Book Review #1: Gold of Kings, Storm Syrrell Adventure Series, Book One
Storm Syrrell is young woman with a passion for art and antiques just like her grandfather, and when she gets a job at her grandfather’s well-known business in Palm Beach she feels she has found her niche. But then her grandfather suddenly fires her leaving her hurt and confused.
Sean Syrrell sees in his granddaughter the taste and expertise he is known for himself. But a situation out of his control hands him a choice that pains him deeply: please Storm now or save her life. The former resulting in her being fired and hurt emotionally. He tells himself that she will understand in time.
Suddenly, Sean mysteriously dies causing everyone to believe it was a heart attack. On top of this new grief and having to handle the shop and its problems, a Homeland Security agent takes a baffled Storm to a large vault previously owned by the late Sean Syrrell containing startling artifacts and an old leather journal. From the journal Storm finds clues to something that resembles a new historical discovery and the artifacts in the vault only confirm her suspicions.
While still mulling over this latest surprise, a scruffy-looking treasure hound named Harry Bennett turns up as well. He tells Storm that he was a good friend of Sean’s and had worked for him on a number of occasions, and that he is just as astonished by these events as she is. The fact that Sean asked him to come to Palm Beach to protect Storm in the event of his death only solidifies Storm’s fears, that Sean was murdered!
As Storm delves deeper into her grandfather’s journal she is left with a choice to stay and continue her work at Syrrell’s or pursue the mystery that might result in a treasure previously believed to be a myth, and the answer to her grandfather’s death. With Emma Webb dealing with the federal side of things, Harry and Storm pack up their gear and start the journey following the clues, which take them to Italy, France, Istanbul, and even Cyprus. All the while it is becoming apparent they are being trailed, and after two attempts on her life, Storm depends on the sharp instincts of her bodyguard, and the Interpol-associated federal agent to watch her back while she digs deeper into Jewish history and the prospect of unknown treasures.
It was a very interesting read, reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. I enjoyed reading it and had a hard time putting it down, which, for those who know me, is not all that common. The action was appropriate and pulled the reader in while the history laid a sound backdrop. The characters were pretty well developed though I would have preferred a little more depth all the way around, (in character and plot). The turn out of the story was a bit surprising compared to your average novel in respect to character relationships but no less satisfying.
The story is fast moving which is good but at times I got the feeling it moved a little too fast and I couldn’t get all the facts. I haven’t read a Bunn novel in a few years so I can’t say if this is typical Bunn or just an aspect of the book.
Also, something you read in the beginning of the book seems to imply that the character believes you can never be sure of your salvation and can only hope you have done what it takes to get to heaven, denoting a belief in salvation through works. I know some people believe this, and I don’t know for certain if this is what Davis Bunn believes or even intended to imply, but based on biblical facts is false. For example:
- Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
- 2 Timothy 1:9 – “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began…”
- Titus 3:5 – “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit…”
But as for the book, I would definitely recommend it as an exciting but lighter read.