Thursday, August 06, 2009

"The Lost Throne" By Chris Kuzneski

"The Lost Throne"
By Chris Kuzneski
Published August, 2009
by Putnam

I'm not sure who started the trend of treasure hunting, globe hopping, action and adventure novels, but I hope it is not one that ever goes away, especially after reading this latest novel from Chris Kuzneski. In Kuzneski's latest novel "The Lost Throne" a cast of characters hop the European continent in search of treasure and tracking down murderers with some great thrills to keep you glued to every page in this book.

If you haven't read a Chris Kuzneski novel, the best way to describe it is that his writing is very much his own. Okay, If I have to compare for the sake of introduction I'll say he's a bit of James Patterson, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, with a twist of Tom Clancy for flavor. Simmer down until you have a heaping dish of thrills, action, adventure, and humor. Kuzneski’s novels follow the adventures of Jonathon Payne and David "D.J." Jones, former members of the MANIACs an elite Special Forces unit in the U.S. military, the main characters are ex-soldiers,but the novels are not “military” thrillers. The relationship and the resulting dialogue between these two is very real and at times very funny. And to top it off all there's a puzzle that you will be trying to solve alongside Payne and Jones.

"The Lost Throne" starts out with two separate sets of murders. One in a nearly unknown Greek Orthodox Monastery, in which 7 monks are beheaded while the group of assassins try to find a book. The other is a single man assassinated in St. Petersburg, Russia in broad daylight, both are professional but other than that seem unrelated.

Interpol agent Nick Dial takes on the case in Greece where the monks are murdered. Upon arrival he gets the gut feeling that something bigger than murder is at stake. The monks were at the monastery for a secret meeting between a group of Orthodox monks that come from various nationalities. Dial soon discovers that the monks had some modern facilities and on a security camera tape an image is caught of one of the assassins. The assassins seem to be Spartans, yes the same from Sparta, the subject of the film and comic book "300," from the battle of Thermopylae. The Spartans were after something and when Dial discovers the beheaded monks heads in a pyramid stack in a hidden chamber within the monastery he must find out why.

On the other side of the world the Heroes Payne and Jones are called upon for help. But the problem is that Payne mistakes the ringing of his cell phone for the ringing of the hotel phone and at 3 am he knocks the cell phone down getting to the other, thus breaking the cell phone. The next day after Jones fixes the phone (yes, he's a tech expert) he finds that every half hour an call came through his phone. The caller is an academic named Richard Byrd. Byrd fears for his life because he has nearly uncovered the location of a magnificent treasure. But there are those who have dedicated their lives to protecting it, and they will stop at nothing to prevent its discovery.

After Byrd is discovered to be assassinated Payne and Jones are called on to help smuggle Byrd's assistant out of Russia for her safety. There is the plight for the treasure uncovered and eager to help in all ways Payne and Jones seek to solve the puzzle of what the treasure is and where it is located.

With some great fights, chases, espionage-like moments and the fun humor of Payne and Jones, "The Lost Throne" will keep you on the edge of your seat and eager to help solve this mystery.

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