The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

"It has served us well, this myth of Christ."
—Pope Leo X, 16th Century

In a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291, The Last Templar opens with a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escaping to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order’s dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.

In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights emerge from Central Park and ride up the Fifth Avenue steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the blacktie opening of a Treasures of the Vatican exhibit. Storming through the crowds, the horsemen brutally attack anyone standing between them and their prize. Attending the gala, archaeologist Tess Chaykin watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen hones in on one piece in particular, a strange geared device. He utters a few cryptic Latin words as he takes hold of it with reverence before leading the horsemen out and disappearing into the night.

In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and Tess are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading Knights, plunging them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with ruthless killers as they race across three continents to recover the lost secret of the Templars.

Well, the obvious connection anyone seeing or reading this book will be to The Da Vinci Code. And it would be an apt comparison. They're very similar in tone and style, I thought. Both entertaining, but certainly not high literature.

So here we have Sean Reilly, an FBI agent and fairly staunch Catholic, and then he's working with Tess Chaykin, an archaeologist who was at the Met gala and whose curiosity was piqued by what one of the Templars said as he stole the geared device.

So we have a bit of romance and also some religious differences as Tess is rather agnstic and Sean has found that the church helped him through a trying time and he believes in it.

The book's interesting. It's a fairly fast-paced thriller and even the info-dumping isn't too bad and told in layman terms. I had to laugh when the Cathars came up after my encounter with trying to read The Midnight Work by Kassandra Sims.

So...I'd say this one is not too bad. Not the best thing ever, but good. Read it if you liked The Da Vinci Code and want something similar. Don't read it if you thought TDVC was fact. *g* I might have to strangle you then.

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