Thursday, 10 March 2011

Early Review: Sanctus

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-       Simon Toyne
Publisher: UK - Harper Collins. Released 14th April 2011
I received this book from the publisher for review
The certainties of the modern world are about to be blown apart by a three thousand year-old conspiracy nurtured by blood and lies …
A man throws himself to his death from the oldest inhabited place on the face of the earth, a mountainous citadel in the historic Turkish city of Ruin. This is no ordinary suicide but a symbolic act. And thanks to the media, it is witnessed by the entire world.
But few understand it. For charity worker Kathryn Mann and a handful of others in the know, it is what they have been waiting for. The cowled and secretive fanatics that live in the Citadel suspect it could mean the end of everything they have built – and they will kill, torture and break every law to stop that. For Liv Adamsen, New York crime reporter, it begins the next stage of a journey into the heart of her own identity.
And at that journey's end lies a discovery that will change everything …

What is hidden in the oldest citadel in the world, guarded by a secretive sect of monks? That is the question at the heart of this novel and all the action and mystery orbits around this question, from why the monk threw himself off the top of the citadel to the secret message he was trying to get out into the world. At first glance this has all the typical ingredients for a typical post-Da Vinci thriller – an ancient mystery, secretive religious order, globetrotting, family secrets and a bewildered hero, or in this case heroine. The characters are plentiful and you’re never quite sure who are the good guys and who are the bad guys until you’re involved in the plot. Each person is different – I especially liked that the women in the book are all different, yet still strong – even those just glimpsed in passing felt real and well rounded.
The writing is natural and draws you in, before rewarding you with an intelligent mystery and enough action to satisfy most adventure seekers. The trouble with an adventure book revolving around an ancient mystery is that it will inevitably draw comparisons to the Da Vinci Code. But these types of adventures were being written long before Dan Brown and will be written long after. Personally I enjoyed Sanctus a lot more than Robert Langdon’s last outing and galloped through the pages desperate to know what the secret is. When revealed the secret is different enough to stand out (at least to me!).
Despite this being the first of a planned trilogy, enough answers are given to satisfy the curious and enough hints about the future are dropped to make you wish the second books was already available. Alas I have to wait until 2012 for the next step in the journey.
Recommended for fans of James Rollins and  Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. 8 out of 10.

Book Chick City's Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge Book 4/12

1 comment:

  1. Oh as long as it is better than the DaVinci Code! :P This one sounds interesting. As long as it is well researched, I'm in! Great review.