Joseph Travers has been tasked with overseeing certain personnel issues at an archeological site in Turkey, but upon arrival he begins to notice there is much more at stake than meets the eye…and a whole lot more he has quite simply not been told. Although he arrives early, a note from Sophia Altay, the archeologist with lovely eyes, quickly greets him. Soon after, he is ambushed by Nihat Monuglu, Leopold Kirchburg, and Charles Lee—each one a man with his own agenda and a piece to play in this puzzle.
Nonetheless, it is a discovery completely separate from the main archeological site that sets the lies, betrayals, and chase in motion: A bone box with an Aramaic inscription is discovered by Ms. Altay’s most trusted men, Abrahim and Kenan Sirhan, at the Basilica of Saint John in Selçuk. The inscription reads, “Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.” As expected, such a discovery of human remains and writing that dates back to biblical times is an enormous find, one with meaning to members of all religions and even those with a mere secular interest in the history of the Christ. It is a discovery that could bring about great celebration—and great controversy.
Thus, Abrahim takes it upon himself to run away with the bones and the scrolls, to keep them safe until Ms. Altay can verify their authenticity and translate the documents. But then, Kenan is murdered, and Herr Kirchburg becomes curious about whatever Ms. Altay seems to be hiding at her secondary archeological site. Now Sophia must flee for her own life and the safety of her greatest discovery, leaving Joseph caught in the middle of it, without truly understanding what role he is expected to play.
As Jay Amberg’s mysteries of the bone box unfurl, there is a constant barrage of questions, suspicions, and accusations tossed around by all characters. Sophia refers to the men as Pharisees who want to belittle her work. Herr Kirchburg wants to discredit her for personal reasons and rejections to his manhood. Charles Lee won’t stop insisting this all one big charade of fake findings and exaggerated discoveries, while Monuglu maintains he must look after Turkish interests and the rightful ownership of these artifacts. But as the bodies stack up and the crimes against Joseph become increasingly menacing, Sophia’s words being to ring ever-so accurate: There is no one to trust. Every character has an angle, withholding information, hiding necessary evidence, and twisting the truth for their own interests, even when lives and the dissemination of knowledge are at stake.
Bone Box is a mystery of biblical proportions right down to the very last page. As the story unfolds, the characters’ histories, weaknesses, and ambitions are brought to light through their interactions with one another: the lies they tell, the crimes they are willing to commit, and the truths they are willing to confide only to the right person at the right time. And yet, as Joseph and Abrahim put themselves in harm’s way to protect what has become so precious to them, we wonder: What truths are some people willing to die for?