The Healer's Daughters by Jay Amberg
Category: Adult Fiction, 312 pages | Genre: thriller
Publisher: Amika Press | Release date: July 2019
Tour dates: Sept 9 to Sept 20, 2019
Content Rating: Pg-13 + M (Some strong language, terrorism and violence)
A terrorist bombing in Bergama, Turkey kills twenty-three people including three children. Modern Bergama is built on the site of ancient Pergamon, a city whose art and wealth and culture rivaled Athens. It was also the home of the Aesklepion, the world’s greatest healing center, and the birthplace of Galen, the Roman Empire’s most famous doctor.
Tuğçe Iskan, a Turkish Ministry investigator, finds evidence that links the terrorism to a powerful criminal family and to Galen’s life and Pergamon’s lost treasures. But Iskan is alone, an outcast in the Ministry because she is honest, diligent, and a woman.
As Iskan delves more deeply into the heinous attack, she needs allies outside the Ministry. She must turn to Özlem Boroğlu, a local archeologist, and Boroğlu’s daughter Elif, an artist with an affinity for ancient Aegean goddesses. Can these three women defeat ISIL terrorists, criminal oligarchs, and corrupt officials? Can they even survive?
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REVIEW by LAWonder10:
This is an entertaining story about several people whose lives were in chaos before a dreadful bombing in a small area of Turkey. It also briefly ties some ancient background information, to clarify the sacredness of the mystery.
It is a tale of the evil, greedy men who claim they are honoring Allah by such horrors. It is about devastation which crumbles the remaining "victims" lives in a way they can never truly recover from.
This is a story of corruption, greed and power mongers. However, it is, also, an account of the good in most people, and family.
It is intriguing and culturally descriptive. The author's research is impressive.
My main concern is, the "flow" of the story from one event, or group, to another was not smooth. It took me many pages to feel at all connected with the story. Personally, I did not appreciate the large amount of profanity.
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating.
*Thi book was gifted me, with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review,
Praise for The Healer's Daughters:
"Amberg...shines at creating distinctive characters. Elif and others, for example, conduct a ritual to remember lost lives, which is a striking contrast to others who use the "Bergama Bombing" to boost their political careers. Moreover, Amberg deftly shows how viewing unfamiliar cultures as exotic can be insensitive; Özlem confronts a crass British photographer who thinks nothing of snapping pictures of praying mourners... A large, memorable cast augments this dramatic mystery/thriller." --Kirkus Reviews
"Keep[s] readers on their toes. With its powerful blend of Turkish cultural explorations, international intrigue, a treasure hunt, historical references, and characters who hold their own special interests close to their hearts, The Healer's Daughters is an exceptional thriller that proves hard to put down." --Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
"All the elements [of] a compelling thriller--international terrorism; a greedy, powerful and ruthless criminal family; a group of inept, corrupt and "bought" government officials; a secret, elite, and clean anti-terror department of the said, corrupt government; and a principled, high-minded academic who will stop at nothing to ensure her country's past and valuable heritage is preserved for the ages." --Grant Leishman, Readers' Favorite
"Drama, pressure, and tensions mount in a plot with great descriptive writing and scene setting.... A glimpse into different cultures, beliefs, and economies [and an] adventure filled with fear, danger, and discovery." --K.J. Simmill, Readers' Favorite
GUEST POST: By Jay Amberg, author of The Healer’s Daughters
Research is integral to every novel I write. Normally, I spend a year researching, a year writing, and a year editing. With The Healer’s Daughters, I was teaching in İzmir, Turkey near the Aegean coast. I did not go to Turkey planning to write another novel, but living in the Aegean area stoked my energy. As I traveled in the region, the story began to form in my mind. I was particularly taken by Bergama, a Turkish market town built on the ruins of Pergamon, an ancient Hellenistic city that was the artistic and cultural rival of Athens.
The tremendous advantage of doing research while living in İzmir was that I could imagine a scene and then visit the site. It is much easier for me to see and hear my characters if I am in a place where they would be. In Istanbul, for example, I could write a scene’s dialogue while at the Süleymaniye Mosque or Gülhane Park just outside of Topkapı Palace. I could sit on the bench where the characters sat while they argued. I was also able to interview archeologists in the field. Scholars and other experts gladly shared their time and their knowledge about the coastal Aegean area from Ephesus to Troy. Friends I made took me to villages so that I could meet local people.
Because I was living in Turkey, the research for The Healer’s Daughters stretched into the year of writing and even into the editing phase. The research included reading texts like Pergamon, A Hellenistic Capital and The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire. I also, as I mentioned, visited quite a few sites and talked with many people. Some of those conversations still continue even though the novel has gone to print.
The research was sometimes difficult and at times no fun at all (I fell off a mountain and broke a rib), but there was always an underlying sense of joy because of the people I met and the places I visited. Everyone with whom I spoke was not only informative but also amicable. My experiences in Turkey definitely enhanced the authenticity of The Healer’s Daughters.
Meet the Author:
Jay Amberg is the author of twelve books. He received a BA from Georgetown University and a PhD from Northwestern University. He has taught high school and college students since 1972. His latest book, The Healer’s Daughters, is now available from Amika Press. Amberg has also published Bone Box, Cycle, America’s Fool, Whale Song, and compiled 52 Poems for Men. Prior to Amika Press, Amberg published thriller novels Doubloon (Forge), Blackbird Singing (Forge) and Deep Gold (Warner Books). Among his books on teaching are School Smarts and The Study Skills Handbook, published by Good Year. Amberg wrote The Creative Writing Handbook (Good Year) with Mark Henry Larson and Verbal Review and Workbook for the SAT (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) with Bob Boone.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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