When I first received this book I noticed how the synopsis was very similar to "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown and almost put the book away thinking, "That's been done, why should I read it again?" I'm glad to say I went ahead and read this book "The Sign of the Cross" and was pleased to read a great action thriller by Chris Kuzneski.
The story follows 3 groups of characters and one secret the Vatican doesn't want releases nor does it know it wants to keep this secret. Group 1 are Professor Boyd and Maria, they are a couple of historians set out to discover the secret of some catacombs beneath a small town in Italy. These catacombs were the hiding places for the pope and key figures during the great Schism in the Catholic church, but they hide a "deeper" secret. The Next group are two mercenaries, Payne and Jones, hired to find Boyd and Maria and bring them back to what could be their death. The next character is the American in charge of Interpol's homicide division, Nick Dial. Dial is trying to uncover who is behind 3 recent crucifixions in the world while trying to prevent a 4th. All Their stories soon come together as dark forces try to uncover the secret that Jesus as a Messiah was faked by the Roman Emperor, Tiberius.
All 3 groups do what needs to be done to all get together for a very climactic ending that will take you by complete surprise. The characters are extremely well developed and completely believable. In fact so much so that some of the non-factual parts of the book become believable. My favorite characters have to be Payne and Jones, the hired mercenaries. The remind me of the Marvel comics "Merc' with a mouth" Deadpool. And It times I saw Will Smith and Martin Lawrence easily playing these guys if a film is ever made. In other words they provide this book, which is filled with dark secrets, sinister plots, evil plotters and constant chases, with much needed comic relief. From the first moment they are introduced they are cracking wise. Great Characters.
All in all, while the formula of the book may be similar to Dan Brown's bestseller, Chris Kuzneski comes up with a surprisingly original thriller. He even pays homage to Dan Brown, when the character Nick Dial, looking for help in the crucifixions, asks, "What do you know about the Bible?" The response is, "More than Dan Brown."
This book is a page turner with more action and suspense than you could ever expect.
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