Scott Turow and John Grisham weren’t the first writers to write a legal thriller, but they set the tone and spawned phalanx of legal writers that churned out a library full of court room drama.
Tom Clancy wasn’t the first writer to knock out a military techno thriller, but he did marshal an army of writers who battled the forces of evil on millions of pages.
And Dan Brown wasn’t the first author the juggle ancient conspiracies in a modern setting, but he did guide a legion of wordsmiths who put quill to parchment and conjured up countless religious warriors, who protect a vault full of secrets.
While these authors set the proverbial tone, what separates those who follow from the rest of the pack is the ability to take the genre in a new in a new direction. Simon Toyne has done that with his debut thriller Sanctus.
Set in modern day Turkey, Sanctus details a mysterious religious sect that remains separated from the world in a mountain stronghold, the Citadel; protecting an ancient relic, known as the sacrament and it’s secret. If the secret were revealed it would change the face of religious belief, so the secretive brotherhood does whatever it takes to guard the cipher.
The intrigue starts early and remains at a steady pitch as competing forces battle for control of the secret. Keep in mind, if you need a firm grip on reality, then you’ll find yourself questioning things nearly every step of the way; this one falls firmly in the realm of the suspension of disbelief.
But that’s what a thriller is all about and Toyne it’s the right tone at the intersection of the ancient and modern worlds.