Review: The Last Templar


Reviewed by Lisa

Raymond Khoury was born in Lebanon but spent his teenage years in New York, where his family moved in 1975 to escape the Lebanese civil war. Khoury lives in London, with his wife and two young daughters.

I found Khoury's take on the Templars and the mystery surrounding them to be uneven. The book opens with a daring, bloody heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and follows the investigation by the FBI and an archeologist who happens to be in the museum at the time. Some of the action scenes are a bit stilted but where the book really gets bogged down is in the explanations of the history of the Templars and the discussions of religion. The interwoven "historical" story is much more interesting. It may be that I just wasn't ready for another book on this subject, but I found myself skipping over parts to get to the end. The book does propose an interesting "what if" which both believers and nonbelievers should enjoy.
Type: Fiction, 544 pages, Trade paperback

Synopsis:
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.

Reviews:
"What's the next Da Vinci Code? To satisfy your historical-thriller cravings until Dan Brown's next novel, read The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury -- as suspenseful, and with a female lead." - Glamour Magazine (USA)

"There's no doubt that Khoury's Last Templar has one of the most gripping opening scenes among recent thrillers... Khoury is a screenwriter, and his story is nothing if not cinematic, as it skips across three continents and climaxes with a storm at sea of biblical proportions. A nice twist at the end spins the Christian history everyone's been chasing."
- Booklist

"The greatest secret of all… Raymond Khoury makes a memorable debut with this frenetically paced, page-turning adventure. Fans of The Da Vinci Code will love this thrilling blend of conspiracy, action and mystery." - The Mystery and Thriller Club (UK)

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