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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Arrow Show Reverts to Bad Writing

When it comes to the hero of a show being falsely accused for crimes he didn't commit, or for being hated by the community he's been saving for years, well, that concept is getting old. We saw it with Spider-man for ages. You had the newspaper man J. Jonah Jameson hating Spider-man for no reason, and his crusade to have Spider-man killed or arrested was never ending.

We saw it with Arrow in season one, when the police detective hated the Arrow for personal reasons, despite the Arrow saving his life, his daughter's life, and countless others. But then in season two, we saw the detective overcome that hate. Which was a good thing. He even sided with the Arrow and they were unofficial partners in the war against crime.

So what's the problem? In season three, the detective has regressed. In season three he's back to hating the Arrow and this time, he finally arrests him. And despite his own daughter being the Arrow's ally, and defending him, this detective dude can't let go of his hate, which, btw, is based on a ridiculous assumption that he, (the detective) was right about him all along. But wait. He wasn't right all along. He was wrong all along. He had come to realize that in season two. But in season three he comes to realize that he was right in season one, even though he was wrong. Sheesh...

So the detective, (now a captain) has regressed. And it's back to square one. All the growth of the detective character is flushed down the toilet. Come on. I was appreciating character growth. It's something that makes a story worth watching. But to erase all of that? It makes the story  boring. It's bad writing. Can't the writers think of something new? A new conflict? It's like the repeated, never ending, and ever old J. Jonah Jameson's obsession with hating Spider-man. The guy never grows, his character never develops and the repeated story line of his crusade against Spider-man is more than tired. It's rusty. It's boring.

I would think that after someone saves your life, not once, not twice, but multiple times, and saves the lives of your loved ones, and saves the lives of countless innocents, over and over again, you might find a reason to stop hating. But no. Not in these ridiculous story lines.


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