The Marks of Cain

( 32 )

Overview

An audacious and terrifying new thriller from the author of the international bestseller The Genesis Secret.

When David Martinez receives an ancient map from his dying grandfather, he is led into the heart of the Basque mountains, where a genetic curse lies buried- and a frightening secret about the Western world is hidden. Meanwhile, London journalist Simon Quinn is investigating two violent murders. Both victims had once been interned in a ...

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The Marks of Cain: A Novel

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Overview

An audacious and terrifying new thriller from the author of the international bestseller The Genesis Secret.

When David Martinez receives an ancient map from his dying grandfather, he is led into the heart of the Basque mountains, where a genetic curse lies buried- and a frightening secret about the Western world is hidden. Meanwhile, London journalist Simon Quinn is investigating two violent murders. Both victims had once been interned in a top-secret Nazi camp-and both came from the Basque region.

With The Marks of Cain, Tom Knox (The Lost Goddess) delivers on the promise of his astonishing debut novel, crafting a terrifying and even more ambitious thriller that delves into the shocking truth of what drives human beings to violence, genocide, and war.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two strangers, American David Martinez and Englishman Simon Quinn, become involved in two apparently unconnected strands of what's revealed as one unified conspiracy in Knox's problematic second thriller, which like his first, Genesis, casts recent human evolution in an unorthodox light. At the urging of his late grandfather, Martinez sets out to learn his family's true history, while Quinn looks into a series of brutal murders involving victims connected to the Basque regions of Spain and France. Both men find answers in the tumultuous history of the Pyrenees and Namibia, answers with implications so terrible that the Catholic Church is willing to conspire with a murderous Basque terrorist to conceal them. Repeated violent confrontations with supposedly deadly assassins somehow never quite result in the protagonists' deaths. That Knox, the pseudonym of British journalist Sean Thomas, supplies a “rational” basis for the Nazi genocide may offend some readers. (May)
Library Journal
Knox (The Genesis Secret), a would-be Dan Brown, bangs out a jumbled man-on-the-run story. A mysterious map stirs up trouble for American David Martinez, while a British journalist investigates a series of gruesome murders. Basque terrorists, a mysterious woman, Nazi doctors, and radical Catholic conservatives come together in a stew with too many ingredients and not enough flavor. Verdict Buy if you've got the extra bucks, and recommend only to readers with strong stomachs.
Kirkus Reviews
An unattached London lawyer and company follow a strange map to a dark secret. After his grandfather died, David Martinez was finally as alone as he'd felt his entire life. He had no other family and knew nothing about his roots. But soon after the funeral, he receives some shocking news: His seemingly poor grandfather has left him $2 million and a strange map, on the condition that he travel to Basque Country to meet with a man named Jose Garovillo. After arriving, his attempts to locate Garovillo in a bar lead to a near-fatal encounter with an ETA terrorist named Miguel, but he is saved at the last minute by Amy Myerson, an attractive teacher who briefly dated Miguel before realizing he was a violent psychopath. Amy, a friend of Garovillo (who happens to be Miguel's father), arranges a meeting, where Garovillo informs David that David's grandfather was a Basque. He advises David to forget about the map, because . . . But before he can reveal more, Miguel arrives and begins to chase David and Amy all around Basque Country and beyond, as they ignore the old man's advice and follow the map. Meanwhile, Simon Quinn, a London-based freelance journalist, covers a series of murders that seem to have something to do with the Cagots, a long-persecuted and nearly extinct ethnic minority from Basque Country. His investigation puts him in contact with David and Amy, and together, facing danger at every turn, they must uncover a centuries-old and well-protected secret, the exposure of which could really muck things up for racial and ethnic harmony worldwide. In his debut novel, The Genesis Secret (2009), Knox (whose real name is Sean Thomas) crafted a few tensely atmospheric and absorbing opening chapters before a series of transparent advance-the-plot-at-all-costs coincidences irreparably sunk the narrative. The well-done atmospherics appear here (although in shorter patches, and less well-done), but so too do the lame shortcuts. Worse, the characters-especially David-are paper-thin, and the climax features a plot twist that most readers will have seen coming from way, way off. Weak and unpersuasive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594493495
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/26/2011
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Knox is the pseudonym for the journalist and writer Sean Thomas. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Enjoyable thriller read

    Im surprised at all the poor reviews of this novel- I found it to be an intriguing and entertaining read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Loved it

    Loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Read read read!!!!

    It was a little childish in the beginning, and i didnt care for how David trusted everyone so easy,overall it had a lot going on from the beginning to the end and it made you wanting to know how it ended.so i think it was not the best but still worth reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Horrible book. Felt likevthe author had a thesaurus besidehim an

    Horrible book. Felt likevthe author had a thesaurus besidehim and tried to use the most obscure words when a simple onewo yield have worked better. At times it felt as if the book had been written by two different people. The style was inconsistent and seemed childish at times.i, too was hopeful that this would be an intriguing read but was very disappointed.Really did not want to finish it but I hate not finishing a book.   but

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Not a Bad Read

    I thought it was a little weird, but was interesting enough to carry me thru to the end.

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    Very Disapointing

    Thanks for the history leasson. I never heard of Cagots, but now I have some idea about them. I really could have done without this, and I will never read another book by this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    Not a home-run -- More like a ground -rule double

    Mr. Knox's book was not nearly as interesting as his first novel. His first novel was very stimulating and had some very interesting historical insights. Marks of Cain was not nearly as engaging.

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent research, preposterous plot, juvenile dialogue

    The only good thing about this book was the author's apparent research. I had never heard of the Cagot before and I was so intrigued that I had to do some internet research of my own just to see how much of what the author said was actually true. The story of the Cagot, it turns out, is much more interesting than this novel which veers from preposterous to juvenile.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Started with a bang and ended with disapointment.

    This book was note great!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    Sadly, another disappointment

    I thought I would give poor Mr. Knox a second chance after the debacle that was his first novel, The Genesis Secret. Unfortunately, I was utterly disappointed. The characters are the same cornflakes and bran of his previous novel, just different occupations. The main character again ends up with the beautiful and magically helpful side kick. It seems that Mr. Knox has a development plan that he uses for his stories and rarely deviates. The premise again was interesting...genetic experiments. Mr. Knox also gives a fantastic alternative reason behind the Holocaust but the book gives you an interesting title and again attempts to wrap it all up in the last chapter. Not a very promising sophmore effort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews

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