Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Templar Conspiracy by Paul Christopher

book cover

The Templar Conspiracy
by Paul Christopher

ISBN-13: 978-0-451-23190-1
Mass Market Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: Signet
Released: Jan. 4, 2011

Source: Unrequested review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover (modified):
In Rome, the assassination of the Pope on Christmas Day sets off a massive investigation that stretches across the globe. A group called al-Salibiyya (which means "enemies of the cross") is taking responsibility. Most people assume they're radical Muslims, but retired Army Ranger Lt. Col. John Holliday knows that they were originally a group of Templar Knights that switched sides.

When Holliday uncovers the true motive behind the Pope's murder, he must unravel a deadly design to extend the power of Rex Deus--a cabal that silently wields power in the twenty-first century--to the highest political levels.

My Review:
The Templar Conspiracy is an action thriller that reminded me of early James Bond movies: non-stop action but little character development. Peggy and Holliday were gutsy and engaging, but we didn't get to know them very well (which is fine for a thriller).

The suspense was created by near-constant physical danger to the main characters (and others). However, since the main characters seemed confident of their ability to handle the danger, I never really worried for them and that cut down on the suspense.

The author did an excellent job creating vivid descriptions of the many, varied settings, and the action scenes felt realistic. There were brief, graphic descriptions of gore during some of the fight scenes.

This novel was the fourth in the series, but you don't need to have read the previous novels to understand this one. However, this one does spoil what happened in previous novels.

Devout Catholics probably won't enjoy the author's portrayal of some of the higher-up people in the Catholic church. There was some bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to people who enjoy James Bond type stories.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
It was Christmas Day in Rome and it was snowing. Snow was a rare occurrence here but he was ready for it. He had kept his eyes on the weather reports for the past ten days. It was always best to be prepared.

The name on his American passport was Hannu Hancock, born of a Finnish mother and an American father in Madison, Wisconsin, where his father taught at the university and his mother ran a Finnish craft store. Hancock was forty-six, had attended East High School, followed by a bachelor's and then a master's in agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His present job was as a soil-conservation biologist and traveling soil-conservation consultant with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hancock had been married for three years to a young woman named Janit Ferguson, who died of lung cancer. He was childless and had not remarried.

Not a word of this was true. Not even the people who hired him knew who he really was. He traveled under a number of passports, each with a different name and fully detailed biography to go along with it.


Sheila Deeth said...

I've enjoyed James Bond ever since I started sneaking my granddad's library books into my room, so I guess I'd like this.

Genre Reviewer said...


I enjoy James Bond movies, but I'd never bother to watch one twice. I feel the same way about this book, so I'm not inclined to "push" people to buy it even though I think it will appeal to it's target audience. But maybe your library has this novel, and you could test it out that way.

(BTW, I'm not recommending this author's previous novels. Based on other people's reviews, the previous novels apparently include anti-conservative politic rants. In this one, the characters are just highly cynical.)

covert said...

Just finished "Templar Conspiracy". Without question, this is one of the most poorly written books I have ever read. A disjointed story line, no relevancy to the title (Templar may have been mentioned a few times but with no historical or factual grounding, connection, or other real context in the story). Really...this is a real waste of money and I just can' believe the advertising hype that this guy is a New York Times best selling author. Please. What a waste of time.

Genre Reviewer said...


Sorry to hear you found it a waste of time. I agree that the title is deceptive. According to the book, a group of Templar Knights broke off from that group and started fighting for the other side. The bad guys in this novel are descendants/members of this "anti-Templar" group and are now known by an Arabic name. But I suppose "The Anti-Templar Conspiracy" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed he previous three titles in the book and am reading this one at the moment . I'm in no way political or religious so I didn't notice or mind the rants .also the templar line runs through book 1-4 so I can see why it's still in the title he is the keeper of the templar fortune after all

Disgruntled said...

Just bought Lost City of the Templars on a whim - it seemed like a good storyline on the dust cover. However it omitted to say this book was No. 8 in a series, and it would advisable to read the preceding books first. I finished the book , only to discover the story continues, presumably in No.9 in the series. I feel cheated that I have wasted all my time with this book when I could have been reading a different book with a proper ending. Needless to say I will not be purchasing any more of Mr Christopher's books.