Shadows of the Stone Benders by K. Patrick Donoghue
As I put myself on the electronic wait list for the new Dan Brown book at the library recently, this book came up as a recommendation. Despite its terrible title, the description sounded intriguing (I do like a good, exciting archaeological mystery), so I checked it out. Through the first few chapters, I was unimpressed. Anlon Cully, an engineer recently retired after becoming extremely wealthy due to his invention of an engine that gets substantially more bang for the buck from fuel, inherits his uncle's antiquities after his suspicious death. Once Anlon arrives to claim his inheritance, it is explained to him what he has really inherited- ancient stones with magic properties that prove early human civilization was much more advanced than previously thought. The day after Anlon's arrival, his uncle's partner, who had explained the properties of the stones to him, is found dead under suspicious circumstances as well. Anlon calls for back up to help solve the double murders from a recent friend he has made at home- a beautiful much younger woman. At this point, I felt the story to be too fanciful, not extremely well-written, and I groaned a bit as a corny romance started to develop between Anlon and his gorgeous young friend, Pebbles. As the novel entered its second half, however, Donoghue proved that his storyline (far-fetched as it may be), was well-thought out, well-organized, and proceeded at a page-turning pace, although I still yearned for more elegant prose. All in all, a fun, exciting read, but its not the finest work I have read lately. I can see why it was recommended for Dan Brown fans with its level of excitement, so if you are a Dan Brown fan and are looking for something in his vein, you may really enjoy it.