Title: Serpent of Moses
Author: Don Hoesel
Publisher: Bethany House
Moses built and lifted up the brass serpent, healing the afflicted Israelites of snakebites.
King Hezekiah called the serpent Nehushtan. Long thought destroyed, it’s been buried for millennia, secreted under the region’s shifting sands.
Now the Israeli government wants it back and they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Yet they’re not the only ones who covet the Nehushtan.
Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne travels to Libya intent on recovering the sacred object, but one does not cross the Mossad and expect to walk away without a fight. Jack and his friends must find the priceless “snake of brass upon a pole” before those who are also hunting it find them… and silence them forever.
Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne is on a quest to find the Nehushtan, the brass serpent staff of Moses. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one who wants it. Mercenaries, the Mossad, simple villagers…everyone seems to want to lay claim to this biblical relic that has rested undisturbed in Libya for centuries. When it’s brought to light, however, Jack finds himself in a world of danger and relying on friends scattered around the world.
Fraught with danger and adventure, Serpent of Moses is an action-packed novel with a hint of romance, a few lessons in biblical history, and plenty of intrigue. From London to Libya and beyond, the characters hop from one country to the next without a second thought, despite the danger the journey places them in. It’s only after men with guns appear that anyone considers the risk to their lives, and by then it’s too late to do anything but continue on and pray God wants them to live through the next step.
Although presented as a stand-alone novel, there are many references to Jack Hawthorne’s past expeditions. In particular, one that took him and his girlfriend Esperanza Habilla to Australia and ended badly. Enough details are finally given in the book for the reader to realize that expedition must be the subject of a previous book by Don Hoesel. Without reading that book first, however, the reader is left wondering what they missed when the story is repeatedly referenced in Serpent of Moses. There’s also the little matter of the characters frequently “intuiting” what others are thinking, as well as several instances of head-hopping (skipping from one character’s thoughts to another’s and back). These things were distracting, along with the feeling of being an outside observer rather than a participant in the story.
Serpent of Moses has an interesting plot and more twists and turns than strictly necessary for an exciting story, but the author managed to tie everything together well while connecting this book to a previous one. The few instances where the wrong location is mentioned in reference to an event in the story can be overlooked without too much trouble.
If you like suspenseful books with adventure, danger, and a bit of archaeology, Serpent of Moses could be the right book for you.