The Lucifer Code

( 51 )

Overview

AN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPT HAS REMAINED CONCEALED FOR CENTURIES -- WITHIN ITS PAGES LIES THE KEY TO THE MOST UNHOLY SECRET KNOWN TO MANKIND.
 
A sacred brotherhood has sworn, generation after generation, to protect this terrifying truth from those who would use it to unleash doomsday upon mankind.
 
When the unthinkable happens, and the holy scroll is uncovered, the race...

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Overview

AN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPT HAS REMAINED CONCEALED FOR CENTURIES -- WITHIN ITS PAGES LIES THE KEY TO THE MOST UNHOLY SECRET KNOWN TO MANKIND.
 
A sacred brotherhood has sworn, generation after generation, to protect this terrifying truth from those who would use it to unleash doomsday upon mankind.
 
When the unthinkable happens, and the holy scroll is uncovered, the race is on to reveal the true meaning of the cryptic language. Only one man, Dr. Thomas Lourds, the world's foremost scholar of ancient languages, who we first met in the bestselling novel The Atlantis Code, can safely decipher this most deadly scripture.
 
Lourds soon becomes the bait in the most lethal manhunt -- knowing he must confront the true face of evil if the world is to be saved...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

When gifted linguist Dr. Thomas Lourds arrives in Istanbul, he didn't expect to meet a beautiful redhead; nor did anticipate that he would soon be kidnapped and entangled in a case involving a mysterious ancient manuscript and the possible end of the world. A hit in hardcover; now in mass market paperback and NOOK Book.

Booklist
Brokaw follows up his debut, The Atlantis Code (2009), with an equally exciting and fast-moving adventure. Thomas Lourds, the hotshot linguist, arrives in Istanbul, and before he’s even out of the airport—heck, before he’s collected his luggage—he’s met by an attractive female fan. It turns out she has plans for him (and not the kind of plans he’d been expecting), and in no time Lourds is kidnapped by some mysterious people who have a little translating they want him to do. If he can survive long enough, that is. The novel has one crucial difference from many in the increasingly overcrowded subgenre of thrillers that concern ancient mysteries: this one really moves. No clunky expository sections; no long-winded dialogue that exists only to shove information at the reader. Brokaw manages to pass along the key information (and there is plenty of it) in an efficient, lively manner. His characters, especially Lourds (who has an endearing narcissistic streak), are lively, too; the author paints them with broad brush strokes, filling in the small details as the story progresses. A very entertaining thriller. --David Pitt
From the Publisher

"Brokaw follows up his debut with an equally exciting and fast-moving adventure.  This one really moves... a very entertaining thriller."
--Booklist
 
Praise for The Atlantis Code:

"Short, gripping chapters move the action from Egypt to Russia to Africa to London.  Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code. Look out, Dan Brown, Brokaw can play this game a lot better than most of your imitators."--Booklist

"In the 19th century, the equivalent of a blockbuster movie was a tense, thrilling novel, often told in serial form.  We tend to forget that the modern novel need not be anything more significant than excellent entertainment, which is the perfect description of Charles Brokaw's The Atlantis Code.  …A rollicking adventure, with nonstop action and suspense.  Readers can only hope that Brokaw is prepared to send Professor Lourds on further quests."--Publishers Weekly

"If you enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, The Atlantis Code will take you to a new level of mystery, wonder, adventure and excitement. This book will enthrall you and at the same time connect you in a very intimate way with the mystery of your sacred existence."--Deepak Chopra
 

“A winning combination of all the ingredients an adventure addict could want: great action, intrepid archeologists, dark conspiracies, cliffhangers, and a real sense of wonder."--Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Paul of Dune and author of The Edge of the World
 

"Brokaw's hero is Indiana Jones without the whip.  Who knew archeology could be so exciting?  Wonderful entertainment."--Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor
 

“Storytelling doesn’t get much better than this.  I’ve set this one aside to read again!”--David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Expediter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765360694
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 602,859
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Brokaw is the pseudonym for an author, scholar, and college educator living in the Midwest. He is the author of The Atlantis Code. Brokaw has had a rich and varied life, and is fascinated by history, human accomplishment, archeology, and the possibilities of just what treasures might be buried beneath the earth. 

