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Cabal of the Westford Knight
Templars at the Newport Tower

by David S. Brody

     

Cabal of the Westford Knight: Templars at the Newport Tower is David S. Brody's fourth thriller, and has the promise of being the next Da Vinci Code—if more people knew about this novel. Like Dan Brown's book about a Templar secret, Cabal of the Westford Knight probes deep into Templar lore not only in Europe but here in America, beginning with a simple engraving of a medieval knight's sword on a rock ledge in Westford, Massachusetts. That engraving has been the focus of a local legend about Prince Henry Sinclair's expedition to the New World in 1398, almost a century before Columbus found the West Indies.

Brody's novel centers on Cameron Thorne, a once-prominent attorney now doing real estate law, and Amanda Spencer, an expert on Henry Sinclair, and their detailed research and exploration of regional archaeological sites. Cameron becomes involved as he tries to help an elderly couple, who are bullied by a treasure seeker to sell their home. Amanda is his first resource for information since any question of treasure seems to always come back to Henry Sinclair and his connection to the Knights Templar. Instead of quiet discussions and some boring library research, Cameron and Amanda are soon on the road, searching out ancient sites throughout New England, while pursued by paramilitary goons from a renegade Vatican group based in South America.

The action is fast and the sizzle between Cameron and Amanda ignites as more and more clues come together to reveal multiple secrets protected by the Church and the mysterious Consortium, who know everything there is about Prince Henry—or so they think. Cameron and Amanda soon reveal much more than even the Consortium or the Vatican suspect.

There are enough codes and maps to please any National Treasure buff. And, the information revealed about Templar and Masonic secrets would intrigue Da Vinci Code fanatics. However, this novel, according to David Brody, is based on actual research. The sites used as clues and locations in this book exist. The theory of a Templar visitation is legitimate, produced by researcher and forensic geologist Scott Wolter, who startled the academic world with his interpretation and deciphering of the Kensington Rune Stone in Minnesota.

Though archaeologists both in New England and Minnesota take Wolter to task, it isn't at all surprising. Well-held theories are hard to let go and proponents of them don't like their foundations shaken. This was the case with C. Vance Haynes' theory that the Clovis people were the first people to inhabit the Americas 10,000 years ago. As new evidence came in with dates going back farther and farther, Haynes started setting his dates back, but kept insisting that his theory still held. Today, the Clovis First theory has been replaced by several others that show multiple cycles of migration to the Americas, including the Bering Strait theory upon which Haynes' theory is based, but also involving a Pacific migration to South America and the suggestion of even a European exploration. David Brody, therefore, does paint established archaeologists in shades of Haynes.

I was fascinated by this book, though I think many people will find the theories here as shocking, or more so, than those in the Da Vinci Code. Brody presents his case clearly and even offers up arguments against it. I particularly enjoyed the codes and maps—one of my favorite types of story devices! But I also found the characters to be interesting, offering some depth, even with the darker characters.

Cabal of the Westford Knight is a great read. I just couldn't put it down!

The Book

Martin and Lawrence Press
February 2009
Trade paperback
0977389871 / 978-0977389872
Thriller
More at Amazon.com
Excerpt
NOTE:

The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.
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