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The Witch of Babylon (Mesopotamian Trilogy #1)

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3.1  ·  Rating details ·  567 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
The Witch of Babylon features John Madison, a New York art dealer caught up in the aftermath of the looting of the Baghdad Museum. It includes an elaborate puzzle that must be solved in order to locate a missing biblical antiquity and a spectacular lost treasure, as well as alchemy, murder, and the Mesopotamian cult of Istar. Alternating between war-torn Baghdad and New Yo ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Penguin Books Canada (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Krbo
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
pročitajte reklamni opis izdavača - e, to je to, skoro pa jedino zanimljivo.

očekivao sam daleko, daleko više, a dobio ispodprosječni "akcić" u kojem autor pokušava izazvati neko zanimanje pravljenjem sataraša od poznatih klišeja no zaboravio je na sol pa ispade sve bljutavo. Moš' pojest ako si baš gladan, al' na stojećki i bjež dalje.

nije katastrofa, može se pročitati no ne očekujte baš ništa pa vas možda i iznenadi.

Meghan
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
When rating The Witch of Babylon, I rated the "Part 1" and "Part 2" completely differently. Part One was immensely boring, with almost "teaser" action, where nothing really happens but a rampage of information that was almost list-like. I was terribly disappointed with this half of the novel that seemed to have so much potential. I would have rated it a generous 1.5/5 stars. Then, like a beacon in the darkness, Part 2 beckoned me to continue. This is where most of the "action" took place and whe ...more
A
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has lots of promise in its premise. The looting of the Iraqii National Museum following the American invasion is tied to the possible discovery of an unknown treasure from the ancient Assyrians. The problem is that the author only starts here. She continues to add too many elements attempting to make this a suspense novel, spy novel, mystery, and trip of personal discovery. The first half of the book introduces far too many characters, fails to develop any of the characters adequately, ...more
Lisa Nikolits
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most remarkable things about The Witch of Babylon is that it’s a debut novel – because it reads as if the author has half a dozen international bestselling thrillers under her belt. Sleek, polished and fast-moving, it's a book that grips you from start to finish. This author knows her stuff – I learned so much about art and antiquities and the content is seamlessly woven into the narrative in a way that you don't feel as if you're being given a history lesson but being entertained. Th ...more
Andrew Kim
Sep 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The previous reviews I read must have been written by the staff at the publisher. Certainly this novel had promise but it soon mired in poor character development and suspect story line. I lost count how many times I said out loud "seriously?". So unbelievable. Sorry, I will not be bothered reading the next installments.
Evie
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, arc, blog-tour
***Originally posted to:Bookish Blog

The Witch of Babylon by D.J. McIntosh is an exhaustively researched page-turner about ancient myths, precious artifacts, alchemy and hidden treasures. The originality of the plot, amazingly accurate research, and ability to catch the reader's interest from the get-go and hold it until the last word in the last sentence of the last page, make D.J McIntosh an exceptional author. I’m truly grateful for the chance to read and review her book!

John Madison is a 3
...more
Robin Spano
Clever premise and solid delivery. Soulful, original characters who move through the academic art world of Manhattan with scathingly realistic passive-aggression. I related strongly to the main character--he was flawed in some lovable ways, and never cliche. Really looking forward to the next book from D.J. McIntosh.
Violeta Petrovska
Одамна не бев читала ваква прекрасна книга, вистинско богатство, ми се наполни душичката, поздрав
Mirela
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventures, reviews
Splendid ideas in a premise that eventually got too superficial in some important parts or too complicated in the others. I imagine it working better as a screenplay.
Babel
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
Hacía mucho tiempo que no leía un libro en busca de conocimiento, en lugar de por puro entretenimiento (deporte loable que practico a menudo, por cierto). A veces, me gusta leer para saber cosas nuevas. En general, me limito a los temas que despiertan mi curiosidad más exacerbada. Este libro suple esa ausencia de los últimos tiempos con creces. He aprendido algunas cosas y recordado otras, pues las civilizaciones antiguas y, en especial, la mesopotámica, son mi Talón de Aquiles.
Quien se sienta
...more
Dana Burgess
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the books I have reviewed, 'the Witch of Babylon' is going to be the hardest, by far, to talk about without spoilers. It's one of those books that, after having read it, I want to talk about in detail, with someone else that has also read it. Hmmm - sounds like a perfect book club book to me! Interested in the story line? Check it out here.

