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Following his father's suicide, the son of a famous British archaeologist and relic collector discovers that the old man was closely involved with an ultra-secret cult of Stonehenge worshippers, one of whose key rituals demands fresh supplies of human blood.

Part cult thriller, part police procedural, Christer's first novel takes us deep into a hidden sanctuary where devout followers are painfully initiated and kidnap victims are slaughtered according to ancient rites. Gideon Chase, long estranged from his father Nathaniel, becomes obsessed with the old man's secret self after discovering journals about his doings at Stonehenge, some of them written in code. Gideon himself is the beneficiary of a cleansing ritual that eliminated a childhood disease and has immunized him from even the slightest cold ever since. On the portentous eve of the summer solstice, he is targeted by the cult. Meanwhile, Caitlyn Lock, the misbehaving daughter of the American vice president, who is attending school in London, is abducted at Stonehenge along with her new rich playboy. He had the unfortunate idea of thinking driving there would make for a cool romantic getaway. Ambitious DI Megan Baker, drawn into the plot when Gideon is attacked in his father's country mansion, has her efforts frustrated by her bureaucratic, sexist bosses and complicated by her untrustworthy ex-husband. And then there is the celebrity American bounty hunter who has come to save Caitlyn, and a flock of heavily weaponized Apache helicopters you can't wait to see blow stuff up. It's a credit to Christer, a documentary filmmaker, that he makes the story as readable and, for a while, as involving as it is. But Dan Brown he's not. As the story wobbles toward its predictable climax, you won't be looking forward to a sequel. This is a book best passed on to someone for whom the Stonehenge setting will matter more than anything.

Readers will learn a few things about Stonehenge, but not enough to justify the time required to finish the book.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59020-676-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Overlook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011


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