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Sacred Cipher

Title:  The Sacred Cipher:  A Novel
Author:  Terry Brennan
Pages:  346
Year:  2009
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
                This is an exciting, exhilarating and exacting story.  The story is modern day, taking place in New York City and Jerusalem.  There is a prologue to give the history of the plot.  There is also another book that continues the story titled, The Brotherhood Conspiracy.  This book will be reviewed on this blog as well.
                Tom Bohannon is the director of the Bowery Mission in New York City.  While remodeling, a room is discovered to be hidden behind the old pipe organ.  In this room, what appears to be an ancient scroll is discovered.  Tom takes his discovery to his brother-in-law, Joe, who works at the New York Library.  Joe in turn consults a co-worker, Sam, to see if he can decipher the writing on the scroll.  They discover the writing is in an ancient, dead language and their only hope of translating it lies with Dr. Richard Johnson, a mortal enemy Tom made while Tom was in his old profession of investigative news reporter.  Tom humbles himself and contacts Dr. Johnson.  The two put their differences aside to solve the mystery.  Soon, one of Richard’s former students becomes involved as well.
                Their extensive research and fact-finding leads them to a fantastic treasure if the scroll is genuine.  They feel that it is, especially after two members of the group have their lives attempted to be ended.  The message leads them to Jerusalem, specifically the Temple Mount.  Tom, a devout Christian, feels like God has called him to this mission.  The other members for one reason or another are equally dedicated to see the mission through to the end.  Are they really going to try to explore under the Temple Mount?  How are they going to accomplish this impossible task?  Will they really find what they’re looking for?  The team travels to Jerusalem and soon discovers there are many enemies who will try to keep them from their mission at any cost, even their very lives.
                The story starts off a little slow for the first half of the book with too much back and forth before getting to Jerusalem, causing the story to drag.  I appreciated the history lessons and found them interesting, but there was a little too much and it bogged down the flow of the story.  Once in Jerusalem though the action takes off and I couldn’t put the book down.  I just loved seeing Tom come to the end of himself and put his faith in God that He would provide.  He lives out his faith for Richard and Joe to see.  Richard is a nonbeliever and Joe is a “lapsed catholic”.  Tom’s integrity and strength to do what God called him to do is admirable.  What do they discover?  Well, you’ll have to read the story to find out if their discovery is explosive bomb with end time implications or merely a sparkle that fizzles out.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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