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.



Friday, December 4, 2015

Terrorism in Books

In this day and age of constant and widespread terrorism, it made me pause to consider that one of my books, The Vase, is a story that centers around constant terrorism. It is focused in the country of Israel, and I don't know if there's another country that has had more acts of terrorism conducted within its borders than Israel. Maybe Iraq and Afghanistan, more recently at least, but Israel still must be up there.

More specifically, the story takes place in Nazareth, and interestingly, Muslims represent the majority of the population in Nazareth. And as everyone knows there has been a lot of conflict between the Arab/Muslim population and the Israelis who control the country. And just so you know, my main character in The Vase is a Muslim potter. His name is Muhsin Muhabi, and he is a Palestinian Muslim potter, as is his fourteen year old son, Naji.

They are good guys. Just innocent bystanders, really, to the mayhem that has surrounded them. But there are other main characters, too. Hiram Weiss, the Israeli Art Professor, who happens to be a devout Jew. And Captain Benny Mathias of the IDF. He's Israeli, of course, but he's an atheist. He's seen too much carnage, witnessed too many innocents butchered, and it has impacted his spiritual beliefs.

It's an uplifting story, however. The story line revolves around an ancient vase, which belongs to Muhsin Muhabi, but the vase is really a very special vase because it contains ancient recordings from two thousand years ago. They are released accidentally as projected holograms, which are mistaken for ghosts haunting the restaurant across the street from Muhsin's pottery shop.

And then you have the imminent visit of the Pope to Nazareth, since Nazareth is, after all, the place where Jesus Christ grew up. It's a very interesting focal point for several story lines which converge in the story's climax. Buy The Vase. You'll see how it really is a statement about the status of the world as it is today. And as it has been throughout history.

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