Cover image for The priest
The priest
Traylor, Ellen Gunderson.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Nashville : Word Pub., [1998]

Physical Description:
370 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Library

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Archaeology professor David Rothmeyer finds himself in a web of international terrorism and Israeli-Arab conflict when the mysterious group known as "The Temple Consortium" hires him to find the one true descendant of Aaron qualified to take the office of High Priest in a rebuilt temple. In this fact-based fiction thriller, best-selling author Ellen Gunderson Traylor unravels the mystery behind many international and apocalyptic events in recent years.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Alcorn turned in a crisp thriller, Deadline, several years ago, but in Edge of Eternity, he bogs down in a purgatory of flying monsters, shifting landscapes, and mystical battlefields in the service of an allegory that is never quite clear. Alcorn's best scenes involve his hero, Nick Seagrave, looking back on his sinful life; the scene where he views from his wife and daughter's point of view his hotel-room affair is particularly excruciating. Much of Alcorn's alternative universe is vivid, and the reader knows that Seagrave will eventually fend his way through the desert, the chasm, the mudflats, the endless night, and throw off the temptations of the "Imposter." But Alcorn lacks the focus of the writer he means to emulate, C. S. Lewis, reminding the reader of just how skilled Lewis was. Hyatt's Y2K and Jeffrey and Hunt's Flee the Darkness join the growing ranks of novels about apocalypse and the millennium. Y2K, of course, concerns the problem computers supposedly will have at year's end when their internal clocks change their year designations from 99 to 00. Hyatt's hero, Bob Priam, finds a cure for the bug, but the U.S. is thrown into a depression, there's widespread panic, and unscrupulous men prosper, even so. Jeffrey and Hunt offer a more ambitious version of the same story, in which computer genius Daniel Prentice comes up with a Y2K cure that's worse than the disease: the inserting of a tiny computer chip beneath the skin of every citizen's wrist, linking medical, financial, and legal records nationwide. Prentice means well, but his devout mother's warning that something dire awaits him in Europe proves true: David meets the Antichrist, who rather likes the buried chip idea. Jeffrey and Hunt are entertaining throughout and should get some sort of reward for being the first authors actually to connect the Y2K bug with the Antichrist. Meier and Wise's Secret Code involves still more millennial panic, though in this case, it's a cabalistic interpretation of Scriptures foretelling a nuclear explosion in Israel in 2006. The requisite computer whiz is Benjamin Meridor, and he and his girlfriend Judy Bithell have only five days to prevent the catastrophe. An adequate thriller. Meier and Wise know Israel well, though their Bible acrostic is rather vague and unconvincing. Rizzo's Serenity's Desire is a predictable romance set in the U.S. a little before the Civil War, kicking off a series called Serenity Inn. It's about Serenity Pownell, 16, who attends a fancy young lady's school but must quickly adjust to the adult world when her mother dies. Rizzo's Where Freedom Grows is more appealing--a coming-of-age tale about a young Jewish girl, Tatyana Letinov, whose parents send her to the U.S. as Stalin's rule grows more ruthless and they face removal to a collective farm. The Great Depression presents Tatyana with a brand-new set of obstacles, but she fights poverty and the language barrier to embrace the freedom of her adopted homeland and to begin a career. She's standoffish about romance, but that happens, too. Ann Tatlock impressed a great many readers with her debut novel, A Room of My Own, early in 1998 [BKL My 1 98]. In A Place Called Morning, Tatlock once more avoids the formulaic conventions so common to Christian fiction to tell the story of Mae Demaray, a widow in her late sixties overcome with grief and guilt for her negligence the day her young grandson was killed. Curiously, Tatlock never tells the reader much about Mae's dead husband, concentrating instead on her sorrowful parents and a childhood friend, the retarded, good-hearted Roy Hanna, who remains in Mae's life even into old age. This relationship is never romantic, but eventually the two live together, and while Mae is in a sense responsible for Roy, he also finds ways to take care of her. This quiet, offbeat love story, about forgiving oneself and preparing for death, is another fine effort from Tatlock, whose star is clearly rising. Traylor is known for historicals of early Jewish history, but in The Priest she makes a remarkable departure, jumping from England to Montana to the death camp at Dachau to Jerusalem in a bizarre but compelling tale of the search for the high priest of Israel. An Israeli group called the Temple Consortium enlists David Rothmeyer, a young Jewish archaeology professor, to trace the genealogy of the high priest through the Cohen line, and Traylor turns his search into a suspenseful, life-and-death struggle between militiamen in Montana, who chase after a young woman they've discovered to be Jewish, and Muslim militants, unwittingly linked to the militiamen. However much of the yarn one can believe, Traylor tells it well, drawing her militiamen with great care and, it would seem, some inside knowledge. There may be no better portrait of the militia in contemporary fiction. Series updates: from Bethany, by Kristen Heitzmann, books two and three in the Rocky Mountain Legacy prairie romance series, Honor's Price, paper, $9.99 (0-7642-2032-2) and Honor's Quest, paper, $9.99 (0-7642-2033-0). From Zondervan, Patricia Sprinkle's But Why Shoot the Magistrate? paper, $9.99 (0-312-21324-X), second in the witty MacLaren Yarbough mystery series; and second in Gayle Roper's (also witty) Amhearst mysteries, Caught in the Act, paper, $9.99 (0-31021909-4). From WaterBrook, second in the Heart's True Desire prairie romance series, The Hidden Heart, paper, $7.95 (1-57856-053-5); and The Velvet Shadow, third in Angela Elwell Hunt's tales of strong European women in a scattered lineage, The Heirs of Cahira O'Connor. --John MortBooks for Youth