As the crusader era ends, Templar Sergeant Brim Hastings must free his imprisoned brethren by surrendering the heretical scroll that has enabled their two-hundred-year leverage over the Roman Catholic Church. After escaping his order's persecution, and having the role of savior thrust upon him, he and Cypriot apprentice tanner Shayla Kostas discover the boundaries between good and evil are not where they'd thought.
Seven centuries later, Rick Lambert's investigation into Christian priest abductions in Iraq grows in scope after he's given a cryptic Roman gaming stone. As he learns of the motive for recent Templar preceptory demolitions throughout France, he and his team must prevent religious extremists from shattering Christianity by winning the race to rediscover the Vectis Templi—the Lever of the Temple.
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A well-written, exciting historical fiction/contemporary mixture adventure In the early 14th century, young Brim Hastings is thrown into the middle of religious machinations between the Catholic church and his own Christian brotherhood the Temple of Solomon. Over 700 years later, Brim’s actions start a series of murders in Iraq that Rick Lambert is investigating. Intelligence from the Vatican leads Rick and his odd team on a treasure hunt without a traditional map. A cult of mercenaries is on their tail, as they travel to Kolossi and a small Island just off Cyprus. Lever Templar is two books for the price of one. Brim Hastings story is well researched and competently written. I must applaud the detail of the different religious factions and their hierarchy, different locales and countries, and modes of travel and dress. You feel you are right there in those times. Rick Lambert’s present-day story of US agencies, jurisdictional issues, modern technology and warfare equipment is similarly comprehensive, but with the faster modern-day pacing. With so much information to digest, I did find the historical story slower going at first. Unfortunately, the characters felt more two-dimensional than their surroundings. In fact, their appearance was barely, if at all, described, which left the reader to fill in the gaps. I imagined Malcolm and Brim as Sean Connery and Christian Slater from The Name of the Rose; while the humour of the explosives experts in the present reminded me of the Weasley twins from Harry Potter. The thoughts expressed tended to be informational or problem solving, rather than emotional, giving the reader a jolt when sudden emotional connections in both eras become apparent. Having said that, I was happy to read a male author who can write competent women in two different eras. My complaint being there were not enough of them. Lever Templar is a novel that will please the historical fiction lover, while still providing enough to make the action reader happy and satisfy the mystery reader. There is some nice tying up of loose ends to polish the whole thing off. You won’t regret adding Lever Templar to your collection.