Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sanctus by Simon Toyne

Sanctus by Simon Toyne, HarperCollins

In the wake of The Da Vinci Code there has been an avalanche of at best average, over wrought thrillers with a theme drawn from ancient Christianity. 

Simon Toyne, with a background in television, delivers us Sanctus, a gripping thriller set in the Taurus Mountains.  An ancient rock citadel in the mountains is the site for a monastery belonging to a sect of monks guarding a secret that is only known to the inner circle.  The book opens with a monk, Samuel, climbing the sheer cliffs and then bracing himself on the edge held up by the wind for hours before finally flinging himself into a death flight. 

Why?  Who are these monks?  Why would one choose to exit the monastery via certain death?  .

Arcane rituals, conspiracy, secrets and the power of knowledge are all themes that course through this book.  It seems that no one has ever left the monastery once they know its secret.  Is Samuel’s death some kind of message to the world? 

Unlike the previous pretenders you may have read, Toyne is not an author to get sidetracked.  He delivers a well paced adventure full of intrigue.  There is a feeling of warmth in many of the character’s relationships.  His plot twist is well delivered and if you are anything like me; it will be an unexpected one.

This is well worth the read and I think is a better book than any of Dan Brown’s

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