Antioch 1098. A Crusader knight saves the lives of a Muslim family.
A city under siege by the army of the First Crusade. Sickened by the slaughter of Muslims, an English knight rescues a family and helps them escape. In the midst of battle he discovers a holy secret. When the tide is turned and the Crusaders find themselves besieged within the walls of Antioch, the same Muslim family must risk their lives to save the English knight.

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Ankara 2000. An ancient bible is discovered.
An original version of the Gospel of Barnabas, supporting the Islamic view of Jesus and suppressed by the Christian church for centuries, is discovered by Turkish police in an anti- smuggling operation.

Iran 2005. A son hunts his terrorist father.
Richard Helford, MI6 agent, is searching for his father, a wanted terrorist. A search for the truth will take him from the Greek islands to the deserts of Iran, via Turkish occupied Cyprus. Embroiled in the bloody rivalries of Iranian politics, could his father be guilty of a murder that hurts Richard to the core of who he is? Richard must find the secret of the Crusader knight and the proof that the Gospel of Barnabas is not a forgery. Or will the assassination squads from the CIA and Mossad get there first?

What are The Lies of Our Fathers? The second novel in the Barnabas trilogy.

My Review

We begin with the story of Robert de Valogne in 11th century Antioch. This was the time of The Crusades. Robert kills a Muslim man who is going to kill him first in front of the man’s family. The wife is called Akila and he decides to rescue her and save her and her children from being slaughtered. Robert is tired of the killing and no longer believes in the Christian Crusade. He converts to Islam and marries Akila.

Now it is 2005 and we are following the story of Richard Helford, an MI6 agent who is trying to uncover the truth about the original Gospel of St Barnabas, which Christians have tried to suppress for centuries as it shows Islam as being as important as Christianity (correct me if I’m wrong). I have to admit that it all started to get a bit complicated at this point.

Richard’s girlfriend Becky is pregnant with his child, but in spite of having no involvement in politics, she has joined a women’s Islamic movement called Words of the Faithful run by Nadia, whose husband was killed for funding terrorism. Richard’s father David is also involved but on whose side? It is all very mysterious.

Everyone wants David dead but Richard manages to meet him in Crete, just before he disappears again. Everyone also seems to be after a couple of religious artefacts taken by Robert de Valogne from a dying priest, but this is no Indiana Jones. In comparison The Last Crusade is like Enid Blyton. (Apologies to Harrison Ford.)

The story then travels to Northern Turkish-occupied Cyprus, back to England and on to Iran where Richard seems to be kidnapped, beaten, blown up and imprisoned numerous times by all sorts of different political or religious factions. I gave up trying to work out who was who.

Each time someone kidnaps him, they tell him a different story but who is lying and who is telling the truth? I had no idea most of the time. Who can we trust? Can we trust Nadia or someone called Amira who is a double agent or any of the Iranian soldiers? I can’t pretend to understand what was going on much of the time but I did learn a lot about Islam, about the differences between Sunni and Shia and about the Crusades. Maybe if I had read the first Barnabas book The Last Messenger it would have been clearer. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the book. I tried to go with the flow and revel in the adventure without getting too involved in the politics. And I have huge admiration for the phenomenal volume of research that the author must have undertaken to write this story.

Many thanks to @damppebbles for inviting me to be part of #damppebblesblogtours

About the Author
Jonathan Mark worked for nearly forty years in the City of London financial district, he retired early to pursue his long held ambition to write novels.  He shares his time between Essex and Cornwall and travels around the world to research material for his books.

To kick start his writing career he completed an MA in Crime and Thriller writing at City University London. At the time, this course was the only creative writing MA in the country which focused on commercial crime fiction. The Last Messenger was the novel submitted to complete the MA.

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1 Comment on “The Lies of Our Fathers (The Barnabas Trilogy Book 2) by Jonathan Mark

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