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER
1
ATATURK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
YESILKOY DISTRICT
ISTANBUL, TURKEY
MARCH 15, 2010
“Professor Lourds. Professor Lourds.”
Dr. Thomas Lourds heard his name being called above the cacophony of languages surrounding him. He wasn’t expecting anyone to meet him here inside the crowded passenger terminal of Istanbul’s busy international airport. He didn’t recognize the voice either—but he could tell it was a young woman’s. Thanks to years of teaching college students at Harvard, not to mention a well-earned reputation as a ladies’ man, he was rarely wrong when he gauged a woman’s age from her voice. Curious, he stepped out of the flow of pedestrian traffic rushing through the airport toward baggage and ground transportation on the lower level.
A pretty redhead waved at him from twenty feet back and fought to get through the crowd between them. A mother leading two small children glared at the young woman. Not every traveler was upset—a young man in his midtwenties wearing a bright French football jersey studied the woman who’d jostled him in open admiration.
There was a lot to like. Tall and lean, she moved with the fluid grace of an athlete or a dancer. Lourds admired the view, too. She was dressed in hip-hugger jeans and a crop top that exposed some impressive cleavage above and a tanned midriff below. A diamond gleamed in her navel, emphasizing toned abs. Her dark red hair curled and glided across her bare freckled shoulders. But try as he might, Lourds couldn’t remember meeting her before.
“You are Professor Thomas Lourds, right?” The young woman came to an abrupt stop in front of Lourds. Her hazel eyes drank him in. “If you’re not, I’m gonna really be embarrassed.”
Lourds smiled a little bashfully. It was a look he could pull off when the occasion called for it. He was nearly old enough to be her father, so he figured a little bashfulness on his part might quell the disparaging looks he was receiving from some of the passersby.
“I’m Thomas Lourds.” He shifted his cracked leather backpack to his other shoulder and extended his hand. “If we’ve met, I have to apologize. Your name slips my mind.”
“No, we haven’t met.” She shook hands. Her grip was surprisingly firm, with soft skin toughened at the base of her fingers and the heel of her hand. The young lady must work out a lot.
“You relieve my mind. I didn’t think I’d forget meeting such a beautiful young woman. And if I had, someone should shoot me and put me out of my misery.”
The redhead smiled at him.
Slow down, Lourds chided himself. You’ll scare her away.
But the chance meeting perked up his day considerably. He’d spent the last several hours on a British Airways plane from London. The first class seating had been perfect—except for the septuagenarian he’d been stuck with the whole way. She’d regaled him with stories about her life and her digestive tract, and he’d plied himself with wine in self-defense. He still felt some of the aftereffects from the zinfandel and fully intended to lose the card the woman had pressed into his hand at the end of the trip.
Or possibly burn it in effigy.
“You must think I’m crazy,” the redhead continued, “calling after you in an airport, but I really wanted to see you.”
Lourds released her hand and smiled. “How else were you going to get my attention?”
“True. But I would have liked to be a little more subtle and not so fan girl when I met you.”
“Are you an admirer of the study of linguistics?” Lourds had written a few books and several articles in that field.
“Not exactly.” She reached into her carry-on bag and brought out a hardback book.
Lourds recognized the lurid red-and-gold foil cover. It featured a languid, barely dressed male lounging in the shadows of a veiled bed. The man looked like he’d just stepped from a Calvin Klein ad. He also, Lourds had been told by women, looked like he would be everything a woman could dream of.
That cover had sold a lot of books, and Lourds had enjoyed cashing the royalty checks. The image had also been a boon to his love life. He’d discovered a long time ago that women loved to talk about sex with him, thanks to that cover. Lourds chose to pursue the subject intimately whenever the appropriate chance presented itself.
And there had been a lot of chances over his career. Even before the publication of the book the redhead held.
“Ah.” Lourds grinned. “You’re a reader.”
“I am.” She proffered the book. “I saw you, and I had to try to get your autograph. I figured it was serendipity. So here I am.”
“I’d be happy to sign your book for you.” Lourds took the copy and rummaged in his pocket for a pen.
