The Lost Scrolls by Michael J. Scott is the first of a Jonathan Munro Adventure Series. A chain of events, including a burglary at his residence and the death of a former colleague and friend, archaeologist Stephen Kaufman, killed in the streets of Ankara, Turkey, leads to an overseas assignment for Jonathan. His department head sends him to Turkey to recover, examine, and validate the authenticity of Kaufman’s archaeological discovery, the Domo Tou Biblio, a scroll containing the location of the missing New Testament autographs.
Upon arriving in Ankara, when Jonathan visits the bedside of his friend, he finds him in a critical condition, fighting for his life. Jonathan reunites with Stephen’s sister Izzy, his former girlfriend. Jonathan quickly realizes that he is deeply involved in an international plot to be the first to find the priceless artifact. Billionaire Beaufort using a group of mercenaries, the Catholic Church involving a former assassin turned monk, a group of terrorists and politicians from the country of Turkey are all in the race to get these documents at any cost.
The non-stop conflict and resolution, a growing number of government agencies, and four separate teams competing in the fight against time made it hard to keep the relationships of these many characters clear. I had to make a concentrated effort to keep many of the sub characters identified
Michael J. Scott skillfully combines a fascinating balance of the politics of international security organizations pitted against each other, the hypocrisy of organized religion against the personal desire for genuinely following New Testament Christianity, the importance of archaeological discoveries, and man’s inherent greed.
Scott’s character development is superb; his strong dialog and fast-moving action all move the plot escalating to a strong climatic ending. I appreciate Scott’s careful attention to detail.
I found myself identifying with his protagonist Jonathan when Izzy implied he was a hypocrite. This gave him cause to stop and reflect on his faith. Jonathan’s personal reflection, questions, and challenge carry with them a subtle message for the reader to pursue these same steps–an excellent presentation.
Michael J. Scott is an upcoming author destined for recognition among readers of International intrigue, conspiracy, and fast-moving adventure. After reading The Lost Scrolls, I am already looking forward to the next in the Jonathan Munro Adventure Series.