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The Last Templar Paperback – 7 Jul 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd; paperback / softback edition (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715634410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715634417
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 23.4 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,014,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Well, since you asked... I was born in Beirut, a Scorpio and the youngest of three. The civil war broke out there when I was 14 and my parents, in a noble effort to keep us alive into adulthood, wisely moved us to Rye, NY. I stayed there until I graduated from Rye Country Day School, then, intent on thwarting my parents' nurturing instincts, I decided to go back to Lebanon to study architecture at the American University of Beirut. Which, in hindsight, wasn't as nutty a decision as you might think. Those years, marred by repeated flare-ups of fighting and a couple of invasions, were emotionally taxing, harrowing, sometimes dangerous, often maddeningly frustrating, but always intense in the most visceral sense of the word and, weirdly enough, I wouldn't have missed them for the world. Maybe that's the Scorpio in me...

So there I was, gingerly studying architecture in the hopes of one day helping rebuild the city (rumours that a local cabal of intensely purist architects was having ugly buildings selectively blown up remain unproven). The civil war erupted again a few weeks after I graduated, and I was evacuated out from the beach down the road from our apartment on a sunny but sad day in February, 1984, by the Marine Corp's 22nd Amphibious Unit on board a Chinook helicopter, to whom I'll be eternally grateful (the Marines, not the chopper).

I ended up in London, where I joined a small architecture practice. The architecture scene in Europe was pretty bleak at that time, so I decided to explore other career options. I got an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and joined an investment bank, selling gold-linked convertibles and other far less exotic financial instruments, surrounded by Gekko wannabes and hating waking up every day. In fairness, I have to credit those 'wilderness' years with one wonderful thing: meeting my gorgeous wife, who tolerated my exhausting yearnings for something more fulfilling and eventually gave me two incredible daughters.

I left the glamorous (at the time, anyway) world of investment banking after three years to return to my creative roots. I bounced around for a while, trying different things, and during a business trip to the Bahamas (don't ask), I met a banker who dabbled in the film business. I've always been a film geek and harbored a burning desire to make movies, so at dinner one night, I bounced an idea off him, and the idea struck a chord. I had a new partner, and we agreed to develop my idea into a screenplay -- by hiring a professional screenwriter he'd worked with.

Several conference calls later, the outlines coming back from Los Angeles weren't what I had in mind. I offered to write an outline myself. When I faxed my notes to my partner (yes, this was in the early 90s, long before email), he called me up and said, "Our man in L.A. isn't going to write this movie for us. You are. You're a writer."

So I did. And it got shortlisted for the Fulbright Fellowship in Screenwriting award, which I had to apply for under a friend's name (I wasn't eligible, but that's another long story). My next script, a semi-autobiographical screenplay about my college years during the war, was also nominated for the award a year later. Then the next year, in 1995, I optioned the film rights to Melvyn Bragg's novel, THE MAID OF BUTTERMERE and wrote the adaptation myself while completing an original screenplay called... THE LAST TEMPLAR. Buttermere found its way to Robert DeNiro, who announced in Variety that he would be producing it and playing the lead. The Last Templar... well, if you're reading this, you know that after ten years or so, it managed the quantum leap off my laptop's hard drive and into novel form, but that's a longer story, one I'll go through in a separate post...

Since then, and after working as a screenwriter and a producer on shows like the BBC series Spooks, (MI-5 in the US), I'm now solely focused on the novels, the fifth of which is THE DEVIL'S ELIXIR.

And that's about it... Thanks for taking the time to explore my ramblings, and if you do pick up one of my books, I hope you have a blast reading it. And let me know-connect with me on facebook on my Official Fan Page (and NOT on one of the others that I don't manage!). Enjoy!

Product Description

Review

a rollicking mystery with Knights Templars riding out of New York's Central Park, Grand Masters, brutal murders, a feisty archaeologist and religious secrets. Read by Jeff Harding who also read THE DA VINCI CODE, a book wery much in the news! (Kati Nicholl DAILY EXPRESS)

'AUDIO OF THE MONTH: A superb and bestselling debut novel in the tradition of LABYRINTH or THE DA VINCI CODE. In New York at the Metropolitan Museum, 4 horsemen dressed as Knights Templar storm the gala opening of an exhibition of Vatican treasures and in a brutal and bloody attack, steal a medieval decoder. It is now up to FBI agent Sean Reilly and archaeologist Tess Chaykin to race across 3 continents in search of the ruthless killers.' (PRIZES GALORE)

entertaining.... Khoury stokes up the tension. (Simon Evans CHOICE)

