Wednesday, June 20, 2012

THE KEY by Simon Toyne (2012) HarperCollins Canada, 433 pages

Simon Toyne caught my attention with his richly-imagined, page-turning debut thriller SANCTUS, a book that went on to be published in dozens of countries and become an international bestseller. A loyal fan, I was delighted to receive a cherished ARC of its sequel THE KEY, now widely available in the UK and North America.

As THE KEY opens American journalist Liv Adamsen wakes in hospital in Ruin, having only a vague memory of trespassing inside the closeted Citadel religious community to try to solve the mystery of her brother-the-monk's unexpected and very public death. As the tag line on the novel's cover ominously suggests, "the fate of man lies in the hands of one woman." Liz is that woman. She has intimations of her haunting power and it takes the belief and understanding of charity worker Gabriel Mann to not only honour that potential and figure out what it means, but also to keep her safe from the factions invested in destroying her. 

Since Liz escaped from the Citadel, a terrifying, contagious disease has plagued the secretive brotherhood tucked within its centuries' old walls. And, those in charge--with connections to the mafia and the highest echelons of the Catholic Church--are determined to facilitate her return therein to provide the healing they believe only she possesses. To complicate matters there's a shadowy figure who prowls the desert, a mercenary known as The Ghost, a man who knows that Liv could very well be the key to unlocking a potent, long-kept secret he has helped to protect.

Written with intelligence, and a talent for revealing mind-bending plot twists at breakneck speed, Simon Toyne's THE KEY will have you gasping, your heart thumping a tattoo, hoping beyond hope that Liv will fulfil the prophecy with which she unwittingly became entangled when her investigative instincts put her in peril.

Read the tantalizing opening pages for yourself. You will be hooked.

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