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.



Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Blacklist - Another Great Show

Since I have Netflix, it's another opportunity for me to catch up on shows that I never watched.The Blacklist is one of them. I remember it being advertised a few years ago. What caught my attention about the show was that it starred James Spader. James Spader was an actor I had liked, even though I hadn't seen many of the movies or TV shows he had been in.


But I did see him in that Kurt Russell movie, Stargate, about the Egyptian pyramids that came from outer space. And I saw him in Supernova with Angela Bassett. The two of them were great together I thought. Actually I liked Supernova better than Stargate. It's one of those "sleeper" movies, meaning it's a movie that was quite good, but flew under the radar, so to speak.

So when I heard about him being in a new TV show called The Blacklist, it caught my attention but not enough for me to watch it. But after having watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, (and waiting for the third to be aired on the PBS station,) I decided to give The Blacklist a try.

The first episode was enough to convince me it was a TV show worth watching. And I have been enjoying it very much since. I'm halfway through season one right now. It seems that even though Spader plays a wanted criminal named Raymond Redington, he's really not such a bad guy. Which is a strange thing. He's shown that he will kill, steal, cheat, and betray his country, yet there's that side of him which is a really great guy. He inspires loyalty and dedication from others, and he seems to have a side that is honorable and noble. I like all of it.

The female lead, an FBI agent named, Elizabeth Keene is a good character. She's a rookie agent, but working with Redington in the field brings her up to snuff pretty quickly. Yeah, there's the mystery about her husband, who at first seems to be a dorky elementary school teacher, but it's the mystery that Redington hints at that keeps viewers guessing as to his real identity and purpose.

And the mysteries abound in the show. And slowly the mysteries are solved. That's another great aspect of the show. Like I said, I'm only halfway through season one. And I think the show is on season four right now. I've still got a lot to watch before I'm caught up. But I'll get there. And I'll be enjoying it while I do. The Blacklist is another example of a show with great writing, great acting, great directing and a great premise. And when it comes to a TV show or movie, those are very appealing things to me.

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