Much enlivened by the reading of Jeff Harding, who does a wonderful job of characterisation and enthusiasm for the subject. (Emma Fisher Ottakars) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A superb and bestselling debut novel in the tradition of LABYRINTH or THE DA VINCI CODE... --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
The Last Templar is the latest book, since the Da Vinci code, to use as its hook the Order of the Knights Templar and the secrets about the life of Christ they may or may not have discovered back during the Crusades.
As such it is highly derivative and lacks real orginality. Yes, the secret that is eventually revealed may differ from the other books riding on Dan Brown's coat tails, but the expected elements are all present and correct. There is the academic who uncovers the central plot and is placed in danger as a result. There are the duplicitous elements within the Vatican who will go to any length to keep the secret. There is the globe-trotting and the discovery of hidden artefacts and there is the obligatory quantity of dicing with death and miraculous escape. Oh, and a romantic sub-plot is thrown if for good measure.
In other words The Last Templar offers nothing new. Accepting that the question remains however, is it any good? The answer is, yes. As far as this sort of genre novel goes its not a bad effort. Its fast paced, the plot is sound, with no gaping holes, and the characters are just about rounded enough to make the reader believe in and where appropriate care about them. The suspension of disbelief is required in places, especially the opening scene where knights charge out of Central Park and into a New York museum, but isn't hard to achieve with the way the book is written. The whole thing is also short and tight, with no flab to distract or bore the reader.
Overall then The Last Templar is a perfectly servicable disposable read. It will not win any awards for originality or style, but in a market flooded with Da Vinci code-style adventures it is does have the distinction of being both readable and entertaining.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By S. Mazumder on 9 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
In Raymond Khoury's 'The Last Templar' we begin with an exciting armed robbery of a Vatican exhibition at the Met in New York, by four horseman dressed as knights. An unusual start, but sets the tone for an entertaining book.
In the story we follow historian Tess Chayki and FBI agent Reilly as they are on a quest to find the thieves. But they become involved in something that is much more important than a mere robbery, but something that will shake the Vatican's foundations.
The story is a novel one, but nothing too surprising with conspiracy stories that are around these days. I did enjoy the mixture of the crime story set with a historical backdrop. And the flashbacks to olden times with the Knights Templar themselves in action was enjoyable. The story does lose pace a little towards the end and becomes more of a love story than an adventure chase.
But I enjoyed this, and would recommend it as a fun read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ward on 26 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
It's fairly obvious that this is a book that excites widely different opinions. In my view it is neither as brilliant as some claim, nor is it anything like as dire as others assert. It's a novel, so be prepared to suspend belief. The basic premise of the plot is nothing new, that the Templars treasure was/is mystical and not monetary. Some of the events do stretch credulity, but nowhere near as much as Dan Brown's helicopter escape in Angels and Demons. It is enjoyable hokum, well written in parts, but no artistic masterpiece. There are other, better time-shifting novels out there, but this is harmless enough and a good way to pass a few quiet winter's evenings. Look elsewhere though for a more erudite, deeper historical, mystical novel.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By BR on 1 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
The brief description of the book sounded fascinating - four templar knights perform an audacious robbery and put into motion a dangerous treasure hunt.
I bought this book after seeing being recommended it because I had read the Da Vinci Code.
The stlye is similar to Dan Brown's book. This means small frequent chapters, and a Catholic church storyline. There the similarity ends however as this book has better character development and a stronger, better thought through storyline.
Yes, some areas of the book do require you to suspend your disbelief, but as the book is meant to be fiction, surely the author is allowed some artistic licence!
The book style, which switched from current day to the 13th century was perfect for this story, and was one of the things I liked most about the book, although I would have preferred to have had more of the old sections. The author fits them in very well together and the older sections explain how and why the modern day people are doing what they are doing.
My one criticism would be that for me the book ended somewhat prematurely (it's hard to say why without giving the plot away), and I thought the last section would be filler, however despite my disappointment the last section of the book still kept me captivated.
For me this book gets 4 stars. It lost out on the five stars due to the premature ending, and the fact I would have liked more of the 13th century storyline. No great problems however, which is why I now await Mr Khoudry's next book with great interest.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Aug. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Another author I have not read before. I know that the author is a screenwriter, whose current credits include the BBC spy thriller, Spooks. I am not sure if this is his first novel, but anyway thank goodness for new authors, particularly when they can write books as good as this one.

The year is 1291, a lonely ship sets sail from the harbour of Acre. On board is a small party of Templar Knights and a bound chest that has been entrusted to them by the Order's Grand Master. They are leaving a city in flames, and under the onslaught of the Sultan's men. The ship vanishes from the face of the earth . . .

The time moves swiftly forward to present day America. At the Metropolitan Museum in New York, four mounted men dressed in the old fashioned garb of Knights Templars make a savage attack at an exhibition of Vatican treasures and escape with a medieval decoder.

This is the beginning of the story that will take an FBI agent and a female archaeologist half way round the world in an attempt to solve a centuries old mystery, while at the same time trying to stay alive . . .

If you like this type of book and there are a few about, not to mention the Da Vinci Code. This is one of the better ones. An entertaining and enjoyable read.
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