“Here.” She handed him a ballpoint.
“I gather you enjoyed it?”
“I did,” she agreed. “But I prefer the CD. I’m on my second copy of the audio book. I wore the first one out. I love your voice. I turn out the lights and listen to it in my bedroom a lot.” She paused, winced, and bit her lip. “Well, that wasn’t awkward and embarrassing, was it?”
Lourds waved the comment away. “The audio book publisher insisted that I read the book after she heard me deliver a presentation on the translation.”
The publisher had been young and lovely, and had taken a very personal interest in seeing to it that Lourds was treated like royalty.
“The book says everything written in there is true. Is it?”
Lourds couldn’t count the number of times he’d been asked that question. The fourth-century scroll containing the narrative published as Bedroom Pursuits had made Professor Thomas Lourds a house hold name. It had also made him something of a white elephant and favorite bastard son at Harvard. The dean of the distinguished university still winced every time he thought of the subject matter of Lourds’s bestseller. The original document Lourds had decoded detailed the numerous and various acts of sexual congress of its author in lurid detail. Lourds’s translation hadn’t skimped on those details.
Personally, Lourds didn’t know anything about the author other than what his translation of the scroll had revealed. Given the sexual escapades the man had described himself as having, as well as the natural equipment he’d written about, Lourds figured if the man had been real, he must have been a physical marvel with the stamina of a god.
“Do you think it’s true?” Lourds countered.
“God, I hope so.”
“Well, I don’t know how true the tales are. I just translated them from the original language—”
“And performed the audio presentation.”
Lourds nodded. “I did. But the sound studio upgraded the quality of my voice and added background music.”
“Kenny G, right?”
“Well, someone that sounds an awfully lot like him.”
“I think you have a magnificent voice even without the background music.” The redhead gave him a sultry smile.
“Well … thank you,” Lourds said.
“I am such a geek.” The young woman looked mortified. “I bet you get this all the time.”
“Actually, no. Usually only at book signings. Most people don’t recognize me.”
“Your picture is right on the back of the book. How can they not know who you are?” She took the volume from Lourds and flipped it over to reveal the color photograph of him on the back.
It was a good picture and Lourds knew it. In it, he stood in front of a dig site in Cádiz, Spain, where Atlantis had been lost, and found, and then lost again. He’d written a book on that discovery and it had become a bestseller as well. But Bedroom Pursuits stayed at the top of the lists.
In the picture, Lourds wore khaki pants, hiking boots, an olive drab khaki shirt left open to show the white T-shirt beneath, and his beloved Australian Outback hat. He had that hat on right now. In the picture, his sunglasses hung nonchalantly from his T-shirt collar. He leaned casually on a shovel, and the mouth of a cave yawned in the stone wall behind him. His black hair was longish, a couple weeks overdue for the barber, and hung down slightly in his face. He sported a short-cropped goatee. Except for the outfit, he hadn’t changed much since the picture was taken. He knew he looked at least ten years younger than his true age. It had its uses. Especially when he was interested in younger women.
“Believe it or not,” Lourds said ruefully, “most people don’t even read the author’s name on a book. And fewer still remember the author’s face. Meetings like this are something that usually only happens to rock stars and actors.”
“Well, you are the first author I’ve chased down.”
“I’m glad you did. But you have me at a disadvantage.” Lourds held the pen poised over the title page in the book. “Whom should I make this out to?”
“Kristine. Kristine Webber. With a K.”
“ ‘For Kristine,’ ” Lourds said as he wrote, “ ‘an autograph in exchange for that enchanting smile. I do hope you don’t feel cheated.’ ” He blew on the page to dry the ink, then handed the book and the pen back.
“No way. This is going to be the highlight of my trip to Istanbul.” Kristine hugged the book for a moment before putting it back in the bag.
“I sincerely hope that’s not true,” Lourds said.
“Sad to say, it is.”
Lourds shook his head in disbelief. “Istanbul is a fabulous place. Did you know it’s the only city in the world that spans two continents?”
“Really?” she said.
“It’s an amazing place. I can’t imagine being bored here.” Lourds glanced at his watch. “Do you have luggage?”
