The Illumination

A Novel

Karen Tintori, Jill Gregory

St. Martin's Press

It gleamed up at her like a small golden egg encrusted with jewels of lapis lazuli, carnelian, and jasper.  The classic eye, one of the most ancient symbols of protection. 

Natalie Landau, a museum curator with an expertise in Mesopotamian protective amulets and magical beliefs, has received a puzzling gift from her sister Dana--a necklace with a blue evil eye pendant on it. The Evil Eye is a symbol of protection common throughout the world, with a history connecting it to many religions.

When Natalie learns Dana was murdered only hours after sending the gift, she begins to think her evil eye amulet had something to do with her sister’s death. As she races to discover the origin of the pendant, Natalie is sucked into an international battle between powerful religious factions, each battling for the eye, which turns out to be far more valuable—and far more powerful--than she could ever imagine.


Read an Excerpt


Iraq National Museum


April 12, 2003

Ibrahim Baaj picked his way through the darkness.

All around him, irreplaceable history lay shattered. As U.S. troops advanced along the dusty streets of Baghdad, chaos and pandemonium ruled. And so did greed.

Ibrahim understood greed. He was driven by it. It was greed that called him here tonight as common looters stormed the great museum. Little did this rabble know that his greed surpassed even theirs. As did his daring.

He was betraying men so powerful, so far-reaching, that he himself marveled



Praise for The Illumination

Praise for The Illumination

“The intrigue is high. The excitement is palpable. The story is priceless. Combining mysticism, history, and fanaticism, this is one thriller that's simply impossible to put down until you've reached the ending - breathless and so well satisfied. Tintori and Gregory are first rate story tellers! ”--M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of The Memorist

“Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori return with another extraordinary thriller after their outstanding The Book of Names. Their new novel, The Illumination, skillfully weaves history, ancient art, dark legend and religious fanaticism into a story of high-stakes terror and international intrigue. The excitement stays at a high pitch from the opening scene at the looted Iraqi National Museum to the final sensational twist. A page-turner. extraordinaire.”--New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence and The Wheel of Darkness

“Stirring and imaginative.  A tense, intelligent, and surprising thrill.  Drum tight in execution, fueled by imagination, the plot is as sharp as a broken shard of glass.  If you like your tales loaded with intrigue, treachery, and a wealth of secrets you're going to love The Ilumination.”-- New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry, author of The Charlemagne Pursuit and The Templar Legacy

Praise for The Book of Names

"WATCH OUT DAN BROWN. . .  an intelligent suspense thriller that combines the Kabbalah, tarot and the forces of good and evil into a tense murder mystery . . .The Book of Names self-assuredly fulfils the requirements of the religious thriller."--The Economist

"[A] page-turner . . .[Gregory and Tintori's] intriguing premise helps separate this tale from garden-variety religious thrillers. And where others have tried and usually failed, the authors give succinct explanations of the principles of kabbalah and Gnosticism, both complex and often misunderstood. Compulsively readable."--Booklist

Book of Names grabs you on page one and doesn’t let you go. Weaving together the Kabbala, the tarot, and the forces of good and evil, this chilling thriller has a self-assured voice and all the right elements to make for a nonstop, nail-biting read.”--M.J. Rose, author of the international bestseller The Venus Fix

“Relentless and riveting, THE BOOK OF NAMES speeds you across continents and centuries in the ultimate seductive read. From fascinating characters to real-life legends, this debut ranks as unforgettable.”-- Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Spymaster

“Intricately plotted historical suspense . . . an intriguing synthesis of Jewish mysticism and modern murder mystery.  A swift, intelligent thriller.”--Kirkus

“Convincing characters and a rapidly moving plot combine to create an enjoyable religious thriller . . .”--Library Journal

“Readers seeking a page-turning suspense novel . . . look no further. This book will definitely keep your attention and pull you in . . . until the end.”--JewishInStLouis.org

"An engaging Jewish fairytale with plenty of action . . . chock full of thrills."--Mary Martin Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Karen Tintori, Jill Gregory

  • JILL GREGORY and KAREN TINTORI are writing partners who have been best friends for over twenty years. Jill Gregory is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, and Karen Tintori is the author of several acclaimed family memoirs. Their previous collaboration, THE BOOK OF NAMES, has been sold in over 20 countries. They live in Michigan with their families.

  • Karen Tintori © Larry Belland
  • Jill Gregory © Larry Belland
    Jill Gregory






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    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Illumination

    A Novel

    Karen Tintori, Jill Gregory

    • e-Book



    St. Martin's Press