Sign of the Cross
Chris Kuzneski, Author . Jove $7.99 (422p) ISBN 978-0-515-14211-2
Kuzneski elbows his way into the overcrowded field of the papal thriller with his sophomore effort (after 2002's racially charged The Plantation ), combining the requisite plot twists and Da Vinci -esque secret histories with a Passion of the Christ -like attention to gore. And there's plenty of opportunity for gore: Kuzneski kicks off the action with a nasty crucifixion in modern-day Denmark. It turns out the victim is a Vatican priest, and his murder is just the first. Meanwhile, maverick archeologist Dr. Charles Boyd and his assistant Maria Pelati discover a 2000-year-old scroll underneath the Italian town of Orvieto that contains "a secret that would change... the history of the world—forever." Instantly, the two become the most wanted people in Europe, pursued by the Vatican, a large measure of Western European law enforcement and two freelance CIA agents. As the chase begins, more crucified priests are turning up across the globe, and the head of Interpol's new homicide division, Nick Dial, finds himself edging closer to the heart of a centuries-old coverup. Cat and mouse games accelerate and alliances shuffle as the overstuffed plot brings its numerous players together, but excessive detail and exposition-heavy dialogue slow the action. Despite its flaws, Kuzneski knows what fans of the genre want: compelling and well-researched history, high-tech 21st-century sleuthing and a lot of action. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Paperback - 610 pages - 978-0-14-103084-5
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-101-48389-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4418-7473-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4233-8657-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4233-8659-9
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-101-48397-8
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Sign of the Cross was the second novel by New York Times bestselling author Chris Kuzneski. First published in October 2006 by Penguin Group (USA), the religious thriller followed the exploits of Jonathon Payne and David Jones, who have been featured in all of Kuzneski's thrillers. It also introduced the character of Nick Dial, who has appeared in every Kuzneski novel since.
The book was endorsed by several notable authors, including Clive Cussler, Nelson DeMille, Steve Berry, James Rollins, and Tess Gerritsen.
Penguin UK released the British version in April 2007, and the book climbed to #11 on the British bestseller list. The foreign rights to Sign of the Cross have sold in more than fifteen languages.
Jonathon Payne and David "D.J." Jones are recruited to find Dr. Charles Boyd, an archeologist who recently found the Catacombs of Orvieto, the safe haven for the popes of the Middle Ages. While Boyd avoids pursuit, a series of victims turn up dead, people who were tortured and crucified like Jesus Christ on his final day. All the incidents are interconnected, but it’s up to Payne and Jones to figure out the common thread and why they were selected to solve the puzzle.
From Publishers Weekly — "Kuzneski knows what fans of the genre want: compelling and well-researched history, high-tech 21st-century sleuthing, and a lot of action."
From Crime Squad (United Kingdom) — "In Sign of the Cross, Chris Kuzneski has created an entirely original world-view and tells us an extraordinary tale with one hell of a sting to it. He writes like a dream and his thriller style is nigh on flawless. Indeed, the author has created a page-turning style that older thriller pros would give up serious appendages to perfect."
From Clive Cussler — "Harrowing, but always suspenseful, Sign of the Cross makes you wish it would never end."
From Nelson DeMille — "Chris Kuzneski is a remarkable new writer, who completely understands what makes for a good story: action, sex, suspense, humor, and great characters."