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OK, it's a B movie thriller of a book: stock characters, lots of killings, good good guys, bad bad guys . . . overall it keeps moving and it has a beginning, a middle and an end so it delivers a solid book but . . .
The plot is way too "big coincidence" driven, even at times when it didn't really need to be. Additionally the main characters are very smart, except for when they need to be stupid: at one point it is painfully obvious they are being followed but they do not seem to figure this out or to do anything about it. These were the things that made me take away a star even for a 'beach reading' kind of book.
The characters are straight out of central casting, which is OK for this kind of book. The basic idea for the story is good and not so implausible as to hurt the overall effect. There are also a series of historical asides where the action stops and we get to hear anecdotes about the artifact. I'm conflicted about these: they slowed things down and padded the book but individually they were interesting and gave the book a historical sweep it wouldn't have had otherwise.
Overall it got the job done but I was a little disappointed in the final execution.
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