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3.4 out of 5 stars45
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 January 2012
I am very interested in this era and the subject matter I find endlessly fascinating. However, this book was probably one of the most tedious I have ever read. It's had virtually no story line, limited connections to the the Cathars and the most appalling ending. This was so sudden that I thought I had an incomplete download. Could not recommend it from any point of view .
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on 19 January 2012
Although I am fascinated with the subject matter and the setting of this book, it did not grab me at all...the writing is not very dynamic and certain passages took me back to marking pupils' essays.....I was very disappointed, especially as this was my first Kindle experience. It is not often that I give up on a book, but I was not engaged by the characters at all.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 December 2015
I had never heard of The Cathars before so, in addition to being a fantastic story, this was a really interesting history lesson for me. It did take me a few chapters to really get into the book as there were a lot of different characters introduced at first, but once I got into the story I couldn’t wait to pick it up each evening for another instalment.

Philip Sinclair inherits his Grandmother’s house when she passes away, along with a letter requesting that he travel to the ancient Cathar stronghold le Bezu to find some scrolls that his ancestor had hidden in the castle. Philip is also given a diary belonging to his ancestor, Phillipe de Sainte Claire, which his Grandmother has translated into English. This is his key to finding out where the scrolls have been hidden.

When he gets to France, he finds that a team of archaeologists have started excavating le Bezu and his interest in the site makes him anything but welcome. Then one of the team is discovered dead on the site and a murder investigation gets underway with Philip being one of the main suspects. Unbeknown to the police there are lots of other suspects, some even hidden amongst the archaeology team. Nobody is who they seem.

I've always dreamt of being an archaeologist so I loved the character of Jacqueline Blontard. Jackie is an archaeologist who has her own series on TV France where viewers can follow her current project. She has come to le Bezu to excavate the Cathar stronghold and to my absolute delight le Bezu is a real place. I even found that when I googled it, I had drawn an imaginary picture in my mind that was pretty close to fact – thanks to the vivid scene that was set by Michael Hillier’s amazingly descriptive writing.

This really is an excellent book reminiscent of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels. There are so many different people trying to get their hands on the treasure that you don't know who to trust. I even had goosebumps at the ending, and like the Da Vinci Code it certainly made me think 'hmmm, maybe...'. If you enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, you will enjoy The Secret of The Cathars - it's perhaps not as 'Hollywood' as Dan Brown but it's an absolutely riveting read.

I received this book from Authoright PR in exchange for an honest review.
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on 12 July 2013
A Kindle find I did not know the author. I did enjoy The Secret Of The Cathars but wished it had not been what seemed to me, such a short rushed ending! I liked the idea of the limited discussion about how Christianity would have been affected if the Cathar's secret became known to all. I won't elaborate on the secret, as I wouldn't wish to spoil the story.
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on 9 February 2016
The authors note at the beginning of his book is extremely interesting, it is informative and helpful to the understanding of the main topic of the novel.

Philip Sinclair is summoned to Smyth and Baker Solicitors to find out that his Grandmother has recently passed away and named him as her heir.

He also discovers that she has left him quite a considerable amount of money, her very large house and a task.

The task is a treasure hunt, and the treasure is the 'lost' Cathar treasure. Obviously he isn't the only one searching for this treasure, Andre Jolyan and Jacqueline, a well known archaeologist is also on the trail.

I enjoyed the setting of this book, the Languedoc region sounds just perfect, and the fascinating history of the Cathars is one I have read about in a number of novels, this book is predominantly about Philip and his mission.

There are a lot of characters, and the plot progresses at a steady pace.

I loved it,
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on 1 February 2016
I'm interested in the history of the Cathars so was looking forward to reading this novel. It took a while for it to get going, there were a lot of characters that all appeared over a few chapters. I had to keep reading back to get an understanding of who each one was and what they wanted. I persevered though and quite enjoyed it. The actual story isn't that strong but it was engaging. It's one that I would probably enjoy more on a second read.

With thanks to Authoright for the copy received.
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on 1 December 2013
Disappointed with this as it didn't grip me at all. Too many characters being introduced early on as central characters so became confused.
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on 12 September 2013
All right on a rainy day, a bit too obvious. The characters were a bit one dimensional, I didn't like the rush to tie up the loose ends.
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on 8 November 2012
The Secret of the Cathars If you are interested in the 'Cathars', 'Knights of St.John' and Languedoc Roussillon this may add to your knowledge. Depth of story line ... shallow. Depth of characters ... shallow. Very disappointed with the character profiles. Too many "happy" coincidences in the lives of the characters to make the plot work. Maybe Mr Hillier is under contract to churn out a given number of books and has forsaken his talent for ...
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on 29 June 2012
'Secret' and 'Cathars' are target words I would enter in a search, which is how I found this book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I found the author's ideas about the Cathars (and their secrets) interesting and believable. He has obviously undertaken a good deal of research. However the characters were not quite vivid enough and at certain points in the plot I became confused (this might be my fault!) I felt that the story could have been developed further.
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