It’s little wonder that this debut novel was fought over by publishers wanting to get their hands on it – a battle that HarperCollins won and subsequently did a wonderful marketing job with. The book jacket is cracking and the trailers for the novel that they released prior to publication went to show just how well the story could translate into a future movie.
Sanctus is a great, fast paced, historical conspiracy novel which will appeal to a wide audience (those who read Dan Brown and those whose reading tastes spread a little wider too).
The story begins in the city of Ruin.
A lone monk figure appears at the highest point of the Citadel of Ruin, a place said to hold the Sacrament – a hidden and unknown religious icon or being. The world watches as the figure forms the shape of a cross, stands there for a while and then throws himself to his death, landing just outside of the Citadel’s grounds and becoming the subject of a Police and press investigation.
I found the book to be much more rewarding than many a conspiracy/code novel, of which there have been a steady procession of in recent years of course, with Sanctus having a strong Police procedural element, strong action sequences and, with all its hi-tech tracking and seeking of the truth behind what lies inside the Citadel, at times it reads like an episode of ’24′.
HarperCollins will also publish Simon Toyne‘s next two thrillers and, if this debut is a good indicator, then that’s two more great reads to come our way.
With all its religious/supernatural underpinnings – you should make Sanctus your Easter weekend read.
Keith B Walters