OK, let's start with writing style. D. J. McIntosh's writing flows like really good poetry. It is easy to lose an hour or two turning pages and not eve
...more
Christa  Seeley
Originally posted at More Than Just Magic

The very ambiguous blurb on the cover of this book (“Is DJ McIntosh the next Dan Brown?”) led me to believe I would be embarking on another religiously based (and in this case when I mean religion I mean Christianity/Catholicism) murder mystery, similar to The Da Vinci Code. The reference to Babylon in the title also kind of suggested a thousand year old conspiracy. And while I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code immensely, the countless knock offs that have follow
...more
CorLostForWords
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 3.5/5


John Madison is still reeling from the death of his brother, Samuel, when suddenly, Hal, one of his longtime friends, is murdered. Madison is pulled into a terrifying game of historical and Biblical proportions when he realizes that Hal stole an artifact from his deceased brother, Samu
...more
Rita Bailey
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Any book that features murder, mystery, ancient artifacts and a parade of colourful characters — all within the first 24 pages — is guaranteed to grab my attention. Add a dazzling plot with more twists and turns than Lady Gaga’s latest hairdo, the high drama of the New York art scene, and an exotic excursion to ancient sites in war-torn Iraq, and KABOOM! The result is a page turner that grips you tighter than a Sumo wrestler.
In the Witch of Babylon, author D. J. McIntosh has created a refreshi
...more
Jackie
I received The Witch of Babylon from Bronwyn at Penguin Canada, and was very excited to get started reading it. I was most curious to read about the history of Mesopotamia and the related areas that were described in the book description.

True to its word, it was chock full of interesting tidbits that I had no idea about. What also impressed me were the ties that these cultures had or are asserted by the author in this novel. References to books in the Bible and Greek mythological people are only
...more
Malcolm
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
D. J. McIntosh begins her planned Mesopotamian Trilogy with the page-turner "The Witch of Babylon" about a prospective royal treasure trove that may have been hidden away when the city of Nineveh fell in 612 B.C. Written in the ancient-secrets-modern-adventures style of fiction pioneered by Katherine Neville in "The Eight," McIntosh's story focuses on New York antiquities dealer John Madison's sudden involvement in a ruthless treasure hunt for gold and gems in war-torn Iraq in 2003.

John's late b
...more
Becky
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Madison is an art dealer who's recently lost his brother in an accident everyone is quick to blame on him. When he finally ventures out to attend a party given by his friend Hal, John ends up being dragged into a conspiracy and a puzzle of large proportions. Hal is murdered and John is witness to the crime. What's more, it seems Hal stole a priceless artifact John's brother recently brought over from Iraq. Though John's never laid eyes on the piece, Hal's murderers are intent on finding it ...more
Rosemary McCracken
The Witch of Babylon is an intriguing title, and one that lives up to its promise by delivering a gripping read.
Hot off the presses this month, D.J. McIntosh's debut antiquities thriller opens with a pivotal event of the last decade -- the looting of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, when thousands of priceless artifacts were plundered in the chaos following the 2003 U.S-led. invasion of that country.
The story then jumps ahead four months to New York City where John Madison, a thirtysometh
...more
Chrystal Snowdrop Dreams
I'd almost describe this book as cross between The Da Vinci Code, Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible. I think this is one of the best reads this summer: alchemy, history, life and death situations and artifacts, what more could you ask for in a summer adventure?

John Madison is an easily likable character with his laidback way of life. He gets caught up in a game of wit, secrets, and mythology - which causes him to become obsessed with solving the puzzle a friend left behind. He needs to solve
...more
Julia Madeleine
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
D.J McIntosh has written a fast paced page-turner in her sizzling debut thriller, The Witch Of Babylon.

John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer living in New York. His older brother Samuel is killed in a car accident, a car that John was driving, and Samuel was the passenger in. And while John feels a sense of guilt, he also starts to wonder if it was really an accident at all, or were they targeted by someone trying to run them off the road. But John has another problem to deal with. Anot
...more
Jayne
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
You know you're in good hands with an author when, half a page into the prologue, you are bewitched to the point you forget what century you're in. The return to the book's current reality half a page later was a brutal but effective wrench; it assured my intense interest throughout the remaining 320 pages.

But enough about the writing.

