Book Review – Sanctus

Through the power of social networking (thank-you Rachel Rayner (@thecrimedesk) and Twitter), I managed to get my hands on an advance reading copy of Simon Toyne’s Sanctus. And I’m glad I did. As ever, I have a half-dozen books in my ‘to read’ pile, and after having a quick read of the first chapter, this book jumped the queue.

Sanctus is Simon Toyne’s first novel – apparently the first in his Ruin (a fictional Turkish city) trilogy.

The theme is a religious conspiracy: a man using his death at the start of the book as the clue to unravelling an age-old religious mystery, the protagonist having to unlock clues whilst evading assassin monks. And the big reveal at the end is a shocking twist.

Sound familiar? Well, summarised like that, there’s no denying the thematic similarities with the Da Vinci code, but Sanctus is a very different book. Now don’t get me wrong – I loved the Da Vinci Code, but I loved Sanctus more. Probably helped by the fact that Toyne is a great writer.  Too often are books described as page turners, but this one really is. Characters are well-developed, without being ‘over-egged’ and chapters are short, averaging about 3 or 4 pages, which gives you an idea of how fast the story (and action) proceeds. And Toyne manages to weave explanatory text effortlessly into the story – a lesson that some well-established bestselling authors could do with learning!

HarperCollins blurb to the bookseller says Sanctus is their biggest Fiction launch of the year. They’ve made a good choice. I think we’ll be seeing Simon Toyne’s name on the bestseller list before long.


About djpaterson

Reader, Writer, Arithmeticer. Not always in that order.
This entry was posted in Books, Writers. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Book Review – Sanctus

  1. Pingback: Are all monks assassins? | djpaterson

  2. Charlie S says:

    Got this for a fiver from tesco after reading your review, DJ. its a great book

  3. Pingback: Simon Toyne at the Oundle Festival of Literature | djpaterson

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