin may be my new favorite author!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great debut - kept me up all night

    This is a fast-paced thriller that kept me up all night. I read at least a book every other week and love thrillers that teach you in addition to being a page turner.

    The characters are well developed and there are lots of exciting twists throughout the story.

    I recommend this book to anyone that likes Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code or similar bestselling thrillers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    Excellent

    A Jewish Davinci Code. Great story. Well researched.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read. Can't wait for Levin's next book.

    Great read. Can't wait for Levin's next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Ban her

    Bn, ban harriet klausner already! She has ruined so many boojs for me by her excessive plot reveals. She is costing you book sales. Please, do something about her already!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    International Art Thriller - Will Not Disappoint!

    If you enjoy thrillers that include history, culture, and religion, set in stunning locales of both Italy and Jerusalem, I highly recommend Daniel Levin's The Last Ember.

    Daniel Levin has created an anxious page-turning thrill ride through legends and rumors, faith and culture, and it's one that I absolutely could not put down. The Last Ember -- it will not disappoint.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    The Last Ember: A Must Read

    The Last Ember by Daniel Levin

    The Menorah, the seven-branched lamp stand, which is the prominent symbol in post-Jewish tradition, is at the base of the mystery of this thriller by Daniel Levin. The Menorah, also referred to as the "golden lamp stand" or "candlestick," stood at the left side of the holy place. The Menorah, as the one at the center of the mystery and intrigue in this book was hammered out of one piece of pure gold. The lamp stand had a central branch from which three branches extended from each side, forming a total of 7 branches. Seven branches holding olive oil and wicks stood on the top of the branches. The priests told to make sure that these lamps burned continuously and that their flame was never extinguished. But, what would happen if the mission or goal of one group of people were to obliterate the lamp and extinguish its flame.


    Imagine what would happen if there was someone who had the power to obliterate all of the records, information and history of a group of people. What would happen if everything about these people and contribution to history, culture, economy and more were totally wiped out? What would happen if at the center of this were several different groups each with their own private agenda. One group wants to erase any information or trace of Judaism. One group wants to find out that a specific artifact belongs to: the Italian Government or a local antiquities dealer. Another group wants to discredit the expert witness for the Italian government and return the map to their client.

    Beneath the Coliseum in Rome there are many who are excavating the ruins to find a specific artifact. One is a man so dangerous that he would do anything, including murder to get at these ruins and find what he is looking for. Another is a corrupt police officer that is working with the investigating officer to supposedly find out who is doing these illegal excavations beneath the Coliseum and destroying what remains below. One group is very methodical and the other totally destructive. One is lead by a police office that wants answers. The other is lead by a man called Salah-ad-din who will stop at nothing and answers to no one.

    The Lord commanded Moses to have the Israelites bring him clear oil of pressed olives in order to light the menorah. Aaron was told to make sure that he the lamp and kept the flame burning. It was a source of light in the Holy Place. Without it the priests would have to live and work in the dark.

    This novel and its events take place in one day. The events revert back and forth between Rome and Jerusalem. Jonathan Marcus a former classics scholar and now attorney, has returned to Rome in order to consult on a case regarding an artifact of questionable origin and ownership. At the center of the dispute are two stone fragments that were anonymously donated to the Capitoline Museum. The Italian Cultural Museum does not agree that it should be returned to this donor claiming that it was stolen should be returned to them. But, upon closer inspection of this fragments Jonathan finds a clue on this artifact, which no one else noticed and which his firm tells him to forget he ever found. Facing him in court is his legal opponent and star witness for the museum, Dr. Emili Travia, who wants this artifact returned to the museum and states that she has seen it before and will present evidence as to its proper ownership and origin. But, a skillful attorney in Jonathan's firm soon helps to

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    The Last Ember is Superb!

    I don't usually do this, but The Last Ember by Daniel Levin (Penguin, 2009) is so wonderful that I wanted to encourage people to read it. The book is a thriller that revolves around the contemporary search for the treasures of the Temple that were taken during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. What makes the book so fabulous is that, although it is fiction, its premise is exceptionally plausible, and it is replete with hundreds of facts and factoids (many of which I was unaware) that make it an absolutely engrossing read. It also posits a new (to me) theory about the role and character of Flavius Josephus (which may sound absurdly esoteric but is, instead, if true, an entirely new way to look at ancient and modern history). If you enjoyed The DaVinci Code it is my belief that you will love The Last Ember, because in addition to being a great story, it has the advantage (unlike The DaVinci Code) of being based on verifiable facts, and is entirely possible.
    Trust me on this. I wholeheartedly encourage you to read The Last Ember. By the way, there is nothing in the book that should offend anyone (except the radical Islamists who are, right now, despoiling the Temple Mount by digging in the area of what is now called Solomon's Stables, in an attempt to destroy the evidence there of the Temple's existence).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    Davinci Code with a different spin

    I found this book entertaining. It is historical fiction and quite interesting. I have already loaned it to family and friends who have enjoyed it as well

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Could not put it down

    Could not put it down. If you like treasure hunts this is the book for you. Have a nice ending as well..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Can't wait to see the movie!

    I found The Last Ember to be a really terrific read. Daniel Levin's debut novel is a thriller full of intrigue, stretching from Jerusalem to Rome and interspersed with biblical history of the Temple Mount that will be of interest to both Christians and Jews. The book addresses current issues of historical revisionism, archeological politics and terrorism.

    I can't wait to see the movie!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Excellent first book

    I read alot and I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was very well researched and very well written. I highly recommend it to anyone. I can't wait for Levin's next book. Please, buy it, and enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    No "Burning" Review

    I thought this was a mediocre book and not very carefully edited. In a couple of places, a character makes an observation and then makes the same observation a couple of paragraphs later. There was also a problem with one of the character's ages that had me flipping back a page or two to make sure I wasn't wrong. I liked the archaeology information and language etymology he included, but found the plot simplistic and the way the characters spoke not very natural.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Last Brownian Novel?

    To describe this book as Brownian, or as good as Steve Berry, is not a great compliment. It means that the author is doing something that has been done before. The result is a formulaic book that offers nothing new. As I read this story, I did admire the work that the author put into it, but there seems to be too many of these lost treasure books, and they all read the same. So, I suggest that an author either do something altogether new, or improve on the Brownian formula. Daniel Levin has not done that.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2009

    Awful, just awful...

    Thoroughly, painfully, amateurish.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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