Simon Toyne has written the first in his trilogy, "Sanctus." (Harper, 575 pages.)
The plot centers around a secretive order of monks who inhabit a cloister perched on the mountain known as the Citadel situated above the Turkish city of Ruin.
Within this ancient fortress, an elite group of monks, the Sancti, guard the precious Sacrament.
But the secret world of this monastery is shattered when one of their order escapes his cell and flings himself off of the mountain top in a grotesque imitation of the cross.
The monk, Brother Samuel, was the brother of an American reporter, Liv Adamsen, who finds herself embroiled in a dangerous conspiracy which threatens to shatter the very roots of Judeo-Christianity.
Toyne's "Sanctus" is a theological thriller very much in the tradition of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code," and both build on the theme of a very chauvinistic church. To be fair to Mr. Toyne, the book of Genesis has fostered misogyny.
The publisher has included in this paperback edition a preview of the second installment of this trilogy, "The Key."