Palov's tepid sequel to Ark of Fire recycles pretty much every Da Vinci Code trope invented by Dan Brown and expanded on by his scores of followers. Archeologist Jason Lovett, who's been researching the Templars, collars English historian Caedmon Aisquith and his girlfriend, photographer Edie Miller, at the House of the Temple, the Freemason's Washington, D.C., headquarters, where Caedmon is lecturing on the Ark of the Covenant's origins. After announcing he knows the Ark's location, Lovett falls dead, an ornate dagger in his back. Thus begins a lengthy chase with Caedmon and Edie never more than a step ahead of their deadly pursuer, Saviour Panos, who serves the mysterious Mercurius. The couple escape Panos's assassination attempts mostly by dumb luck as they stumble their way toward a relic of enormous power, the Emerald Tablet. Readers who can't get enough of this subgenre may be able to overlook the stilted prose and lame plotting. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.