Bestselling author launches ‘Jewish Da Vinci Code’

An award-winning thriller published by a bestselling Lithuanian author is now available in English.

Author Rytis Sabas. Credit: Courtesy.
Author Rytis Sabas. Credit: Courtesy.

An award-winning, Jewish-themed thriller that became an instant bestseller when it was published in Lithuania is now available in English with fans calling it the “Jewish Da Vinci Code.”

Author Rytis Sabas, 52, is a Lithuanian author and journalist, who has worked as an international correspondent in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. He published two bestselling thrillers in Lithuania, “The Gaon Code” and its sequel, “The Tail Of The Dragon.”

When “The Gaon Code” was published in Lithuania in 2020 it was on the bestseller list for 20 weeks and was awarded the prestigious national Vytautas Gedgaudas award. It’s currently in development for an international TV miniseries to be released in 2025.

Now “The Gaon Code” is available in English in the United States, the United Kingdom and beyond. It is already proving to be hugely popular with readers, having hit No. 1 on the Amazon bestseller lists on its launch.

Credit: Courtesy

It centers around the secrets of the real-life, 18th-century Lithuanian rabbi known as the Vilna Gaon, and his mystical code to predict future events.

Sabas says, “While I’m fascinated by the amazing story of the Vilna Gaon and his significance to the world, what I most wanted to do in this book is draw attention to the remarkable history and heritage of Lithuanian Jews, known as Litvaks.

“I wanted people to learn about the Jewish community that lived in Lithuania for so many centuries, coexisting with and contributing to their Lithuanian neighbors,” he says. “This gentle community was virtually destroyed during the Holocaust; and I wanted to celebrate its people and history, and think about the miracles they created and the traces of those miracles they’ve left all around the world.”

“The Gaon Code” tells the story of Paul, an ordinary Lithuanian-American immigrant living in the Chicago suburbs, who receives a mysterious letter written in broken English, causing long-buried family secrets to threaten to blow up his carefully crafted life.

Together with Galya, a Latvian-Israeli history student, Paul embarks on a dangerous search for a priceless artifact last seen in Lithuania in the hands of his grandfather.

On the run from Russian mobsters, an ancient cult of assassins, Mossad agents and shadows from the past, Paul and Galya explore ancient cities in Europe and the Middle East, tracking the centuries-old story of the famous Lithuanian rabbi known as the Vilna Gaon, and unraveling his secret symbols that send them on a race against time in a breathtaking adventure.

The book is set in the present day with historical flashbacks, and while it’s a work of fiction, the historical events brought to life in the flashbacks are true.

Sabas says, “In my research for this book, I came across a lot of stories about people living in extraordinary times, under unimaginable circumstances. I have a personal connection to almost all of the places described in the book. I used to live and study in some of them, and I’ve recreated them from memory and from old accounts and maps.”

The Gaon Code” by Rytis Sabas is published by Inspired World Publishing and is available on Amazon and at selected bookstores. 

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