A faceless enemy has unleashed a series of coordinated attacks on U.S. targets. A covert ops team is tasked with a single mission: find and stop the terrorists, by any means necessary. What could have been just another counterterrorism novel is elevated to new heights in Alan Jacobson’s The Lost Codex. Jacobson brings a fresh take on the genre, incorporating a Dan Brown-esque twist involving ancient biblical documents that hold the secrets to the sinister plan—and much more.


The book begins in earnest when FBI profiler Karen Vail from Jacobson’s popular series finds herself thrust into new territory, working with the Operations Support Intelligence Group (OPSIG). The team, including FBI terrorism expert Aaron “Uzi” Uziel and Special Forces veteran Hector DeSantos (from the OPSIG series), uses their unique skills to track the enemy, taking readers from D.C. to Paris to Israel and beyond. The author has a knack for making you feel as if you’re there, and you can almost smell the smoke in the aftermath of a D.C. subway attack or feel the tension on the streets of Gaza. Known as a bit of a research junkie, Jacobson skillfully grounds readers in the complex religious, geopolitical, and historical backdrop of the story without slowing down the action. Speaking of action, there’s no shortage. Edge-of-your-seat stuff. For those who are new to bestseller Jacobson—and this is a good entry point—there’s probably more backstory in some places than needed, though readers will still turn the pages fast and furious. For Karen Vail fans, while she’s not the central force of the novel, she’s a necessary force, adding humor and depth through her interactions with Uzi and DeSantos. Jacobson also subtly continues the personal evolution of Vail, who is one of the author’s finest creations.


The Lost Codex is an ambitious, action-packed international thriller, but it’s also a story of justice and faith, sure to satisfy suspense and literary readers alike.


By Alan Jacobson

Open Road Media, 2015. $17.99