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The Last Templar [Paperback]

Raymond Khoury
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Feb 2010

1291 AD, Acre. As the city burns under the onslaught of the Sultan's men, the Falcon Temple sets sail, carrying a small band of knights and a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's Grand Master. But the ship vanishes without a trace...

Present day New York. At the Metropolitan Museum, four horsemen dressed as Knights Templar storm the gala opening of an exhibition of Vatican treasures and, in a brutal and bloody attack, steal an arcane medieval decoder.

For FBI agent Sean Reilly and archaeologist Tess Chaykin this is just the start of a deadly game of cat and mouse as they race across three continents in search of the ruthless killers - and a centuries-old mystery...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (4 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409118568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409118565
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,441 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


All the makings of a blockbuster here, in the book charts and on the screen. (SUNDAY SPORT)

fascinating... vivid and poignant (REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE)

'brilliant plotting... fast-paced fascinating... thought provoking, and the journey, both physical and emotional, undertaken by the main protagonists in discovering it is truly page-turning stuff. (CRIMESQUAD)

a good fast read that will make an afternoon in front of the fire fly by (DEADLY PLEASURES) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A secret lost for a thousand years. A deadly race to keep it buried...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Derivative but entertaining 1 Aug 2005
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 9 Nov 2005
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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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 1 Mar 2006
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspend belief all ye who enter.... 26 Jan 2006
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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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Secret that Should Stay Hidden? 13 Aug 2006
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Dan Brown
Arrived in time and well packaged etc and was what I ordered so also what I expected. Bought this on the recommendation of a friend, as I have never read Khoury before. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Helena Handcart
1.0 out of 5 stars The Last ... time I choose this author!
Although the women are all beautiful and the men all handsome and slightly damaged, this story had a promising start. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Plinkyplonkywinkywonkydonkey
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hunt for Templar Secrets
This is a novel built around a very plausible suggestion of what led to the rise and fall of the Templar's. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lee Hanley
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of mystery
Abridged version. A great mix of "history", conspiracy theory and fiction, or maybe all fiction, that's for the reader to decide.
Published 5 months ago by Peter Joiner
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong opening which the rest of the book doesn't live up to
Four men dressed as medieval Knights Templar perform a spectacular heist at an exhibition of Vatican-owned treasures in New York, making off with an old artefact that looks like a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by N. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book and the twists and turns
The weaving of fact and fiction is very crediable. I enjoyed the book as it takes you by the hand and leads you all over the place in history and the present. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Chris Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad!
Easy reading, bit Dan Brown. I loved the storyline because the Crusades really interest me. Sometimes a little stereotypical but that can be forgiven, as it doesn't pretend to be a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by LouLaBelle
4.0 out of 5 stars A realy enjoyable read with a good ending
This is an exciting read and keeps up interest by jumping from period to period. The main characters are all like able except the baddies who are very unlikable so all is as it... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Crauford G A Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars The last Templar
Great read,hard to put down as soon you start reading. Can not wait for the next book to come out.
Published 13 months ago by Roger Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars The last templar
Enjoyable read, entertaining and keeps you reading. Limited attachment to the characters noticed. Well written though, worth the money. Thanks!!
Published 13 months ago by Thomas bevan
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