Relic (original title Sirkelens ende) is a fast-paced and intelligent story featuring Bjørn Beltø, an eccentric Albino archeologist in Norway and the “hero” of Egeland’s The Guardians of the Covenant. This time Beltø is a designated site inspector, representing Norwegian interests in an archeological dig in Norway, at the site of a medieval Norwegian monastery. When a sensational find is made on the site, the internationally renowned professor in charge of the dig breaches all established procedures of archeology and takes off with the find: a gold reliquary of unknown origins that clearly is extremely valuable.
Bjorn Belto gets upset. And when he gets upset, he acts. So he follows the professor to an office at the University of Oslo, listens in on a conversation that indicates that the reliquary is about to be transported out of the country. And then, when an opportunity presents itself, he steals the relic and hides it.
Now, all of a sudden, Bjorn Belto, the man assigned with the job of protecting the interests of Norway at the dig, finds himself hunted by an unknown group. Clearly they want the reliquary. But why? What is it about it that makes it so valuable? What does it contain?
The hunt for the truth – the deeply skeptical Bjorn Belto’s desire to know why, to understand – lands him in lots of trouble, will nearly cost his life, and will take him on a journey to London, the Middle East and an ancient castle in Southern France. On the way he learns how some of the basic truths of Christianity – and indeed the Bible itself – are based on assumptions and interpretations that may or may not hold water. And time and time again, his inquiries are met with falsehoods, fantastic lies, and carefully re-interpreted tales in order to confuse him to relinquish the reliquary.
Along the way, he will also learn that his own life has been based on lies – that the death of his father may not have been what it seemed .
This is a solid and interesting thriller by Norwegian author Tom Egeland. We enter into a world of ciphers, false clues, betrayal, ancient manuscripts, secret societies, and a 2,000-year-old conspiracy to cover-up the actual facts of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Relic is a thriller that will definitely appeal to people who enjoy the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – Egeland’s book is also full of mythical intrigue. Relic is excellently written and very intriguing – and where Dan Brown turns his plot in the direction of action, Egeland’s plot gets increasingly intellectual. A very satisfying and good read!