Sanctuary Paperback – May 1 2008
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Here is one of those novels that spans centuries, interweaves stories from past and present, and involves a brave hero trying to uncover the truth behind an ancient conspiracy that unnamed individuals will kill to protect. It's hardly a new premise, but here's the good thing: in Khoury's hands, it feels fresh and exciting again. When archaeology professor Evelyn Bishop is kidnapped, her daughter, Mia, vows to find her and to find the secret behind the artifacts that apparently led to Evelyn's abduction. Her odyssey takes her into unexpected corners of history, quickly putting her own life at risk. The action takes place mostly in Iraq but also journeys to eighteenth-century Italy and present-day Lebanon. The large cast of characters includes plenty of villainous types, including "the hakeem," a doctor whose grisly medical experiments seem linked to a centuries-old mystery. There are dozens of ways this novel could have collapsed under its own narrative weight, but Khoury makes the conspiracy feel utterly believable and imbues his characters with infectious passion for finding the truth. A surefire hit with fans of conspiracy-based historical thrillers. Pitt, David --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Raymond Khoury is the bestselling author of The Last Templar and The Sanctuary. An acclaimed screenwriter and producer for both television and film, he lives in London with his family.
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Top Customer Reviews
The other problem I have with this book is the page after page after page of chase scenes and shoot outs. I guess the authors of these books think it's necessary, but it's also horrendously tedious, and makes me skip page after page in a desperate attempt to get back to the point.
This really was absolutely underwhelming stuff. When you have to force yourself to finish a book on point of principle, you know you're in trouble.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
1."He found himself asking himself..." (285)
2. "As he pondered the journey of his life, he also found himself doubting what he would ultimately achieve even if he did succeed in finding what he was looking for." (286)
3. "he freaked out..." 301)
4. "pathological psychopaths..." (303)
Anyways, after finishing The Last Templar, I was downtown at a Virgin megastore and saw this book sitting on a shelf. I nearly walked past it and most likely would have if the books cover had not caught my attention. What could a book possibly be about that has to have a picture of a serpent eating its own tail? Well, low and behold Raymond Khoury was the author and seeing that, I was compelled to buy the book.
Now, I needed a read for my next trip out here to the desert and I decided to take that book with me. Again, what another great read! The action is nearly non-stop, even right from the beginning. Almost every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger that just makes you want to read the next page (I sometimes ended up falling asleep really late because of this reading). Again, got to re-iterate on the whole "serpent eating it's own tail" thing...doesn't that make you wonder what the hell it is?
The base of the story is relatively solid. In modern day times of Iraq, it's unusual for a foreign person to be kidnapped anymore due to the lessening violence. That all changes when one in particular woman, Evelyn, becomes abducted while trying to help and old Iraqi friend get rid of some old relics found on a dig. This Iraqi friend, Farouk, contacts Evelyn due to a book of that has a particular characteristic...an engraving of a serpent eating its own tail. Unfortunately, the Iraqi dealer does not know he's being watched by someone of near infinite power in the underground world. After this happens, the whole better part of the USA's presence in Iraq comes into question when Evenlyn's daughter comes in for questioning by Iraqi police and American ambassador's. Who can she believe?
The characters, for the most part, are somewhat memorable. Evelyn is the typical damsel in distress. But, of utmost importance because of this relic that was discovered. Evelyn's daughter, Mia, plays a more crucial role in the latter part of the book becoming more proactive rather than reactive. Then, there's Corben, the american CIA agent. He works on scrounging up any evidence there is to who has done this kidnapping, but, for what cause? Is he really out to save Evelyn, or, is there another motive? Finally, what I believe to be the most memorable character, the "Hakeem". The "Hakeem" (translated in english means "doctor") seems to be the one behind the kidnapping. His interrogation techniques are, shall we say, less than humanible. Though, his knowledge of the human anatomy are second to none.
The plot and the way the book is written is solid. There's a few flashbacks as to how this cult started and what it's really about and even shows the strength of the cult's resolve to protect this information. While this book is a work of fiction, you'll find many points of interest about real life and happenings in the world. Such as the town of Mosul, Iraq that lies in near shambles but slowly rebuilding. Even ancient groups such as the Phoenicians make an appearance in this book. Of course, this interests someone like me because I'm just a history buff. Bottom line, if you liked Dan Brown and his books, have any interest in historic lore, or just want something different to read, try Raymond Khoury's "Sanctuary". I promise it won't let you down.