“Oh, my God, I forgot.” Panic widened Kristine’s eyes. “Where should I go?”
“Since I’ve been here a few times, maybe I can help you find the baggage carousel. Which airline did you come in on?”
“British Airways. Same as you.”
“Good. We can chat on the way.” Lourds nodded to the posted sign -age indicating the direction of the baggage carousel in three languages. He could read them all fluently. He took the lead and they set off.
“What brings you to Istanbul?” Lourds rode the escalator down to the terminal’s lower floor. Kristine Webber stood at his side. Her perfume was intoxicating. It, or perhaps the wine he’d consumed on the plane, made his head spin.
“My father’s got meetings here,” Kristine replied. “He’s an international investor.” She shrugged. “He’s here working some kind of corporate merger and wanted me to spend time with him.”
“That sounds nice.”
“Usually he spends more time on the phone working at his business than with me. I end up ordering a lot of room service and catching up on movies.”
“Sorry to hear it.”
At the bottom of the escalator, Lourds got his bearings and walked toward the British Airways carousel. A crowd waited patiently but the warning lights weren’t flashing. None of the luggage had yet arrived.
“You should take time to see the city,” Lourds said.
“I don’t like the idea of wandering around alone.”
“You don’t know anyone here?”
“Nope. Like I told you, meeting you is going to be the highlight of this trip. I’m going to be stranded at the hotel looking out through the window at a city I’ve never been to.”
Lourds hesitated just a moment, then took the plunge. He and Dr. Olympia Adnan, the woman he’d come here to meet, had once been close, but that was a handful of years ago. The last he’d heard, when she called him back in January, Olympia had mentioned being involved with a Belgian archeologist. So Olympia wouldn’t be available to fill all the long evenings he’d be spending here. Perhaps he’d just found a nice diversion.
“I could show you the city,” Lourds said. “If you’re interested. It’s the fourth-largest city in the world, and people have been living here continuously since 6500 B.C.E.—that’s nearly nine thousand years. Its first known name, Byzantium, still rings throughout human language. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. You really shouldn’t miss it.”
“Do you offer to guide often, Professor Lourds?”
“No.” Often was such a subjective word.
“Will I be in good hands?” she asked.
“Most definitely.” Lourds smiled and felt his anticipation rise. “There’s a lot to see in this city, and it would be my plea sure to escort you when you have time.”
“I’d like that.”
“Good. Now, if you’ll just point out your bags, I’d be happy to fetch them for you.”
“There’s only one. I had the rest of my things sent to the hotel. I refuse to be stripped naked if my luggage gets lost.”
That delightful image ricocheted through Lourds’s mind and he had to force himself to look for his bags.
“Are you here on vacation?” Kristine asked.
Lourds paced beside the young man wheeling his bags toward the cab and limousine stands. The professor carried his backpack because he never willingly let it leave his side. His work and his computer were in that backpack.
One of his suitcases was crammed with books, and the porter had struggled with it. When it came to research interfaces, Lourds still preferred printed matter he could depend on when electrical outlets weren’t plentiful.
“More of a working vacation,” Lourds said.
Kristine sighed. “So much for promises of taking me sightseeing through a beautiful city.”
“Don’t confuse me with your workaholic father,” Lourds objected. “I take my playtime just as seriously as I do my work time.”
“I’m glad to hear it. What are you going to be working on while you’re here?”
“A—” Lourds hesitated over how to address his relationship with Olympia Adnan. “—colleague of mine has invited me to speak to her graduate classes at Istanbul University.”
“About Bedroom Pursuits?”
“No. About more serious matters. There are some items the Rare Masterpieces and Museum Department of the Central Library have that she’d like me to lecture on.”
“Will there be a test?”
“God, I hope not.” Lourds grinned. “If there is, the students will hate me. Hopefully I’ll be able to lead informal discussions that will inspire them.” He held up a thumb and forefinger. “A little.”
“They’re going to want to talk to you about your book.”
“Books,” Lourds corrected. “You’re probably right.” Nearly everywhere he went, the topic of Bedroom Pursuits invariably came up.
“Are these items you’re looking at a big deal?” Kristine asked.
