An excess of pedantry slows down this English author's 30th novel, an uneasy mix of medieval legend and history starring the learned, timid archeologist Arnold Landon, who digs 600 years into the past to unearth the identity and motivation of a present-day murderer. Seen last in Bloodeagle, Landon and bookstore owner/novelist Jane Wilson set out in search of the legendary treasure of the 14th-century Knights Templar in Northumbria, where Landon will escape from someone armed with a pickaxe through a tunnel once used by a contingent of Knights on the run from France's Phillipe IV. Landon once again crosses paths with dyspeptic Detective Chief Inspector John Culpeper, here investigating the murder of a wheeler-dealer politician who, as grand master of the occult Order of Sangreal, had an interest of his own in the Templars. Other players include librarian Con Burnley, deputy grand master and zealous guardian of the order's secrets, and a taciturn former Scots Guard who claims to know the full history of the wealthy, powerful soldier-monks and perhaps the fate of their treasure. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995 Release date: 01/01/1995 Genre: Fiction
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