By REGINA M. ANGELI
Simon Toyne has penned the second chapter in his thrilling trilogy which began with "Sanctus" and continues in "The Key." (William Morrow, 433 pages)
"Sanctus," the first chapter, dealt with an older, heretical version of the Book of Genesis. "The Key" proposes another prophecy relating to the Apocalypse or the Book of Revelation.
American investigative reporter Liv Adamsen has narrowly escaped being killed in the strange monastery perched on the mountain known as the Citadel near the ancient Turkish city of Ruin.
While she is in the hospital recovering from her ordeal, there is something very ominous happening in the ancient monastery on the Citadel. A strange blight has infected the trees in the Citadel's garden.
This mysterious infection is also killing the monks.
At the Vatican, there is a desperate race to find a hidden stash of "gold" in the Syrian desert as a financially strapped Church tries to keep afloat.
Continuing with the theme of an older, heretical scripture, the novel centers around a cryptic prophecy concerning the last days which reveals:
.The Key must follow the Starmap Home
There to quench the fire of the dragon within the full phase of a moon
Lest the Key shalt perish, the Earth shalt splinter and
a blight shalt prosper, marking the end of all days.
While the Vatican is trying to find a hidden stash of "gold" in the Iraqi desert, Liv Adamsen and her companion Gabriel Mann are in one desperate race of their own; and one which has far more ominous consequences, as they strive to prevent the ultimate cataclysm - the end of the world.
While this is fiction, Toyne does employ an interesting summary of the nefarious dealings involving the Vatican Bank, including the mysterious death of the man dubbed "God's banker," Roberto Calvi.
Having tackled the Alpha and Omega of Scripture - Genesis and Revelation - it will be interesting to see how Toyne completes his unholy trilogy.
"The Key" is set for release on June 19th, 2012.