“I hope so. Most of them have never been studied by American scholars,” Lourds replied. “I’m going to be the first. I’m really excited about it.”
He stopped at the curb and glanced out over the sea of vehicles threading through the terminal streets. His nose and eyes burned from the noxious exhaust.
“Are you going to be in another television special about the artifacts? I saw the ones you did in Egypt and in Spain. The whole Race to Atlantis thing.”
Memories flooded Lourds’s mind. Though he’d seen many things and been part of some wondrous discoveries in his professional career, nothing he’d been through before or since could match the pursuit of Lost Atlantis. It had fascinated, terrified, and very nearly killed him. Now … well, now he found he missed being on the hunt.
For the last few months, though he wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone, he’d longed for something equally interesting to invade his life again. Living on the knife’s edge like that had been an incredible adrenaline rush.
Kristine pointed at the taxi stand. “We can get a cab there. Where are you staying?”
“The Eresin Crown Hotel.”
“Really? So am I.”
“Well,” Lourds said, “isn’t that convenient?”
“It is. Maybe we can have breakfast before you go off to your speaking engagement in the morning.”
“That would be great.”
“In the meantime, want to share a cab to the hotel and get a drink at the bar?” she asked.
“That sounds fantastic,” Lourds agreed. “But I’m supposed to have a car waiting for me.”
“Someone’s coming to pick you up?”
“Yes. A limo service.” Lourds reached into his shirt pocket and took out the three-by-five index card his graduate assistant had filled out with his itinerary. Everything was there in neat, precise handwriting. But it was small enough that he had to squint.
“Professor Lourds!” a man’s voice sang out. “Over here.”
Turning in the direction of the hail, Lourds spotted a sleek dark blue Mercedes and a liveried driver standing beside it with a placard that read: PROFESSOR THOMAS LOURDS. The limousine was parked at the front of the waiting cabs.
Lourds waved his arm to acknowledge the man.
The driver waved back, then walked to the back of the vehicle, opened the trunk, and threw the placard inside the compartment.
“Over there,” Lourds told the young porter handling his bags. He turned to Kristine. “Unless I miss my guess, there will be cocktails aboard.”
Kristine gazed at the limousine for a moment, then back at Lourds. But she wasn’t smiling and her face tightened. “Well, that was somewhat unexpected.”
“I beg your pardon,” Lourds said. “Maybe offering to share my limo was presumptuous of me. I’d hate to upset you.”
“I believe you, Professor Lourds. And that’s a shame. You seem like a really nice guy.” The flirtatious air she wore dropped away like a costume, revealing a determined young woman on a mission.
Not liking the sudden change in her attitude and unsure what had triggered it, Lourds stepped away from her. But before his back foot touched down, she reached out and caught his hand in hers.
“We’re going to be taking my car,” Kristine said.
Lourds tried to yank his hand away but wasn’t able to pull free. She was stronger than she looked. Something very strange was going on here. He was starting to get spooked. He reached for her wrist with his other hand. He’d never taken martial arts, not even after the trouble he’d gotten into while finding Atlantis. No time, he’d figured, and he wasn’t likely to need those skills again. He’d clearly been wrong there. But breaking holds was all about leverage. He was bigger and stronger than this young woman. And, he hoped, faster.
Before he could make his move, she caught his free hand in hers and folded it in toward his wrist in some weird movement. He felt electrifying agony rip up his arm and crash through his brain. The next thing he knew, he’d dropped to his knees on the hard concrete.
What the hell was happening here? One thing he was certain of, this girl was hardly the simple fan she’d told him she was.
“Are you listening to me, Professor Lourds?” Kristine whispered in his ear.
It took Lourds a moment to remember how to work his mouth and voice. “Yes.”
“Good. You’re going to get up when I tell you to and follow me. You’re going to do that without resisting. If you resist, I’m going to break your arm. Do you understand?”
Lourds didn’t hesitate. The pain was too strong to resist. “Yes. Of course.”
“Then let’s go.”
Excerpted from The Lucifer Code by Charles Brokaw.
Copyright © 2010 by Trident Media Group, LLC.
Published in 2010 by A Tom Doherty Associates Book.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Silly and nonsensical

