Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Sword Of The Templars - Paul Christopher

The Sword Of The Templars
Paul Christopher


Lt. Col. John Holliday served as an Army Ranger. Now he spends his time teaching medieval history at West Point. During his downtime, he works on what has become a massive volume detailing the history of armor. He’s reunited with his second cousin Peggy Blackstock on the sad occasion of his Uncle Henry’s death. (Henry was Peggy’s grandfather.) The two meet with the lawyer for the disposition of the will, and both are taken aback when the lawyer mentions that his father was in the same military unit as Henry’s father and claims that the two found a sword at the site of Hitler’s summer house during WWII. This strikes Holliday as very peculiar, since the unit the lawyer named was not Henry’s unit.

The clear implication is that the lawyer would be quite happy to take the sword off their hands. Holliday and Peggy rebuff the strange offer and head to Henry’s house to being the long process of sorting out a lifetime’s worth of accumulated objects. In a hidden drawer, they find a sword, wrapped in Hitler’s personal standard. It’s obviously the sword to which the lawyer referred; and Holliday’s long experience with armor tells him that this is not an ordinary sword. It has a meaning and value far beyond that of its association with Hitler. Peggy, being a well-traveled photojournalist, is up for the challenge, and the two are off to discover what the sword really means.

This author (THE LUCIFER GOSPEL, REMBRANDT’S GHOST) excels at writing fast-paced thrillers that span the globe and a good chunk of world history. Reading one of his books is like being an armchair Indiana Jones, really. Peggy and Holliday are both mature, intelligent adults, so following them through a discussion of history is just as fascinating as following them through a chase scene. And, as with any good adventure, just when you think you know exactly where things are headed, you’re happy to find that you’re wrong. I always enjoy Mr. Christopher’s books.

Rating: 7 ½
July 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-22740-9 (paperback)


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