Mosman Readers

"Book lovers never go to bed alone"

This is the first book by David Gibbins that this reviewer has read, but clearly it is one of a series with the same major protagonist appearing in them all.  Clearly also, from the summaries included inside the back cover of the book under review, these other tales also incorporate elements of some sort of "Indiana Jones" oriented scenarios, as "Testament" also does.

At one level "Testament" is a speculative tale about what might have happened to the lost Ark of the Covenant, which disappeared from Jerusalem somewhere between 600 and 500 BC, and how it might have been transported to a much rumoured-about hiding place somewhere in modern day Ethiopia.

At another level "Testament" may best be described as a "ripping yarn", very much in the tradition of many English authors that have preceded Gibbins - such as Monserrat, McLean and O'Brien in particular.

Like those authors, the story of "Testament" is based on, and revolves around the sea and our (mankind's) interaction with it. However, unlike those authors, "Testament" does not involve conflict AT sea, but rather conflict WITH the sea, over millennia, and all the different levels of technology that go with that span of time, and how the archaeological evidence of such interaction might be used to inform today's world of the history of mankind's ancient challenges against the sea.

There is no doubt that some of the premises the author uses to hang his tale off are a little fantastical. However they have a reasonably solid foundation in historical fact and possibility, which provides the basis for a well presented tale of daring-do that spans from 600's BC to the present day via 1860's British interventions into Ethiopia and 1940's Bletchley Park activities.

Recommended for those seeking light relief in an adventure yarn that is not too demanding intellectually but which moves at a good pace.

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