    DIsbelief is too strong to suspend with this book which features a booring and inept hero, embarassing sex scenes and a tempo which drags along until the last 50 pages when the whole thing comes to a precipitous and unfulfilling conclusion.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Decent read

    The beginning of the book opened up with action and was filled with action through the first half of the book. Towards the second half of the book the action slowed down and parts of the story seemed to be missing because I remember it skipping right over 6 days or more at times and left out many details especially towards the end of the book. Overall the book is very good and I would recommend it to others

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    Fun, but rushed

    An entertaining read and I'm glad I bought it, but the ending is entirely rushed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2011

    Really good

    I must express my wish for him to make more in his Lourd series. I must know what happens when he finds the Alexandrian library! Waiting for it since his first book! Grrr...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    Intriguing Read Set in Istanbul

    Excitement pulsates from the very first page of this eagerly awaited follow-up to the international and New York Times bestseller The Atlantis Code, though it does somewhat fizzle out towards the end. Given Charles Brokaw's background as a scholar and an academic who has traveled widely, it comes as no surprise that the setting of his latest thriller is one of the most international of all cosmopolitan cities in the world-Istanbul, nor that the lead protagonist is an academic-Dr. Thomas Lourds, the world's foremost expert on linguistics and a Harvard professor. Given that Brokaw is also an expert on aviation, international politics, and advanced weaponry, it also comes with the territory that The Lucifer Code is filled with international (and intercultural) intrigue, and has several dynamic scenes of interpersonal combat and violence.

    Brokaw knows how to get the adrenalin pumping. He clearly knows and understands his audience, and does his utmost best to appeal to their yearning for adventure and eroticism, though the latter is kept within the bounds of decency at all times. And that, perhaps, is where some of the disappointment creeps in-either you have a full-blooded, gung ho, no-holds-barred tale, or one that appeals to the more intellectual concerns of your audience. It is extremely difficult to find a balance between the two. And, yes, sometimes authors do manage to get the blend right, but more often than not, they don't. Unfortunately, where The Atlantis Code succeeded, in a most remarkable fashion, The Lucifer Code does not, leading many critics to give it up as a bad job.

    Chief criticisms that have been leveled against The Lucifer Code are that it just has too many characters and an oversupply of red herrings. Also that the ending is somewhat glib, with the final punch line amounting to just that-a single sentence. However, what is in its favor is that it appears very much to be a forerunner to a movie, and one can easily imagine the chief protagonists, both male and female, in combat on the large screen (or on the smaller one, for that matter). But what might appear to be unnecessarily obfuscating to us mere mortals might be anything but for a learned author of international repute, such as Charles Brokaw. So why not give it a try and see what you think? That it is a novel that is subject to much contention is blatantly obvious, so get a head start on those of your friends who haven't yet read The Lucifer Code, grab yourself a copy, and be prepared to be intrigued-at least for the first half of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Action!

