Friday, December 07, 2007

Rollins' Angkor thriller

Novels involving Cambodia are a bit like British buses... you wait ages for one and then two come along at the same time! In this case, the novel was published in July of this year, but it's only just come to my attention. It would be much easier if all book publishers were aware of my blog and website and sent me review copies of their books, without me having to beg!
Anyway, back to the latest novel on Cambodia. Bestselling author James Rollins, a master at combining historical and scientific intrigue with cutting-edge adventure in books like Map of Bones and Black Order, returns with his most relentless, high-octane thriller to date - The Judas Strain - a terrifying story of an ancient menace reborn to plague the modern world... and of an impossible hope that lies hidden in the most shocking place imaginable: within the language of angels.
The novel explores a mysterious link between the Catholic Church of Marco Polo's day to the ancient ruins of Khmer temples at Angkor Wat. Rollins himself had this to say about the Cambodia element in his novel: "This novel required doing a bit of traveling, back to Italy again but also to the jungles of Cambodia. A large section of The Judas Strain takes place among the Angkor ruins of that country. It was an eye-opening journey into a country where landmines are still a risk to the unwary and where colonial culture and Cambodian history blend in some beautiful ways. Yet, it's also a haunted landscape, where in the recent past a quarter of the country's population was brutally slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge." HarperCollins are the publishers. Link: Author's site.

Cambodia certainly seems to be on the radar for quite a few authors at the moment. And of course there's plenty of material to draw inspiration from with it's chequered history over the past few decades. Just a brief whizz through Google throws up the following authors who are currently writing novels, set in Cambodia - Loung Ung, T Cooper, Justine Larbalestier, Thomas Hutchings, Kim Echlin, Thomas Beller and Kim Fay to name but a few.

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