Date published: January 25, 2012
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Publisher
Archeologist Sarah Weston has been trying to leave her family legacy behind and carve out a career that is all her own. On a dig in Ethiopia she stumbles on something very curious—a body in a plain wooden box buried in a cave. Something tells her this is an incredibly special find and despite admonitions from her university and the local authorities, Sarah continues on the site. Much to her chagrin television personality, pseudo archeologist in her book, Daniel Madigan arrives at the dig. Despite her best efforts, Daniel undertakes the investigation with her—just who is the man in the coffin and why was he such an odd fashion? With the death of an Ethiopian national, the dig is shut down and Sarah and Daniel told to leave.
But Sarah does not comply. Rather she heads to a monastery where she believes she will find the answers to why, among other curious things, a Coptic cross was found at the site. Sarah cannot reset until she learns just who the man in the coffin was. There are tales of nine saints, was this man perhaps a tenth, saint? If so, why has he been hidden away? Someone doesn’t want Sarah and Daniel to find out and their research explodes before them in more ways than one.
Meanwhile, a man known only as Gabriel finds himself rescued by a group of nomads. They take the blond haired man who remembers nothing of his life into their tribe, they teach him their ways and shelter him until one day Gabriel wakes and finally remembers his own past. There are things Gabriel knows that he cannot explain to the tribe and one day he knows he must leave. It is when his journey and Sarah’s intersect that Sarah’s life is in danger. But how could a simple man, once lost in the desert, be the instrument that could eventually end Sarah’s life?
When I first picked up D.J. Niko’s THE TENTH SAINT I anticipated a thriller. Plain and simply an action packed thriller. D.J. delivers on that and then goes a step further. She weaves a second story, that of Gabriel’s, into Sarah and Daniel’s story. But she does it oh so subtly. Reading the two stories, in a sense side by side, you are drawn into Sarah’s dig and quest as to who the man in the coffin was and at the same time, mesmerized by Gabriel’s journey. You ache for Gabriel and his lost love and for the life he had. Yet are inspired by the life he now leads. What you don’t see coming is what happens when Sarah and Gabriel’s stories intersect. It certainly blindsided me! When I read it I went back to several other chapters, still reeling from the revelation of their connection. I didn’t miss anything but at the same time Ms. Niko drew me so deeply into both stories I never saw the answer coming. What a brilliant twist! There are hints along the way and you think “maybe, just maybe” but you just don’t expect that final outcome.
I was pleased to see that Sarah Weston will be back in another thriller before too long—I wonder how Ms. Niko will surprise me then.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.