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The BookBrowse Review

Published May 21, 2014

ISSN: 1930-0018

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In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Recommended for Book Clubs
Publishing Soon


Historical Fiction

Short Stories/Essays



Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Alternate History


History, Science & Current Affairs

Young Adults



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Book Jacket

The Orpheus Descent
by Tom Harper
27 May 2014
464 pages
Publisher: HarperPaperbacks
ISBN-13: 9780062305282
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The greatest thinker in human history, Plato, travels to Italy seeking initiation into the Orphic mysteries: the secret to the Underworld known only to the gods. But the knowledge he discovers is terrifying.

Two millennia later, twelve ancient golden tablets secreted in museums around the world hold sacred information known to only a few - the pathway the dead must follow to the afterlife. And archaeologist Lily Barnes has just found another on a dig in southern Italy. But this tablet is far more valuable - and dangerous - than the rest. It holds the key to hell itself.

Now, Lily is gone and her husband, Jonah, is desperate to find her. He knows she is alive - and in mortal danger - and he's willing to go to hell itself to find her. But the deeper he descends on this dark and twisting journey, the more Jonah's fear rises, for not everyone who travels where Lily has gone will find their way back...

"Starred Review. Along the way to a resolution of both suspenseful plotlines, Harper explores the fitness of philosophers as rulers, besides presenting a convincing portrait of Plato's time. " - Publishers Weekly

"It's an ambitious book - not many novelists would send a rock star on a journey to hell - and fans of the author's previous, history-based thrillers (The Lost Temple, 2008) will have a great time." - Booklist

"A cracking thriller." - The Sun (UK)

"This is a sort of Platonic ideal of the kind of book Dan Brown attempts to write - a pacy, preposterous Indiana Jones-esque thriller, but with prose that sparkles, jokes that amuse and characters that resemble human beings." - Daily Telegraph (UK)

"An act of great daring, pulled off to perfection....Thoughtful, thought-provoking and intelligent: mind-blowingly good." - Manda Scott, author of The Crystal Skull

"Tom Harper has been writing elaborate thrillers that marry ironclad narrative skills with some of the most elegantly understated writing in the field; he's the thinking person's Dan Brown. Actually, Harper deserves the latter's success - and more, as Harper is comfortably the better writer." - Barry Forshaw, author of The Rough Guide to Crime Writing

"There is food here for mind, sense, and heart. It is exceedingly high-class entertainment." - N.J. Cooper, author of Vengeance in Mind

Tom Harper has written eleven historical thrillers - including Lost Temple and Secrets of the Dead - which have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in York, England, with his wife and two sons.

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