If you know your Bible, you are familiar with Moses’ staff. It played a big part in the Israelites’ departure from Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus. The staff embodied the power that God had bestowed upon Moses, and he used it to part the waters for their escape and for pretty much everything else he needed done, like hitting the rock and having water gush out so the Israelites could drink in the desert.
Like with other Biblical relics, countless stories have been told over the centuries about Moses’ staff, and even in modern times. In 2002 the BBC released a stunning headline: “Staff of Moses ‘found’ in Birmingham.” It was followed by a report claiming that “an ancient staff in a British museum may be connected to the Biblical figure of Moses. Coventry writer Graham Phillips believes the staff, on display at Birmingham Museum, belonged to the historical Egyptian official Tuthmosis, whose life had strong parallels with the Moses of the Bible.” According to the author, the staff was found in a tomb in southern Jordan in the 1800s before being bought by a British collector and later acquired by Birmingham Museum.
But of course, there will be others who claim possession of the relic. For instance, Turkey claims that Moses’s staff is on display today at the Topkapı Palace, Istanbul. While I wouldn’t run to Birmingham or to Istanbul to view the relic, these facts inspired the plot of my new thriller, Exodus ’95, in which a race to locate and take possession of Moses’ staff, hidden in a remote location, develops into what a reviewer characterized as “an intriguing blend of action, mystery, and suspense.”
An action thriller is a work of fantasy – or to put it bluntly, it is a pack of lies. Conventional wisdom has it that for a lie to be convincing, it must be based on some truth. Exodus ’95 is anchored in facts, geographically and historically, so when the reader get to the fibs, they have a ring of truth that serves to keep him or her invested in the story and connected to the protagonists, no matter how outlandish their actions.
So, what’s in the book:
Claire, a young graphic designer, learns a secret that her dying New York neighbor has kept for twenty years: the whereabouts of Moses’ Biblical staff.
Claire needs the help of an Israeli engineer and the money of a Russian oligarch to recover the staff before her body betrays her. But first she needs to stay alive in a race with fanatics, who will do anything to keep the staff from coming to light.
Then the LORD said to Moses: Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
Will Moses’ staff be found at last? I’m afraid that to find out you’ll have to read Exodus '95.
Originally posted on GottaWriteNetwork
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