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Vatican Knights

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A Fine, Engrossing, Timely and Fascinating First Novel!

Richard L. Jones may be a first-time writer but his experience in having a degree in English coupled with his career in law enforcement (more particularly with Homeland Security) serves him well in this spellbinding journey through the possibilities of terrorism from cl...
Richard L. Jones may be a first-time writer but his experience in having a degree in English coupled with his career in law enforcement (more particularly with Homeland Security) serves him well in this spellbinding journey through the possibilities of terrorism from clandestine sources. Yes, there are areas in this first novel where more polish is needed, but there are few first novelists who escape those pitfalls: it usually takes an audience response to uncover what perhaps an editor missed.THE VATICAN KNIGHTS is a tightly woven, non-linear, multi-location, varied viewpoints version of a tale of intrigue, and Jones wraps these sundry aspects of his story that takes place in a few days in September in such a way that it feels like reading current events, so well described and informed is he on the logistics of the background of his story. There are various groups - the Soldiers of Islam, the Omega Team or Force Elite, and the Vatican Knights - each sponsored by different factions surrounding the successful plot to kidnap the Pope for the purpose of starting an illegal war against the Arab nations in which the United States, Russia, Israel, and Venezuela can benefit from the power that oil renders. But it is not only a plot in which the White House is threatened by the kidnapping of the Pope (leader of the Christian world) on US soil, but the stance of the Islamic nations and the Israeli commandos and the demands placed on his release, and the involvement of the Vatican in the protection of the Pope. Three major groups of terrorists, one of which happens to be sanctioned by the White House, each with members with code names that make the reader dizzy trying to remember which person goes with which name - until the discovery by the reader that the driving point of this enigma is what makes the suspense work so well! There is, of course, an agent from the US government, one Shari Cohen, who is a powerful riddle solver in terrorist activities and there is also another humanistic approach in the presence of one Kimball Hayden, a powerful superhero type with a dark past for which he is seeking redemption by affiliating with the Vatican. Mix all this together with some rather grueling murders and assasinations and grisly details of hostage treatment and night-shadowed intrigue and the result is a novel that defies being a fast read.Jones has the storytelling gift and the rich background in Security work to embellish his tale in a way that it feels terse and correct. The way he manages to place character development with plot development shows fine skill: one can easily see this rather controversial look at the White House derring-do could make a terrific movie. But for now it is a very good book for anyone who loves fast-paced writing and intrigue. Hats off to a new talent!

posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Vatican Knights....a cliff hanger

Vatican Knights kept me guessing through an interesting set of plot turns. However it did seem a bit contrived.

posted by Anonymous on August 28, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2006

    A Fine, Engrossing, Timely and Fascinating First Novel!

    Richard L. Jones may be a first-time writer but his experience in having a degree in English coupled with his career in law enforcement (more particularly with Homeland Security) serves him well in this spellbinding journey through the possibilities of terrorism from clandestine sources. Yes, there are areas in this first novel where more polish is needed, but there are few first novelists who escape those pitfalls: it usually takes an audience response to uncover what perhaps an editor missed.THE VATICAN KNIGHTS is a tightly woven, non-linear, multi-location, varied viewpoints version of a tale of intrigue, and Jones wraps these sundry aspects of his story that takes place in a few days in September in such a way that it feels like reading current events, so well described and informed is he on the logistics of the background of his story. There are various groups - the Soldiers of Islam, the Omega Team or Force Elite, and the Vatican Knights - each sponsored by different factions surrounding the successful plot to kidnap the Pope for the purpose of starting an illegal war against the Arab nations in which the United States, Russia, Israel, and Venezuela can benefit from the power that oil renders. But it is not only a plot in which the White House is threatened by the kidnapping of the Pope (leader of the Christian world) on US soil, but the stance of the Islamic nations and the Israeli commandos and the demands placed on his release, and the involvement of the Vatican in the protection of the Pope. Three major groups of terrorists, one of which happens to be sanctioned by the White House, each with members with code names that make the reader dizzy trying to remember which person goes with which name - until the discovery by the reader that the driving point of this enigma is what makes the suspense work so well! There is, of course, an agent from the US government, one Shari Cohen, who is a powerful riddle solver in terrorist activities and there is also another humanistic approach in the presence of one Kimball Hayden, a powerful superhero type with a dark past for which he is seeking redemption by affiliating with the Vatican. Mix all this together with some rather grueling murders and assasinations and grisly details of hostage treatment and night-shadowed intrigue and the result is a novel that defies being a fast read.Jones has the storytelling gift and the rich background in Security work to embellish his tale in a way that it feels terse and correct. The way he manages to place character development with plot development shows fine skill: one can easily see this rather controversial look at the White House derring-do could make a terrific movie. But for now it is a very good book for anyone who loves fast-paced writing and intrigue. Hats off to a new talent!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Linda Harlan for Readers Favorite Enthralling. Intr

    Reviewed by Linda Harlan for Readers Favorite

    Enthralling. Intriguing. Suspenseful. These are only a few of the words that I can think of to describe this book. "The Vatican Knights" is one of those pieces of literature that captures your attention immediately and carries you through to the very end. I found it to be a very compelling story. With a time line of only a few days in September, Mr. Jones takes you at a fast pace through many locations and scenarios that could be ripped out of current headlines. The plot centers around a terrorist group calling itself the Soldiers of Islam who kidnap the Pope and several members of the Holy See on U.S. grounds in the hopes of starting a war against Arab nations. However, this action brings in the secret team of commandos known as the Vatican Knights and known only to the Pope and a select group in the Vatican. Their purpose is to find the Pope and bring him home safely. Enter Shari Cohen, a seasoned FBI negotiator. While the FBI is only concerned about how this situation makes the United States look, Ms. Cohen is more concerned about finding the Pontiff alive and well. The evidence doesn’t add up and she begins to dig deeper. As she digs, she doesn’t realize that she is putting her own life in danger from those whose sole purpose is to deceive and destroy. In the end she understands the Vatican Knights' verbiage of “Loyalty above all else, except Honor.”

    I found this book to be a very entertaining story. With the situation in the world as it is today, these events seem very plausible which makes the story even more interesting. Some scenes were far-fetched but if you really look at what is going on in the Middle East, it is not too hard to see some of the events actually happening in the future. Although there were some grammatical errors that should have been caught in the final editing, I think the book is well worth the read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    I enjoyed this book very much. Kept me interested from the begin

    I enjoyed this book very much. Kept me interested from the beginning. Learned a lot about the Catholic church. Would recommend. I liked it well enough to order the remaining in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    great

    good story line. easy reading very suspensive

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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