Hachette Book Group
New York, New York
464 pages '
“But if you believe in love, then you believe in God."
In 1974, Ethiopia was experiencing a civil war resulting in the death of the last member of their royal family descended from King Solomon and Queen Sheba. This historic and biblical lineage ended a three thousand year reign.
Unfortunately, there were not just two sides in this battle but many with support from both Great Britain, Italy, and local tribal factions.
Two reporters Frank Purcell and Henry Mercado along with a photographer Vivian Smith were searching for a shelter in this vast savannah to rest for the night. Riding through this rugged and dangerous country in a jeep was not always safe or easy. They found a relatively safe spot at an ancient mineral spa with Roman baths.
The three watched nearby illuminating skies from the nearby fighting, their plan was to report to the victors, whoever they might be, in the morning until they saw a man in front of them, holding a skull. Quickly they approached the elderly man who immediately wanted water. They were reluctant to give him any since he was obviously wounded in his abdomen. Water and food often is the worse thing for anyone with an abdomen injury.
The man identified himself as Giuseppe Armanno, an Italian priest who supposedly had been imprisoned for thirty-eight years. He knew that he was going to die so and he wanted his story heard. What they didn't plan on was his story turning into their "Quest". Could the priest's story be true?
He didn't give them all the details so the three would need to explore and research more before beginning their unbelievable “quest”, but who better than reporters could discover the truth?
“The Quest” is definitely a page turner. As each clue is uncovered, the reader feels the urge to continue while alongside his trio of journalists. They don't have any special skills or abilities, but their curiosity drives them into this dangerous land with a possible dream of their treasure. The three main characters are realistically written with the problems of traveling in a third world country of being tired, filthy, thirsty, lost and people viewing them as foreigners. This is not an Indiana Jones but people who drink too much and frequently make stupid choices, especially when having sex while drinking and are frequently drunk and hung-over making the characters unlikable.
The descriptions of both the Gallas and the Falashas seemed narrow-minded and judgmental. Granted this was a viewpoint by the foreign journalists, but it was limiting the story line.
Nelson DeMille published this book back in 1975. He chose to rewrite this story into the 2013 version. This New York native is well-known for writing bestsellers such as “The Gold Coast”, “The Gate House”, and “The General's Daughter”.
“The Quest” wandered through much of the story, along with the characters creating a realistic view of the story. Basically, it is a decent story with interesting history that could have been an Indiana Jones, but was in actuality, three drunk journalists.