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The Breath of God: A Novel of Suspense    by Jeffrey Small Amazon.com order for
Breath of God
by Jeffrey Small
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West Hills, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Along with several other degrees, Jeffrey Small, author of The Breath of God, holds a Master's in the study of religions from Oxford University. He is an acclaimed speaker on the topics of rethinking religion in the twenty-first century, and on common spiritual themes in the world's religions.

Small has written a fascinating book of fiction. It draws on the eighteen years of Jesus' life that are undocumented, and also looks at a young man named Issa who, two thousand years ago, wandered from one country to another studying the various religions of the areas Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc..

In the modern day, readers meet Grant Matthews. Working on his Ph.D thesis, he journeys to a Himalayan monastery, hoping to be allowed to examine two thousand year old documents that could change the way the world views any or all religions. It is also likely to upset beliefs fixed in the minds of the world's religious communities. Religious zealots present a definite danger.

What begins as a journey of discovery turns into a morass of danger and death. Matthews' almost drowning in mountain rapids takes the breath away. His climb into the upper reaches of the Himalayas gave this reviewer goose bumps at the height but inspired awe over what his eyes were privileged to gaze upon. A photographer joins him in his quest. Kristin isn' too sure of his mission, but curiosity to see this journey through is almost her undoing.

The Breath of God is a spellbinding novel, full of suspense as well as the thrills of a lifetime. Very hard to put down. It also brings religion to the forefront of the reader's mind, no matter what faith he or she follows, raising questions that have not been asked before, as well as bringing other parts of the world into the living room. Not to be missed. Excellent reading.

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