Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?


A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart? The brilliant professor from Bethel University? Or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Death? It's Final! Period!

Death is probably one of the most tragic occurrences in a story, I would think. I suppose there are worse things than death. At least I've heard that. It's probably true. But the finality of death is something that just can't be negotiated. That's the reality. It's one reason why I don't buy into the notion of coming back from the dead. Like vampires and zombies do, and other supernatural type stories. I don't like those kind of stories. I don't mind a vampire movie or TV show once in a while, but ever since Twilight, it seems vampire stories are flooding the book, TV, and movie world.

To me, vampire stories are bogus. As for zombies, well, they don't really come back from the dead. They are still dead. And with the popularity of The Walking Dead shows, it seems that lately zombies are flooding the book and movie world, too.

But it's too much. Way too much. I guess whatever sells is the bottom line, but I can't take too much fantasy stuff like that. In my books, people die, and they stay dead. That's the reality of it, and I prefer to keep my stories based in reality. Sure, in my books I have a little touch of fantasy, like the wonder drug in Killer of Killers, and a possible paranormal element in The Vase. (Mind you, I said POSSIBLE.) But mostly both of my books are based in reality. And that's what I prefer.

And in both books, the death that occurs is essential to the story. It moves the plot. It can't be avoided. I don't have killing just for the sake of killing. Take KOK, for instance. In the real world, there are murderers. It's sad, unfortunate, and tragic, but true. And in the real world, it seems that many of these murderers get off the hook. They get away with it. That's what drives the plot in KOK. But it's based in reality. So is the need for vengeance, as Trent Smith, the main character, believes.

In The Vase, you have terrorists. And in the real world there are terrorists. And terrorists kill in the real world. And in the real world you have people fighting back. It's real. In the real world, people kill terrorists. It happens in The Vase, too. And every time it happens, it's not for sensationalism. It's an essential part of the story. It moves the plot.

No I don't agree with sensationalism, and I don't agree with glorification. And that is why I don't glorify violence, nor do I glorify death. It's just something that happens. In the real world, and in the stories I write. And in both cases, it's tragic, it's unfortunate, and it's FINAL.

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