I really liked Khoury's first novel, "The Last Templar", and gave it a rave review last year when it first hit the shelves. I was eagerly awaiting his next book.
What a disappointment. Most writers improve upon the skills they exhibit in their first published work; sadly, Khoury hasn't pulled this off. I didn't think it was possible for a writer to become formulaic with only two published works, but sadly that's what's happened here.
Whereas I found "Templar" to be original, fast paced, and with richly drawn characters, "Sanctuary" was simply a "Templar" knock-off without the upside. The characterizations were flat and - in some cases - confusing. Characters suddenly changed actions and apparent motivations mid-stream simply as a device to create surprise twists in a mundane and linear plot. The "McGuffin" of the story (I won't reveal it so as not to spoil it for others) was unbelievable, and again lacked clarity. Whereas in "Templar" the flashback scenes almost stole the whole book, in "Sanctuary" they were - again - muddled and disjointed.
Further, Khoury wrote this whole thing in the breathless style of pulp fiction, with non-stop chases and gunfights, and cliché damsels-in-distress. Frankly, that's pretty boring. Look at some of Tom Clancy's best work; the scenes of actual violence are few and far between, used to great effect as highlights to the plot, not as the only point to the story. As Hitchcock said, it's not the violence that's terrifying, it's the anticipation of the violence. Khoury needs to learn that lesson.
One last thing. Whoever edited this book needs to take another crack before the paperback version comes out. There are a lot of misusages of American English, unforgivable for a book in which the central characters are all Americans. For example, many times in the book, when writing about a gun being pointed at another character, Khoury refers to the end of the gun barrel as the gun's "nozzle". I don't know what Khoury's native language is, but fire hoses have "nozzles". Guns have "muzzles".
Sorry, can't recommend this one at all.