“They didn’t have to kill him…He never drank from the altar of bones.”
Cryptic dying words from a murdered homeless woman in present day San Francisco unlock a decades-buried secret that changed history. Now a pair of ruthless assassins are sent to cut the few living "loose ends." And a young, resourceful woman on the run encounters a determined man with his own connected past and vengeful agenda. Forced to partner for survival and answers, a fast-paced and deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, taking them across the globe from the winding streets of Paris to the faded palaces of Budapest to the frozen lakes of Mongolia...where destiny, passion, and further betrayal await them.
The Altar of Bones has it all: The Russian mob. KGB spies. Presidential assasination. A doomed Hollywood legend. Deathbed confessions. Corrosive power. Shattered families. Guardians of an ancient religious icon housing a secret others will kill to possess. The dark promise of immortality. And it delivers on its ambitious premise to leave you stunned and breathless at the end.This is an interesting mystery involving the KGB, CIA, FBI, FSB and, of course, a lot of conspiracy theories that would make the day of Oliver Stone (although I'd say my fave movie was more of Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman). Oh yes, there are at least 3 major conspiracy theories (one of them having to do with Russia and the Mad Monk, the others are totally American) and a few minor ones which make this whole aspect of finding out what the altar of bones was much more fun.
The altar does take center stage throughout the theories, action and mystery but so does Zoe. The last Keeper of the secret. She doesn't even find out about the secret until she is faced with a mystery given to her by a grandmother she never knew. Zoe's character was also further enhanced by her earlier experiences with family and her job. Her mother became the head of the Russian mafia in her area when she was just a child, and her job helps domestic violence survivors escape their dangerous lives. This made her ability to handle all the dangers believable while solving the mystery. I also enjoyed the characters of Ry who became a partner in solving the mystery as well as a great romantic interest.
I give this book 4 stars. I enjoyed the adventure even though it felt like it was taking so many turns you weren't sure if the mystery of the alter would be solved. The characters in this book were well interesting. Even though there were more villains than good-guys in this story, they also added a needed dimension in the book.
I was given this book by the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.