Thrilling action, suspense and mystery abound in this historical novel, inspired by the books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament of the Bible. Highlighting the latter days of King Solomon in the city of Jerusalem in Ancient Israel, the novel is a real page-turner that moves with the speed of an arrow. In addition to the aged King Solomon, Biblical characters include Jeroboam, a former governor in Israel, accused of plotting against Solomon and now exiled in Ancient Egypt; Ahijah, a wandering prophet, a friend and former servant of Jeroboam; Iddo, a blind seer; Rehoboam, Solomon's favorite son and designated heir; Zabud, Solomon's long-time friend; Qoheleth, a fanatical supporter of Jeroboam; Gallim, the mayor of Bethel; Berechiah, captain of the Bethel town guard; Nathan, the prophet; King David and his son, Adonijah; the girl, Abishag; Ethan, the sage; and Azariah, the young and ambitious High Priest.
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If you are curious about the Old Testament biblical stories, then this book is for you. John Howard Reid does a good job intertwining the biblical story of King Solomon with a story about murder and intrigue. He captures the religious politics of the time in this novel with the struggle between worshipping the god Baal and the God of the Hebrews who were desperately trying to be in favor with the King. King Solomon had killed many Baal priests and chased the rest from his land many years before but as he got older he relaxed his position and many were able to come back to the Hebrew lands to set up shrines to Baal and raise funds to live on.
The story begins when the priests of the high place are being murdered by having their hearts pierced with their own knives and the figures of their gods smashed. King Solomon, known by many to be a great king of wisdom also has another side that committed some real atrocities during his reign. He is determined to solve these murders and perhaps maybe atone for some of the wrongs that he committed as a younger man. Aging and failing physically, King Solomon lives between the past and present.
This novel is interesting but sometimes hard to follow because the author tells it in the first person, but from different character's perspective in each scroll. Reid tells the story from the perspective of King Solomon, Ahijah the wandering prophet, and three priests. All of the main players are interesting characters.
The basis of the novel is taken from the books of King and Chronicles in the Old Testament of the Bible and the author does a very good job interpreting the stories. Overall it was well written and I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in biblical stories. The murder and intrigue surrounding this story definitely make "Prophet, Priest and King: A Novel of King Solomon" by John Howard Reid an interesting read.

Cherie Fisher, Reader Views