Shannon Baker, Ashes of the Red Heifer Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of Shannon Baker, Ashes of the Red Heifer


“Ashes of the Red Heifer ”

Written on: 04/02/2010 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Ashes of the Red Heifer

Shannon Baker

L & L Dreamspell, Jan 2010, $17.95

ISBN: 9781603181600

In the Israeli kibbutz, veterinarian researcher Dr. Annie Grant knows the moon above is the same one she sees when she is home in Nebraska yet life is different as represented by sirens in both places denoting diverse scenarios. She is working on a vaccination to end the deadly BA 23 virus that threatens bovine and appears capable of crossing species lines to humans. Annie hopes her efforts will save millions of cattle before the virus crosses over as expected to people; she prays this will be her ticket back into the good graces of her family on the Cornhusker ranch.

However, others have interest in Annie's work but not to save lives as a bomb interrupts her research at a critical stage. Third Temple Zionists, Muslim fundamentalists, and Rapture Christian converge on Annie as each feels she is God's chosen one to fulfill an ancient prophecy, but the three groups have different plans for her success or failure. Forced to leave for Jerusalem, Annie and her project friends Hasim and David are kidnapped by fanatics who demand she create the biblically perfect red heifer so the Jews regain God's blessing as his Chosen Ones. Muslims want her dead before she genetically engineers the red heifer and the Rapture Christians declare end of days has begun so the Jews and Muslims must be slaughtered; BA 23 is a heavenly means.

This is an exhilarating apocalyptic thriller that grips the auricle from the moment the bomb explodes at the Kibbutz research center and never slows down as the three prime religious descendents from Abraham converge on a Nebraskan. Caring Annie learns that good intentions is the road to hell as various groups try to use her to foster their agenda while claiming God's right to do so. Ashes of the Red Heifer is a terrific tale that effortlessly merges genetic engineering with biblical beliefs.

Harriet Klausner

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