Review: The Topkapi Secret by Terry Kelhawk

Bookcover of The Topkapi Secret

Prometheus Books, ISBN 978-1616142131

Rating: 1 ~ I Hate It

The Topkapi Secret is about an American professor and a Middle Eastern researcher who sets out to obtain the Topkapi Codex, a manuscript that would prove that the modern-day Koran is different from its original texts. Angela Hall’s original aim in Turkey was to carry out research on women’s issues in the region. Mohammed Atareek’s aim was to prove that interpretations and changes made to the Koran were inaccurate.

Terry Kelhawk weaved historical facts and the characters’ life stories to produce an average historical-fiction novel. I found the plot engrossing but I thought that the language, grammar, and sentence construction used could be much, much better. When I read the first few chapters, I felt as if I was reading a writing by a 13-year old. Furthermore, descriptions used to connect sentences and portray the author’s thoughts were barely there. I had hoped that this would only last in the first few chapters but I was left disappointed as it was not so. This book makes a worthwhile read for fans of Middle Eastern culture and history, thanks to the well-researched facts. But, if as a person who cannot tolerate poor storytelling and awkward-sounding sentences, I found it a time-waster and couldn’t wait to move on to another book.


author terry kelhawkTerry Kelhawk is an award-winning author, speaker and teacher. She has a special interest for Middle Eastern culture and religion. Although she holds a doctorate degree, Kelhawk firmly believes that learning never stops. For more information about Kelhawk and The Topkapi Secret visit The Topkapi Secret‘s website and Facebook page at and


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Glass Road Public Relations <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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