“The Templar Legacy”, by Steve Berry

I really like it when I “discover” an established series because that means I can add several more books to my reading list. I was recently trolling a best seller list for reading ideas and “The 14th Colony” by Steve Berry caught my eye. It’s the eleventh book in the Cotton Malone series. I don’t like to jump into the middle of a series, so I decided to check out the first book, “The Templar Legacy”.

I enjoyed “The Templar Legacy”, although it wasn’t the kind of book that I couldn’t put down. The plot revolves around the Knights Templar and an ancient treasure and secret that’s been hidden away since the Knights Templar were mostly wiped out in the early 1300s. But what if some Templars still exist and they are close to finding this lost secret that could challenge the church hierarchy that was responsible for their brutal, near demise centuries ago? The author skillfully blends fact and fiction to create an entertaining treasure hunt that is full of challenging puzzles, interesting history and surprising plot twists.

Joining in this treasure hunt is Cotton Malone, a retired US operative who now owns a bookstore in Copenhagen. He has a chance encounter with a former boss and the two embark on a quest to solve this puzzle, pulling several other characters into the fray, as well. It becomes a race against the Templars. Who will get there first and what will they find?

While the story line was good, the character development was a little unsatisfying. Specifically, I didn’t get a good feel for what Cotton was all about. He seemed somewhat one-dimensional, which is interesting since he’s the main character of at least ten more books. Maybe it’s the author’s intent to develop the character throughout the course of several books. I plan to find out because I will be reading more books in this series. Overall, a good read.

(PS – I want to add a warning that the book has some content about Christianity that some people may take exception to. Remember, it’s a work of fiction.)

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