Crime Scene Jerusalem
by Alton Gansky

Max Odom is a cynical, jaded forensic investigator for the San Diego Police, and an expert in his field. His daughter has been recently murdered, and his wife is living in Phoenix with her ailing parents.

To remove him from the investigation of his daughter's death, San Diego sends Max to investigate the death of Jesus. Max settles in a hotel in Jerusalem, and when he steps he discovers he has been miraculously transported to ancient Jerusalem in the days following Jesus' crucifixion. His guide, Yoshua ben Yosef, tells him once he finishes this investigation he will be returned to the 21st century.

Alton Gansky weaves an interesting premise through this novel. And while there are really no investigations in the book, it is interesting to watch a modern man deal with life in the 1st century. In the course of his "investigation" Max interviews many of the people involved with Jesus' life and death, including John, Matthew, Mary Magdalene, Mary (Jesus' mother), Annas and Caiphus, and Pontius Pilate. He also witnesses the brutality of Roman punishment and crucifixion.

While the book is interesting and a page-turner, the ending is fairly obvious, and it is hard to believe a skilled investigator cannot deduce the true identity of Yoshua ben Yosef before Max does. Still, it is a good book and one I recommend.

James Shelton
Reviewed by James Shelton