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.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Heroes of a Different Sort
But what about my second book, The Vase? It has heroes, too, but I would say heroes of a different sort. The heroes in The Vase are not great martial artists, or assassins, or people who go around beating up other people. Instead, the heroes in The Vase are fathers, mothers, and sons. There's a college professor, too. Sure there's the leader of Kidon. And yes, he can be called an assassin. But it's ironic that in this story, the character who is the assassin is not the featured character. In fact, he botches his "assassin" assignment.
So I guess that could mean that the assassin character is not the hero. At least not in The Vase. Yes, he has a major role in The Vase. But I would call him more of a supporting character rather than a main character. I would say the main characters are a meek and humble Palestinian potter, and a meek and humble university art professor. Note that both are meek and humble. And they are on opposite sides of the fence so to speak. I say that because one is a Palestinian and the other is an Israeli.
But they have more in common than you would think. For starters, each has lost a son in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And both sons were only fourteen at the time of their deaths. Both fathers have suffered this horrible tragedy, but they respond very differently.
You would think the Palestinian would join the Islamic call for Jihad against the Jews as his reaction to the death of his son at the hands of the IDF. But he doesn't. He doesn't want any part of rebellions or dissent. All he wants to do is run his pottery shop and keep his surviving son safe.
But the Jewish art professor reacts the opposite way. He joins Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency, and helps them in their counter-terrorist work. He wants revenge for the death of his son. It makes an interesting story. Especially, since it all revolves around a vase in the potter's pottery shop. And the Pope's visit is another instrumental factor in the story.
So what does the Pope, or even a vase have to do with the story? Actually a lot. It's what makes the story a great one, imo. It's a very unique story, too. See for yourself. Buy a copy of The Vase today. But don't expect a sequel to it. It's a stand alone story. If you read it, you'll see what I mean.