In the seventh bestselling Ben Hope conspiracy thriller, the action shoots back in time to the days of Jesus Christ – and a buried secret that has staggering implications for the world as we know it…
Returning to the UK to try to sort out his stormy personal life, Ben runs into two old friends. Simeon and Michaela were once his fellow students at Oxford – now they are The Reverend and Mrs Arundel.
Ben senses that Simeon is deeply troubled and frightened, but before the truth can emerge about his secretive research project concerning a mysterious, ancient ‘sacred sword’, both he and Michaela are killed out in a devastating road crash. Convinced that his friends’ deaths were no accident, Ben is propelled on a global quest from the UK to France, the Holy Land and America to unlock the enigma of the sacred sword. At every step, he is pursued by ruthless agents of the sinister organisation that will stop at nothing to acquire it.
In the course of his investigations, Ben will discover an incredible secret, not just about the history of Christianity but about his own past . . .
I’m a huge fan of not only conspiracy theories but adventure and action thrillers – there’s no doubt that The Sacred Sword by Scott Mariani fits these categories and ticks almost all the boxes I look for in a book of its type.
An entertaining read with a protagonist that is both likeable and realistic and a pace that will keep you turning the pages until the very end, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Mariani book experience; it has certainly made me want to read more. Although the seventh title in the Ben Hope series the title stands alone well thanks mainly to a rapid recap of what’s happened in the past. The author doesn’t delve too deeply into Hope’s history, stunting the fluidity, but more than enough to give a taster of the past and set the scene for the future.
As with all action and conspiracy thrillers I find you have to approach the read with a touch of whatever happens, happens. You have to suspend belief to a certain point or you find yourself questioning not only the author but the protagonist who spends a lot of the time trying to dodge the bullets and kill the baddies and The Sacred Sword is no exception – typical boys own stuff!
The story reads well and for the most part it flows incredibly quickly with a great deal of action and a few tense moments, more than enough to get your teeth stuck into this meaty book! That said – and I’m being hyper critical here – I did find there were a few moments where I wanted the pace to quicken up so it wasn’t all plain sailing.
I loved the storyline and impressed how the author made me put the book down on numerous occasions searching Google for topics and locations around the world he mentions in the book and there was one point where Mariani introduced a well-trodden archaeological site – not saying what or where – that made me reach out to check if my passport was up to date! I have added the location to my bucket list!
Characterisation is impressive and in Ben Hope, Mariani has a hero that will stand the test of time and I’m sure he’ll continue to go from strength to strength. I enjoyed his development and although we are deep in his history I felt Hope matured in this title – even for someone who hasn’t followed his literary life! Forced to re-evaluate his relationships Hope isn’t your perfect action hero, he comes with baggage and he has made – and makes – mistakes but a mark of a good character is how he turns a negative into a positive.
There were a number of characters I enjoyed in the book – not just the good guys – the bad guys add a great balance to the book and although not likeable they certainly help create a few sticky moments and keep Hope on his toes.
The action scenes are impressive and immersive, I really felt part of the shoot outs and on more than one occasion I wanted to pick up a gun – imaginary of course – and help our hero out of each and every sticky situation he found himself in!
The Sacred Sword is an entertaining and gripping read and if you’re looking for a rugged hero who likes the odd drink, solving problems and killing bad guys then this is one for you! I’ll certainly pick up another Mariani title.
Published by Avon – 427 Pages – · ISBN-10: 1847561985 · ISBN-13: 978-1847561985