The Secret Crown

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Overview

From the mountains of Bavaria to the secret tunnels under King Ludwig II's castles, no one is safe when they search for the Secret Crown.

Hidden among the crates in a recently discovered World War II bunker are documents stamped with an elaborate black swan, the insignia of the murdered King Ludwig II. According to legend, Ludwig stockpiled a massive treasure in the years before his death, a cache of gold and jewels that would finance the construction of the largest castle of ...

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The Secret Crown

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Overview

From the mountains of Bavaria to the secret tunnels under King Ludwig II's castles, no one is safe when they search for the Secret Crown.

Hidden among the crates in a recently discovered World War II bunker are documents stamped with an elaborate black swan, the insignia of the murdered King Ludwig II. According to legend, Ludwig stockpiled a massive treasure in the years before his death, a cache of gold and jewels that would finance the construction of the largest castle of all time. But in the years since his death, no one has found any evidence that Ludwig had hidden anything. Until now.

Jonathon Payne and David Jones are pulled into the mystery by a colleague of theirs, a former supply sergeant in the U.S. military who asks them to investigate. They agree to help and quickly find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to uncover the truth about Ludwig's murder and his mythical treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kuzneski’s lightweight sixth contemporary thriller featuring former Special Forces pals Jonathon Payne and David Jones (after 2010’s The Prophecy) takes the bantering duo to Bavaria, where they get on the trail of a hidden treasure belonging to Ludwig II, the eccentric 19th-century Bavarian monarch popularly known as Mad King Ludwig, who died mysteriously at age 40. A bad guy, Hans Mueller, also seeks the treasure, and a pretty young woman who works for a government ministry that oversees all the castles in Bavaria serves largely as the butt for sex jokes from the guys when they aren’t making fun of each other’s manhood. Kuzneski is good at parceling out interesting historical details, but it’s pretty much a stroll through a Bavarian theme park for Payne and Jones, who barely break a sweat while dispatching evildoers. Fans of sophomoric humor will be most rewarded. Agent: Scott Miller at Trident Media. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
In Kuzneski's latest (The Prophecy, 2010, etc.), series heroes Payne and Jones chase Mad King Ludwig's mad money. It's a legendary stash, hidden away somewhere in one of his many castles. Ludwig II, a king who loved building castles, built them beautifully and, in fact, was planning a masterwork when person or persons unknown put an end to him and it. But that was the treasure's reason for being, to finance a dream, the tall and turreted Ludwig legacy. Mid-19th-century Bavarians, however, taxed to the max and in effect captive patrons, had by now grown out of sympathy with their monarch's artistry. Many among them were convinced he was crazy—evidence abounded—while others wondered if the treasure actually existed. Had Ludwig really spent the years amassing jeweled baubles and golden what-nots convertible into cash once his ducks were in a row? Or was it all a case of castle-building in the air? Enter Payne and Jones on cue. Jon Payne and David Jones are ex–Special Forces warriors who retired young and often wish they hadn't. Classic adrenaline junkies, they miss the thrill of being shot at, and both readily cop to never having felt so alive as when, on one battlefield or another, death breathed down their necks. An old army buddy calls, informs them that another former colleague is in difficulties related to the Ludwig story. Can they rally round, drop everything, join in a quest? He has them at Mad King. Off to Bavaria they go, eager for anything that might involve a fire-fight. But Payne, Jones and company are not by any means the only treasure seekers tramping the Bavarian mountains. There are trigger-happy bad guys galore and a nice girl named Heidi with whom the boys can flirt when not filling body bags. Formulaic, but clearly Kuzneski's audience is content to have it so. Still, some of that dialogue is gratingly corny.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399157455
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/12/2012
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Kuzneski

Chris Kuzneski is the internationally bestselling author of the acclaimed thrillers The Prophecy, The Lost Throne, Sword of God, Sign of the Cross, and The Plantation. Originally from Indiana, Pennsylvania, he now lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    highly recommended!

    Knowing the characters, the story is the most exciting to follow..
    looking forward for the next book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Good Read

    The gang are up to it again. So many twists and turns, you just dont know what will happen next....can't wait for the next installment!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    I love this guy!

    I've read all the Payne/Jones stories and I'm waiting for the next ones to be available. His stories are snappy and quick and totally entertaining. I think there is one out there that's only available in Great Britain for some reason, but I'll be patient. Keep 'em coming Chris!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Great read

    Another great one. Fast paced, lots of action, interesting historical twist.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2013

    Action is gripping and it's fast moving.

    Really enjoyed this book....it's action is gripping and a great thriller.

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another great read

    I'd read another Kuzneski and was impressed by the detail and written form. There is no doubt he has a great creative mind and it does carry through with this novel. I am reading this book with my Online Nook.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Loved it

    Another great one!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 30, 2012

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    Posted June 24, 2012

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    Posted February 3, 2012

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