Barcelona’s Molist, head of the European Branch of Paramount Home Entertainment, combines the history of the Templar Knights with chick lit in a thriller that offers an insider’s view of the beautiful Spanish city, but ultimately turns out more snooze than thrill.
Cristina, born in Barcelona of a Spanish mother and American father, spent the most memorable days of her youth in Spain with her buddies Luis and Oriol, playing treasure-hunting games conjured up by Oriol’s father, Enric. But when she moved to the United States as a teen, Cristina lost contact with her friends. Years after Enric’s suicide, Cristina receives a mysterious ring, as well as a summons to a “second” reading of Enric’s will. She goes to Barcelona over the objections of her mother and the man she is engaged to marry. When she arrives, Cristina teams once again with her friends to find a treasure rumored to belong to the Templar Knights with postmortem clues courtesy of Enric. Although her mother warns against it, Cristina soon moves from her hotel into the home of Oriol’s mother, the oddly menacing lesbian Alicia. Meanwhile, Cristina also runs into the handsome man she met aboard her flight from New York, with whom she feels compelled to flirt even after discovering he may not be all he appears. Shadowed by an oddly fierce and menacing stranger, Cristina suffers through vivid nightmares rooted in a violent and unknown past. She tries to decipher the dreams, as well as Oriol’s sexual leanings and feelings for her. As the three old friends draw closer to the truth about the treasure, Cristina grows to understand Oriol and his obsession with finding it. Molist’s book is crammed with pages of tediously reported history, seen through the eyes of one of the characters. Although an attorney, Cristina’s conversations and judgment are more what one would expect of a 15-year-old, and the plot is neither intricate nor clever.
Peppered with irrelevant detail and dialogue documenting every dull moment of Cristina’s quest, the book fails to incite reader interest or empathy.