    Not a bad book, a lot a action the whole time. But not my favorite, but i am glad i read it.

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    Not as good as atlantas code

    I expected more from the author. Towards the end just felt like it was a rush to finish the book. However looking forward to another...

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    Follow-up to Atlantic Code is more thrilling secret history

    The Lucifer Code by Charles Brokaw is the sequel to The Atlantis Code featuring linguist Thomas Lourds. Lourds is in Istanbul to speak at the university for his sometime lover and friend professor Olympia Adnan when he is kidnapped by Irish mercenary Cleena, but before she can whisk him away, another group attempts to capture him, and they are on the run for their lives. Brought to a Muslim group, Lourds is presented with a book that no one has been able to translate, and if he can manage it, he just may survive. They aren't the only group who want both Lourds and the book. The CIA, a rogue group of soldiers directed by the Vice-President, and a mysterious group led by Olympia's brother, Joachim, are all willing to kill to keep Lourds from each other. Meanwhile, the VP is trapped in Saudi Arabia after the assassination of its king and his eldest son, leaving the younger son Khalid who is a hothead ready to commit genocide upon Muslim Shiites within his country as well as throwing out American interests of oil within his country. As Lourds tries to translate the scroll, Cleena and Joachim try to keep him safe, and when they all discover just what secret of the book is, they learn that the fate of the world truly rests in their hands. Brokaw's writing occasionally gets bogged down in history, but Lourds is an interesting storyteller so it keeps the story going. The action is thrilling, and the political machinations are very frightening for just how true they are to life. Lourds is a bit of a randy old man, but as Olympia explains, it's part of his charm. I wish that Brokaw had followed the characters on their travels at the very end, but the conclusion is unexpected and terrific.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    ok read

    Although I was grasped by the concept of this book I feel that the author could have taken more time to develop the plot line and illustrate Lourdes adventures. It seemed that the beginning of the book described the day by day events thoroughly; however, the end of the book felt rushed and lacked detail. I would have liked to have the destinations and circumstances of Lourdes adventure to discover the four rings brought to life instead of merely mentioned as a passing event. The ending also felt abrupt and lacked closure. I feel the author had the story of a best seller but due to lack of detail will end up with simply an ok read.

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    exhilarating thriller

    Linguistics expert Dr. Thomas Lourds flies from London to Istanbul University to study artifacts that westerners have not seen. At the airport, he meets a beautiful "fan girl" Kristine Webber whom he offers to show her the sights of the city. Kristine grabs his arm in a painful hold and informs the professor he will accompany her; any resistance will lead to his limb broken. When a man offers to help her with her ailing "father", Kristine places a taser in Thomas' hand and forces him to shoot the good Samaritan. Bullets soon fly and many lie dead and wounded at Ataturk International Airport. The CIA is stunned as this was a simple pickup not a frontal assault.

    Lourds goes from danger to hell when he is ordered to interpret coded scrolls that the group believes will lead to the greatest revelation ever written; a lost scroll authored by John who authored the Book of Revelation. The scroll contains writings that some fear will mark the beginning of the end of the world while others pray this is true. He becomes the target of several groups who want to control the scroll. On the other hand, his only ally is his former girlfriend deadly Dr. Olympia Adnan who invited him to Istanbul in the first place.

    This is an over the top of Mount Ararat Byzantium thriller that grips the audience from the moment Kristine strongholds the professor and never slows down as the hero goes from one lethal scenario to another leading to the translation of the Lucifer Code. Readers who suspend credibility will fully relish Lourds' latest exhilarating roller adventures (see The Atlantis Code) as he learns his mom was right to never talk to strangers; even beautiful ones.

    Harriet Klausner

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