The Istanbul Puzzle-The Jerusalem Puzzle-The Manhattan Puzzle
The Manhattan Puzzle has been approved for publication all over the world Oct 10, 2013. Follow this blog for updates. And pre-order anywhere here.
The Telegraph had this to say about The Istanbul Puzzle: “A brisk plot . . . which draws the reader into a conspiratorial rapport. He’s come late to fiction. Clearly he means to enjoy it.”
The Lancashire Evening Post had this to say: “An impressive debut; well written, beautifully descriptive, and with a smart dialogue and a compelling air of menace throughout.”
The Irish Independent said: “This stylish conspiracy thriller is a Turkish delight. O’Bryan’s compelling debut thriller combines plenty of stirring action with fascinating historical detail.”
Norma Britton, a reviewer on Amazon had this to say about The Jerusalem Puzzle: “I really enjoyed The Istanbul Puzzle but O’Bryan’s follow-up The Jerusalem Puzzle is far superior.”
You can listen to the 1st chapter of The Istanbul Puzzle here, in a 3 minute recording.
You can listen to the 1st chapter of The Jerusalem Puzzle here, in a 3 minute recording.
The Istanbul Puzzle, the first novel in the series, has been sold for translation into 10 languages. It was also, for a number of weeks in 2012 , a No 1 Bestseller on Amazon. Each book in this series stands alone as a complete novel. The Istanbul Puzzle was shortlisted for the Irish crime novel of the year 2012.
The Secrets of St Paul’s Cathedral
The present St. Paul’s is believed to be the fifth Christian church on the site since the first Saxon cathedral was built by Mellitus in 604. Before that the city spent a period sparsely occupied following the expulsion of the Roman civilian administration in 409 recorded by Zosimus. It is uncertain whether the site of St. Paul’s was a Christian site when Londinium was under Roman rule, but it may well have been, and it certainly would have been the site of a Roman temple before that.
As to what happened after the decline and fall of the Roman Empire archeologists have found evidence that a small number of wealthy families managed to maintain a Roman lifestyle until the middle of the 5th century, inhabiting villas in the southeastern corner of the city. It was during this period that the legendary Arthur, the once and future king, drew the sword from the stone in the churchyard of St. Paul’s.
What existed there before the Roman’s chose the site for a temple is even harder to prove than any of the above. It is likely that a late iron age hill fort existed on the site and there may indeed have been an ancient grove there at one point. It is likely too that the site had cult or religious significance and that it was part of a network of Druidic sites. What the names of the gods or goddesses worshipped there were we can only guess. What rituals and sacrifices took place there we can only imagine.
According to Strabo, druids stabbed a victim with a sword and divined the future from his death spasms. According to Julius Caesar, the slaves and dependents of Celts of rank would be burnt along with the body of their master as part of his funerary rites. He also describes how they built wicker figures that were filled with living humans and then burned.
It is known too that Druids supervised such sacrifices. According to Cassius Dio, Boudica‘s forces impaled Roman captives during her rebellion against the Roman occupation, to the accompaniment of revelry and sacrifices in sacred groves. Boudicca burnt Londinium to the ground in AD 61 when she captured the city. Were defeated Roman centurions sacrificed on Ludgate Hill?
Whether any of these things happened is only wild conjecture. Whatever the truth, the mystical significance of St. Paul’s is hard to argue with. Two thousand years of sacrifice and prayer cannot be ignored.