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

THE VASE

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.



Monday, November 9, 2015

Walking Dead Sinking

Another episode of Walking Dead, and another disappointment. Which makes two disappointing episodes in a row. It's strange, too, because this sixth season of The Walking Dead started off on a real good roll. The first two episodes were outstanding, and the pace was consistent until the last two weeks. Neither of the past two episodes contained any noteworthy revelations.

And still no Glenn. Not a hint of him. Sure there were people, particularly Maggie, who were wondering about his fate. Maggie was all about going out into the wild to find him, but the community is surrounded by zombies, so her plan was scrapped. She's stuck behind the walls with the rest of them. Oh, except for Abraham, Darryl, and Sasha, that is.

Rick or someone mentioned them, and that they might draw the zombies away, which is all fine and good, but when you have episodes where nothing really happens, like yesterday and last week, there's nothing interesting to talk about, and you are well on the way to losing your audience.

Walking Dead was a great show because of the action, the characters, and the events. The last two episodes, it seems, they depended only on characters to carry the show. And it's not working. Especially since they focused on the wrong characters. No Darryl, no Carol, very little of Michonne, and, likewise, not enough of Rick. Combine that with no action and no events you have a recipe for lower ratings and a consequent cancellation.

But Walking Dead has been a chart topper for a long time, so I suppose it will survive. Perhaps next week it will get back on that roll, and these past two duds will be nothing more than a footnote.

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