At Holy Trinity, a monastery atop a towering cliff in central Greece, seven monks hold a secret meeting of an ancient brotherhood. Their inaccessible stronghold is invaded by a stealth force of warriors wielding ancient swords; a squad that quickly beheads all the monks and hurls their bodies off the cliff. Nick Dial, a senior member of Interpol, is assigned to investigate the bizarre events at Metéora. He arrives to secure the scene and meets Nicholas, the sole surviving member of the massacre. Yet, when he questions the local police about the monk, he’s told there were no survivors. Who is the elderly man and how was he able to penetrate the police barricades?
In St. Petersburg, Russia, Richard Byrd is desperate. Having uncovered the location of an ancient treasure, he’s running for his life. Trying to meet-up with Allison Taylor, his research assistant, Byrd is executed by a sniper. With no where to turn, Allison follows Byrd’s instructions and calls on Jonathon Payne, ex-MANIAC. With the help of his best friend, D.J. Jones, they set out to save the girl, find out who killed her boss and find the treasure.
The Lost Throne, the fourth book in Chris Kuzneski’s Payne and Jones series, is an edge-of-your-seat read from the first page. Payne and Jones, former members of a secret unit of the armed forces, utilize their specialized skills to help friends out in difficult situations. Readers will find their banter endearing. Kuzneski wisely uses this brotherly teasing to provide a release for tension, providing readers with a breather before once again spiraling up the action.
Kuzneski’s research and fascination with St. Petersburg is evident. In a pivotal chase scene he describes the buildings in astonishing detail, bringing the scene to life with cinematic vividness. In an interview with Mark Terry he describes the way he: “…took photographs of the buildings and landmarks and attached them to a street map of the city. When my characters ran down a street I knew exactly what they would be looking at.”
While part of a series, The Lost Throne can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Those eagerly awaiting the fall release of the new Dan Brown may find Kuzneski’s newest just the thing to fill the gap.
Publication Date: July 23, 2009
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Author Website: www.chriskuzneski.com