The Templar Succession: A Novel
by K.R. Eckert
John E. Roper

"He pumped three shots out of his pistol. One of them ricocheted off the wall, while the other two slammed into the rapidly closing door. His new adversary was still hiding in the tunnel."

For a brief period in history the Knights Templar were superstars. Like with so many celebrities, their fame brought them enormous wealth and influence. But power can also foster fear and jealousy, and public opinion, always a fickle animal, can easily be swayed with the proper timing and manipulation. After many of its members had been tortured and forced to confess to what even in medieval times seemed to be ludicrous lies, the order was officially disbanded in 1312 by Pope Clement V. However, legends quickly began to circulate about what had happened to the Knights' tremendous wealth. In his engaging and highly entertaining thriller, the author offers up an intriguing scenario about the possible destiny of their treasure.

The book begins with Benjamin Franklin as an old man ensuring that a secret trunk containing a portion of the gems, coins, and artifacts along with a leather-bound ledger ends up in the hands of fellow Freemason, Thomas Fennimore. The story then briefly follows that specific trunk, one of eight, through time until it disappears during the Civil War in a Washington warehouse. But clues about the Templars' riches coming to America have leaked out, putting into motion a race to find the chests by private individuals, the FBI, and a powerful, secret society with an agenda they are more than willing to kill for.

Like most thrillers, Eckert's book sees its protagonists travelling the globe and facing various dangers along the way in their quest for answers. And, like with so many books in the genre, the ending may come as a surprise to many readers. The author has done a good job of blending action, suspense, and historical speculation in a thought-provoking package. Fast-paced and enjoyable, Eckert's novel is a fresh look at an old legend.

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