The ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes . . . until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost. But now two forces vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was–and its true nature could change the modern world.
Cotton Malone, onetime top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.
It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize–and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.
At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.
Praise for Steve Berry
The Amber Room
“Sexy, illuminating . . . my kind of thriller.”
–Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code
“Magnificently engrossing, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun.”
–Clive Cussler, author of Sacred Stone
The Romanov Prophecy
“Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike. Fabulous plot twists.”
–David Morrell, author of The Protector
“Compelling . . . adventure-filled . . . a fast-moving, globe-hopping tale of long-lost treasure and shadowy bad guys.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
The Third Secret
“Controversial, shocking, explosive . . . rich in a wealth of Vatican insider knowledge and two thousand years of Virgin Mary visitations. The Third Secret will change our view of the relationship between religion and wisdom.”
–Katherine Neville, author of The Eight
From the Hardcover edition.