My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Humans have long dreamed of immortality, in some cases devoting their lives to the quest. Raymond Khoury makes that dream the focus of his latest historical thriller, The Sanctuary. Built around two interwoven stories, one from the 18th century and one present day, most of the action takes place in Lebanon. When an unknown pack of thugs abducts archaeologist Evelyn Bishop, her daughter Mia, a geneticist, mounts a desperate search to retrieve her. Unbeknownst to Mia, there are others on the trail, people willing to kill to acquire what they believe Evelyn possesses. The arch villain is a diabolic doctor who, apparently supported by several governments, conducts ghastly experiments on human subjects. As the story progresses, it becomes a game of “who do you trust?”, with plenty of car chases, shoot-outs, and other perils. It also provides an interesting view of the culture/political shock experienced by Westerners when they work in the Middle East. If you’re up for another novel about secret societies guarding ancient mysteries, the Sanctuary should do the trick.