A book by Nicholas Sparks
Paleoanthropologist Samantha Colby makes a startling find in West Africa, then links up with former lover Jack Austin to outrun some bad guys. It's all good, Indiana Jones-style fun, and if the text is weighed down at times by excessive scientific theorizing, … see full wiki
One of the artifacts has strange powers and gives Jack enough information to know that all the secrets it possesses can be found in an ancient temple's ruins in Bolivia. The only problem, he needs to be there at the next equinox which is just days away. Jack and the other scientists race to the site. When they get there they discover the secrets to man's creation along with a power source that can be man's salvation or can lead to man's destruction.
A corrupt businessman (Dorn) who deals in arms sales to foreign nations is funding Jack's venture using a drug cartel for transportation and equipment. One can easily guess Dorn's motives right away and they are nowhere near benevolent. Knowing that we can also guess up front that Dorn will stop at nothing to have the secrets of the ancient ruins for his own personal gain.
The book moves at a fairly rapid pace with the scientists, the drug cartel, Dorn, and the CIA all competing for the secrets. It is definitely worth a read though not as good a book as Robin Cook's "Abduction," which takes a different slant on explaining man's origins.
One thing definitely missing from this book is an appendix to explain what is actual fact and what is not. Throughout the book the Jack talks about ruins that have features (such as one with aluminum between the stones) that could never have been produced in ancient times with the available technology. Jack also refers to several biblical and other religious texts for other unexplained mysteries. I was not sure any of these are actually in the quoted sources as I had never heard of them before reading this book.
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