Synopsis: Village policeman, Jake Sullivan’s world just got a lot darker with the discovery of two bodies hanging upside-down from the top of a church tower, and the revelation that they had been crucified. Jake and his girlfriend Rachel Hammond are reunited with MI5 agent, Tony O’Brien (Legitimate Targets) in an investigation that awakens a cruel and violent monastic order called “The Knights of the Crucifixion.” Aided by Ennio Giacopelli, a professor of antiquities from Rome, they find themselves pitted against the order as they search for six holy relics dating from the time of Christ’s death, and which have lain undiscovered on Jake’s quiet beat for over 700 years.
As the investigation picks up speed, they encounter death and torture in the name of the Church, causing Jake to question his beliefs and when Rachel suddenly disappears, apparently taken by the Order, he doubts there is any God at all.
At every turn, the Knights of the Crucifixion seem to be one step ahead, and it quickly becomes obvious that they will stop at nothing to find the relics first.
My Rating: 4/5
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be a beta reader for this book thanks to THE Book Club (on Facebook). I would describe this book as thriller fiction with some historic/religious undertones. Although this is not my usual genre of books, I have enjoyed Dan Brown and others of a similar genre and this, for me, ran along similar lines.
The synopsis itself is self explanatory so I won’t bore you with repeating the details behind this story. What I will say, however, is that I enjoyed the historical and religious undertones mixed with a bit of murder, mayhem and fast paced action.
The author also managed to cleverly incorporate some maps and pictures both within the pages of the story as well as the end of the book so you get to become a part of the story. I thought the majority of characters were well developed and likeable. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Jake Sullivan (main character) and his girlfriend Rachel. It was fun and quirky and very realistic.
O’Brien was another character I felt drawn to. I feel there is more to him than meets the eye and I am hoping that this is developed in the third book…as no doubt there will be one!
There were a few other characters that you could tell came from the first book, Legitimate Targets. Definitely a book I will now have to purchase, if only to find out a bit more about the elusive Mem!
There was a really good twist in the book as well –I thought I was clever and had figured out who the baddie was…boy was I wrong! Inside my head I was think “oh that was clever”…I was on the bus so didn’t want to draw attention to myself!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and although it could be read as a stand-alone, you will be compelled to pick up the first book if only to find out more about Jake’s story and his time with O’Brien and Mem!