This Da Vinci Code-esque, man-on-the-run adventure is translated from Swedish and an international bestseller. The anti-hero, Don Titelman, a German expert in religious symbols, is a strong character with his own demons chasing him. Norse mythology, Nazi secrets, vivid villains and the Andree Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 combine to keep you on the edge of your seat. The first scenes of an amateur cave diver exploring the flooded mine shaft 700 feet below sea level are throat-clenchingly frightening. The nonstop, edge-of-your-chair thrills make this a book you won’t want to put down.

A Swedish diver, and explorer of abandoned mines, finds a dead body deep in a flooded shaft. The victim appears to be recently deceased, but there is no explanation of how the body got there. He also finds an ancient Egyptian ankh with mysterious carvings on it. The diver asks symbolism expert Don Titelman to visit him and take a look at the ankh, but the diver is dead by the time Don arrives. Soon he and his lawyer, Eva Strom, are on the run from men who will do anything to seize the ankh and the mysterious powers it possesses. (VIKING, May, 447 pp., $28.95)

Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor