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The Babylon Contingency by Clifford Longley
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The Babylon Contingency

by Clifford Longley

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2013515,329 (2.97)16

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Hmmm. I was expecting something different I think than what I got. I had expected a thriller in the vein of Glenn Meade, Will Adams, James Rollins etc, mixing history with the present day. But the thing is (because there is history and archeology enough to support the plot) the other authors do it better; they have more interesting characters, quicker pacing, more feeling invested in what happens.

The Babylon Contingency by comparison fell a bit flat. And that is not to say it is bad, but I suppose because I went in comparing it, the fact of the actual book being not as good in my eyes makes it worse.

With as many archeology books on the shelves as there are, I don't think I could a) recommend this to anyone or b) see myself going back to Clifford Longley. I have the Desert God by Wilbur Smith on my shelf waiting to be read. Here is hoping to that being more fun to read. ( )
  T4NK | Apr 28, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While I did realize going in that this was not going to be your typical police procedural novel, I wasn't quite ready for the "cop meets spy world" approach to the story. I also wasn't prepared for the rather complex - and somewhat academic - archaeology/religion angle that at times made me feel more like I was back in university attending a class than reading what I was expecting to be a more action-packed story. Don't get me wrong, the historical information made for some interesting reading and it did make me curious to learn more about the persecution/expulsion of the Ottoman Muslims from Crete in the early 1900's but the action itself was lackluster, but I did grow tired of the barrage of police, spy agencies and government officials that seem to dance their way through the pages of this story like a swirling, muddled mess - MI5, MI6, CI7, Mossad, Interpol, etc.

I am chalking this one up as a beach read, not the intense, adrenalin pumping action packed ride I was expecting/hoping it would be. ( )
  lkernagh | Mar 21, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of this novel through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at eclectictales.com: http://www.eclectictales.com/blog/2015/01/28/review-the-babylon-contingency/

The premise of the novel was as interesting as the blurb says. Many of these types of adventure-thriller novels feature items from similar cultures or themes; there’s only been a few to date that explored items not as ommediately well-known. The Phaestos Disk is a unique archaeological artefact and the story around it draws from Minoan and Greek history and culture as well as on more recent Greek history and exploration ventures.

Despite of the intriguing premise though, the story really dragged. There was a lot more show than tell–explanations, procedures–that it just drags the pace of te story down immensely. I think the storytelling would’ve been smoother had it been written in third person rather than in first person (Peele’s perspective) because a lot of his comments felt unnecessary for my understanding of the story. Sadly the characters were not terribly interesting either; their interactions were not stilted per se but they weren’t captivating either. It was refreshing to see a non-ex-military guy led an investigation such as this, and his name was pretty amusing, but his initial attitude and behaviour towards Sarah was really weird.

I managed to finish reading this novel but sadly it just wasn’t as thrilling as I expected it to be. The only element saving this book from a lower rating was the premise and the object surrounding the overall plot. ( )
  caffeinatedlife | Feb 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book seemed unlikely to actually happen. A small time detective ends up in the midst of an international conspiracy because of a burglary. Possible, yes. Probable, definitely not. But the characters were fantastically well written - I wouldn't be surprised to bump into any of them on the street. And the mystery at the center of the story was definitely entertaining and kept my interest from the first page to the last. ( )
  Gwnfkt12 | Feb 24, 2015 |
I like to read/review books for Kregel/Lion Hudson because their British novels explore subjects and describe culture much different than those found in American Christian fiction. And while they often include some profanity and adult subject matter (this novel does) also not found in their American counterparts, they usually have a Christian worldview that I can agree with. That’s why I signed up for the blog tour of The Babylon Contingency by Clifford Longley. I must confess I have mixed feelings about this book.

DI Robert (Robbie) Peele thinks he is following up on a routine break-in at a manor house when he is plunged into a case complete with international terrorists, shadowy manipulation by intelligence agencies, a centuries old archaeological find and a plot to bring down the state of Israel. Whew, that’s a lot for a Metropolitan Police detective! Along the way he encounters archaeologists with conflicting motives and allegiances. The back cover blurb assertion that archaeology is dangerous is spot on.

I really would not characterize The Babylon Contingency as Christian fiction. The reader will be hard pressed to find any characters who are Christians, let alone live their faith. There is one archaeologist who is a semi-practicing Catholic and one who is a Jew turned Catholic turned Jew turned . . . . You get the picture. Most characters are atheists or agnostics or just-don’t-think-about-its. The worldview that Moses didn’t exist and that the Bible is a book of myths is their starting point in informing their world. This is the part I found most intriguing about the book. It provides insight into how those in the scientific/secular world view fundamentalist (that’s how evangelicals are described) Christians and their religion of delusion and deceit. I did not get the impression that the author believed this as well, just that he was describing what a very vocal interest group believes. For that I would recommend reading this novel. The mystery took a while to develop, but once the characters travel to Crete and Egypt, the action takes off. Robbie Peele is a good detective, if a bit world-worn and cynical. Other characters are interesting, yet are motivated by their own selfish desires or ideologies. Not really any that I could relate to or want to know.

An interesting read, but . . . The Babylon Contingency is not one I would pick up again.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Feb 16, 2015 |
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