Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: The Sacred Cipher

The Sacred Cipher by Terry Brennan

Publication Date: July 2009
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/ Thriller
ISBN-13: 9780825424267

(Received for review from Kregel Publications)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound

If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:

Purchase at our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books or
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library

Author's Blog:
Excerpt: Click HERE!
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

A secret room has been discovered in the chapel of the Bowery Mission. And what's hidden inside reveals a mystery of biblical proportions.

When New Yorker Tom Bohannon uncovers an ancient scroll containing a dead language that has been lost in the sands of time, he doesn't fully comprehend the danger that's about to unfold. Though Tom and his team of raging scientists and historians want to decode the ancient text, others don't want the cipher revealed. And they are prepared to kill to keep it hidden. From a market in nineteenth -century Alexandria to a library in present-day New York to the tunnels beneath Jerusalem, the secret of the cipher is gradually revealing itself across the globe. And for those in it's path, life is about to change - forever.


The Sacred Cipher, the debut novel from author Terry Brennan could be characterized as a historical mystery. Brennan's impeccable research allowed him to craft a novel that weaves historical significance throughout the pages of fiction. Some of the people and places mentioned along with their stories are historically accurate and they are mixed in with fictional characters with precision. The author was able to give us a novel that not only entertains but educates as well.

Tom Bohannon has stumbled onto something that could change the world as we know it. While exploring the Bowery Mission he finds a secret room in which is housed a scroll written in a language that has long since disappeared from the world. But what does the writing say? What does it mean? Along with a crack team of historian's and scientist, Bohannon is determined to answer the questions of the Sacred Cipher. There are those who have commissioned to keep the secret hidden and they will stop at nothing to prevent Bohannon from finding out it's meaning and exposing it to the world.

This book is filled with adventure and suspense. It channels a little bit of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and the movie National Treasure. There is this great secret that could change how we view the world, much like the Da Vinci Code, yet it also has this historical component that gives it the feel of mystery that needs to be solved, like National Treasure. It is a fast-paced thrill of a read. Readers will find themselves biting their nails and or clicking them against something and flipping those pages as fast as they'll go.

I really liked the suspense of the book and the way the characters sort of fed off that energy. They were driven to figure it out and I felt as a reader that I was driven as well. Pushed toward a very satisfying conclusion. I liked the entire book, but the ending was really worth the wait. This isn't a book you want to read sparingly, devote a good snowed in weekend or a long holiday weekend to finish this one and really enjoy the ride.

I recommend it to readers who love a good mystery, those interested in history and those looking for a good thriller. It has enough suspense for two novels. This is a brilliant debut effort and I really look forward to more from Terry Brennan.

The Sacred Cipher is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I am giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Terry Brennan has had an extensive career in journalism, winning several awards, including the Valley Forge award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation. Terry served eleven years as the vice president of operations for the Bowery Mission in New York City and is currently a management consultant.

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