What do you get if you have:
1. An underground network of the world's most powerful businessmen and bankers (yes ...yawn, they are all men!) secretly plotting terrorism activity to thwart financial markets scare the public and undo environmental policies.
2. Mixed with ambitious women (sexy, model-like assistants, of course) fighting for the attentions of the top dog. Not just with their brain, but via sex appeal?
3. A sassy, smart female archeologist and silver fox commitment-phobe CIA agent?
4. Lost ancient texts from the pyramids in Egypt?
Answer? The next-generation Bond and Bourne series.
The Alexandra Connection is a thriller with exotic locations, nail-biting action and a trifecta of conspiracies. The idea of the US president as puppet to a coterie of business interests (Bush and Reagan anyone?), scientist-for-hire to refute global warming and a race to redeem some ancient texts.
Mythology, conspiracy, sex and power. It's a heady mix and Australian author Adrian d'Hagé is master of the formula.
The book could have done with some tighter editing to trim it up and keep the pace moving. I did find the text at times weighed down with a lecture-like tone on religion, wine and global warming - as if the author just wanted the reader to see just exactly how much he knew on the topic. The editors need to strong-arm the author a little so I don't feel like I'm dipping into a cheat sheet.
I don't blame him. d'Hagé is an impressive man with enough degrees and qualifications to form an alphabet. The Author's Note at the back of the book is an impressive essay on the dangers of dogma.
Despite my pickiness, I can see this book going on people's holiday reading list - easy to dip in and out of. I'd say blokes who love thrillers will love it. Read the extract below and judge for yourself.
I'd be very surprised if the movie rights for this have not been snapped up by Hollywood as The Alexandria Connection has all the elements of an international thriller that translate well into film. It's great to see an Australian thriller that can hold it's own in the global market. I'm sure there will be any more yarns from Adrian d'Hagé.
The Blurb from Michael Joseph/ Penguin
A chilling new world order is upon us . . .
In the shifting desert sands of Egypt, rumours abound of a lost papyrus that will reveal the true purpose of the Pyramids of Giza. Could these ancient monoliths be the source of a new kind of energy, one that comes at no cost to the planet? CIA agent Curtis O'Connor and archaeologist Aleta Weizman are determined to find out.
Close by, a shadowy and powerful group known as Pharos meets in Alexandria, its membership a closely guarded secret. Its first order of business: to orchestrate chaos on international financial markets with a series of spectacular terrorist attacks on the world's fossil-fuel supplies.
And in Cairo, amid the anarchy of Tahrir Square, thieves have broken into the famed Museum of Antiquities and stolen one of the world's priceless artifacts: the mask of Tutankhamun. Is the audacious theft linked to the Pharos Group?
Nimbly weaving politics, history and science through a rip-roaring plot, from Afghanistan to Washington, Sydney to London, The Alexandria Connection is a spectacular and stylish ride.