Simon Toyne graduated from Goldsmiths College in London with a degree in English and Drama then worked in television for almost twenty years before becoming a novelist. SANCTUS is his first book and also the first volume of the Ruin trilogy. You can find out more at www.simontoyne.net
In British author Toyne's stellar first in a projected trilogy, a thriller in the Dan Brown tradition, an ancient sect of monks who live in the Citadel, a church carved out of a mountain near the fictional Turkish city of Ruin, have been protecting a secret, "the Sacrament," since before the Christian era. A monk who knows the secret, Brother Samuel, escapes from the Citadel and throws himself off the mountain in full view of spectators and news crews. Later, American newspaper reporter Liv Adamsen learns that her phone number, carved into a small leather strap, has been found inside Samuel's stomach. The monk turns out to be her brother, whom she hasn't seen in years, so Liv travels to Ruin to try to solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. She and several other groups battle the deadly monks, who will stop at nothing to thwart their efforts to discover the Sacrament's secret. The truly mind-boggling revelation will leave astounded readers eager for the next installment. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A cassocked monk stands on a mountaintop in modern-day Turkey above the fictional city of Ruin. Arms outstretched, he forms a tau, the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. Having climbed from within a cloistered Vatican-like city-state called the Citadel, he is a remarkable sight, attracting media attention as he deliberately plummets outside the Citadel's walls. To some, this event portends a prophetic sequence, but the ensuing investigation brings unwanted scrutiny upon the secretive order. What message was this monk delivering.and to whom? When his journalist sister arrives to claim the body, she unwittingly becomes enmeshed in intrigue befitting an action thriller. The monks are hiding something in the Citadel, and they will go to any length to protect it. VERDICT Throwing his hat in with the religious conspiracy thriller crowd, former British -television producer Toyne has written a well-developed, exciting debut, the first volume of a projected trilogy, that doesn't tip off the ending midnovel like so many of its kind. Its "just one more page, one more chapter" urgency keeps you reading into the night, and the final revelation of the Citadel's secret is haunting. [100,000-copy first printing; rights sold in 27 countries; see Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]-Laura A.B. Cifelli, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
'A fast moving, thoroughly enjoyable, adventure - plenty of action, plenty of intrigue and a wonderfully imaginative reinterpretation of a slice of religious history. The sort of novel to devour in one sitting' KATE MOSSE
'A cool, confident debut ... A talented new writer who instinctively grasps the broad rules of superior action thrillers and adapts them with pace, grace, humour and a keen eye for cinematic effect' DAILY TELEGRAPH
'In this thriller Toyne creates an intriguing and engaging centrepiece in The Citadel ... Relentless pace ... An exciting and interesting read. I look forward to returning to Ruin, where there are plenty of stories waiting to be told' THE SUN
'High concept, debut conspiracy thrillers don't come with higher expectations than this. Hard to think of it as a debut, better to think of it as the beginning of a massive new adventure, and a so-long to Dan Brown' MIRROR