'The Witch of Babylon' is at once a complex art-history mystery centered on biblical scholarship, a breath-stealing thriller set in the early months of the Iraq
...more
Graeme Stuart Waymark
Canadian author, first novel, recommended to me. Did not have much interest, but picked it up while reading "To Big to Fall" by Sorkin. Pretty heavy stuff is Sorkin, so it didn't take too much to pull me away for a moment. But, I did not tnink I would read the whole novel in virtually one sitting. (Oh, ok two....!)

The story was too 'formula' and simplistic at first, but then it started taking twists involving historical facts of which I had little knowledge from school, continuing Ed, t.v. Or an
...more
Alison
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canlit
I read this book after reading the second in the trilogy so some of the same complaints I had about The Book of Stolen Tales repeat here.

I thought the characters and locales were well developed, and have to take a moment to comment on how thoroughly researched this book was.

However, despite the research, I struggled with the plausibility of the main plot line. The link between alchemy and Babylonian antiquities is tenuous at best so to have a shady group of alchemy thugs chasing the main charact
...more
Rachel
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-adult
A thoroughly researched thriller that revolves around an ancient mystery, and the treasure that it hides. John doesn't have the greatest of lives, but it is more or less stable thanks to a good job, and the help of his step-brother. Unbeknownst to him though, his brother sent something of immense value to him, and there are people that want it. People John thought he could trust turn out to be far less reliable than he hoped as the true shape of their relationships are revealed. It is only becau ...more
Lyle Appleyard
I read this book because I recieved the sequel from a Goodreads Giveaway Contest.

I think the best way to describe this book is like Dan Brown's book, but with a less respectable and educated hero and lot more violence. There is plenty of action as this story is spread out over a month rather than the one day for a Dan Brown book.

I foumd this story to be very action driven. I did not feel the character development was that strong. I did not feel much empathy for the main or any character. Ther w
...more
Steven Buechler
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great summer read for a muggy day. The plot kept me engrossed and was filled with well-researched facts that stuck with me after I was done the book.

Pg 46
"I gave myself a mental shake and tried to concentrate on the new problem. What was the missing object? It could only have come from Iraq. The last time I'd spoken to Samuel he told me stolen pieces were being recovered. So if Samuel had taken something temporarily to protect it from lotters, why hadn't he just given it back? It wasn
...more
William Bentrim
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Witch of Babylon by D. J. McIntosh

Contrary to the title this is not a fantasy nor does it deal with the stereotypical witch. Instead it deals with the overrunning of Baghdad, the fall of Saddam Hussein and the looting of Iraqi antiquities.

New York art dealer John Madison is the main protagonist. He finds himself treading water with a life vest full of rocks. He is over his head, overwhelmed, beaten up and beaten down. The guy can’t catch a break and seems constantly on the verge of breakdow
...more
Norma Dunphy
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be a fast, enjoyable read. The main character is flawed but reasonably likeable and there are a few twists that may surprise some readers. It has a modern Indiana Jones feel to it with an interesting take on ancient myths, alchemy, and magic, putting a more scientific and rational spin on them.

I often read this type of book and find that the writer often takes the "it can't be explained rationally" take on supernatural beliefs and events, whereas this one goes in a differen
...more
Dale White
This is a thriller so you sort of know what you are getting yourself into when you pick it up. And it is hard to rate these books for that very reason. You just want to be amused/entertained for several hours. You really can't knock Witch of Babylon because it does give you that escape but I never really got that caught up in the characters or the plot for me to say this is a must read in any sense of the word.

The story starts off interestingly enough with the looting of an Iraqi museum during t
...more
Cheeky
Jan 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the compliments in the beginning of the book which captured my attention. It started off with a bang however it was disappointing in the middle section as it slowly moved. During this part I often wondered if someone actually edited this since the attention to detail was slowly it down. I guess it would be unrealistic to expect the protangist to figure a puzzle since he can from humble beginnings or rather "unknown" beginnings. Once I managed to plodded through it, it began to move quickl ...more
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D.J. (Dorothy) McIntosh's first novel The Witch of Babylon, will launch in the U.S. on October 16, 2012 published by Forge. It has been sold in 20 countries and was the Amazon ca editors choice of a top 5 mystery/thriller in 2011. Kirkus Reviews have referred to the book as: "An erudite Dan Brown"

D.J. (Dorothy) McIntosh is a member of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies and a strong sup
...more
More about D.J. McIntosh...

Other Books in the Series

Mesopotamian Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Book of Stolen Tales (Mesopotamian Trilogy, #2)
  • The Angel of Eden (Mesopotamian Trilogy, #3)

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