FBI Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick (Face of a Killer, 2008, etc.) tracks a treasure that could be deadly.
Having recommended her friend, forensic anthropologist Dr. Natasha Gilbert, to help identify the victim of a brutal murder, Sydney heads off for Thanksgiving in California, only to be hauled back to Quantico to work the case with Zachary Griffin, member of a mysterious government black-ops group. The mutilated body is identified as that of Alessandra Harden, an archeological student who is also the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. When Tasha Gilbert is murdered as well, Sydney sees red. Despite orders to forget the case, she flies to Italy in search of a closely guarded and dangerous secret. Alessandra and Tasha were both involved in a hunt for three keys that could reveal a map showing the location of the fabled Templar treasure. Working with a reluctant Griffin and his pal Tex nearly gets Sydney killed. Then Tex is kidnapped by a brutal crime boss eager to locate the treasure, which might be gold and jewels…or a biblical plague that could kill all humankind. Hunting through treacherously unstable underground bone chambers, Sydney and her team face death to keep the treasure, whatever it is, from unscrupulous hands.
Conspiracy buffs will enjoy this convoluted saga, which gains authenticity from Burcell’s FBI training, but it’s a mite short of the pulse-pounding tension of its forerunners.