From The Cover:
The certainties of modern life are about to be shattered by an ancient conspiracy that has been nurtured by blood and lies.
A man climbs a cliff face in the oldest inhabited place on earth, a mountain known as the Citadel, a Vatican-like city-state that towers above the city of Ruin in contemporary Turkey. But this is no ordinary ascent. It is a dangerous, symbolic act. And thanks to the media, it is witnessed by the entire world.
And few people understand its consequence. For foundation worker Kathryn Mann and a handful of others, it's evidence that a hopeful, new beginning is at hand. For the cowled and secretive monks who live inside the Citadel, it could mean the end of everything they have built - and they will break every law in every country and even kill to stop it. For reporter Liv Adamsen, it spurs the memory of the beloved brother she has lost and begins the next stage of a journey into the heart of her own identity.
At that journey's end lies a discovery that will change everything....
I received this book back at the end of May, but I try to publish my reviews once the book is available for purchase. It was hard to not read this one. I really wanted to. There were several occasions when I had the book in my hand, only to succumb to my schedule and read something else. The time finally came to read Sanctus and it was every bit as good as I thought it would be.
Sanctus is a thriller with a strong religious theme. Not to worry, it is neither a recruitment novel nor a religious slam piece. It is simply an exciting, mysterious thriller. From the very beginning, as Samuel climbs from the Citadel only to plunge to his death once nearing the top, the action and mystery suck you in.
The chapters throughout Sanctus are very short, some being only a couple of pages. This worked for me, helping to add to the excitement of what was coming next. There were many times that I was ready to stop reading, but found myself justifying a little more because it was only a couple of pages. As you may have guessed, this was a pretty fast read for me.
I found the characters to be just exceptional enough to justify my reading the book, yet real enough to satisfy that oh so strong skeptic in me. I also enjoyed that the heroine of the story is not introduced right away. The story progresses just a bit before you start to realize who the main character of the book actually is.
I enjoyed Sanctus quite a bit. It really kept me guessing. Towards the end I was sure I had everything figured out. I am happy to say that I was right, and completely wrong. That may sound weird, but once you reach the end yourself, I am sure you will understand what I am saying.
In December 2007, Simon Toyne quit his job and moved to France for six months, hoping to fulfill a long-held desire to write a thriller. After a sleepless night crossing the channel on a storm-battered midnight ferry, he and his family abandoned the eight-hour drive to their new home and instead started looking for a hotel.
It was the eerie sight of the sharp spire of Rouen Cathedral piercing the predawn sky that immediately struck Toyne's imagination and gave birth to the fictional Citadel of Sanctus.
Toyne has worked in British television for twenty years. As a writer, director, and producer, he has worked on several award-winning shows, one of which won a BAFTA. He lives in England with his wife and family.
Sanctus by Simon Toyne
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.