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Betrayals, secret societies, the quest for an ancient artifact of great religious significance-all the familiar elements of countless Dan Brown imitations are on display with limited dramatic effect in Bronleewe's second thriller to feature New York City rare book dealer August Adams (after 2007's Illuminated). Out of the blue, August's estranged father sends August the legendary 12th-century Gospels of Henry the Lion, instantly placing the bookseller and those near and dear to him in the sights of a shadowy and vicious group known as the Black Vehm. Expository passages about lost treasure, secrets buried in the Antarctic ice and the Nazis' search for the Holy Lance alternate with scenes of shoot-outs, stabbings and bludgeonings. Readers may struggle to empathize with the cartoonish characters, like August's terrified young son, who, with agents of the Black Vehm in hot pursuit, worries he'll die before learning what his grandfather meant by the expression "spring chicken." (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.