Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Julian Secret by Gregg Loomis: a review


Here is the latest Joe Bob Briggs review.

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The Julian Secret by Gregg Loomis
Published by Leisure Books
ISBN: 0843956917

Writing the second book in a series can be a difficult proposition. You have to acknowledge returning readers who have already been introduced to the recurring characters and situations, but give enough information to new readers so they are not lost.
I didn’t know that this book was part of a series, but writer Gregg Loomis quickly got us up to speed once the main characters appeared.

Lang Reilly, former CIA agent, works as a highly paid attorney for corporations and individuals. One day he receives a phone call from the daughter of a former colleague Don Huff, who has been murdered, and she feels the local Spanish authorities are not properly looking into the case. Reilly accompanied by his lover Gurt, also a former agent, begin looking into the matter and quickly become the targets of someone who will kill to keep a secret. It seems that they do not want the information that Huff had uncovered for a book he was researching to be revealed.

Something was hidden by a Roman Emperor in a graveyard, something which he thought of as a great joke against the Christians he hated. Centuries later it is unearthed under the Vatican by workers under the direction of Pope Pius XII. At the end of WWII an American army unit kills the crew of a train carrying stolen treasure, while an American officer secretly meets with his German counterpart. Both this former Nazi and the Roman Catholic Church have something to hide. It eventually becomes to clear to Lang & Gurt that the two things may be connected.

Loomis throws in enough information on church history, theology and other such stuff to keep readers who loved the Da Vinci Code more than happy. He also gives Lang and other characters great dialogue, a sense of humor (especially if you love French bashing) and more than enough skills to stay at least a half step ahead of those trying to stop them. Together and separately, Lang & Gurt are a great pair of characters and I’m looking forward to seeing what Loomis may have in store for them next time out. I’m also tempted to look for “The Pegasus Secret”, the book which introduces Lang & Gurt.

Three and a half stars.
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