The Cross of Sins (Fathom’s Five #1)

Title: The Cross of Sins (Fathom’s Five #1)
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Action/Adventure
Length: Novel (ebook 276 pages)
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5, DIK

Summary Review: A wonderful adventure that will thrill and wow you. You won’t be able to put this book down. Five gorgeous, sexy men compete for your attention and they will all steal your heart. Don’t miss the hot sex!

THE BLURB

Somewhere in the world is a statue so sinful that a secret sect of the Church wants it destroyed at any cost. Somewhere in the Turkish desert, in the streets of London, and in the depths of Venice, are the clues to find it. And, somewhere in the hearts of five sexy, daring, thrill-seeking gay men, is the courage and die-hard determination to unravel one of the greatest mysteries of all time.

Meet Luca da Roma, an Italian model and expert in art, both ancient and modern; Dr Eden Santiago, Brazilian biologist, physician and genetic engineer; Shane Houston, a Texas cowboy and an expert in cartography; Will Hunter, a San Diego college student and football star, majoring in ancient history; and Jake Stone, an adventurer-for-hire from New York and the newest member of Professor Fathom’s team of hot gay adventure seekers. Together, they are Fathom’s Five, traveling the world, solving ancient mysteries, uncovering priceless treasures, and getting into hot, sticky and sexy situations, while thwarting danger at every turn! From Venice to Vienna, from Tuscany to Turkey, from the South Pacific to the seas off Sicily, join in the heroic adventures, hunky sex and hot, high-octane action of Fathom’s Five.

The Cross of Sins is the first in a series of high-octane, sexually charged, mystery adventures

THE REVIEW

The Cross of Sins has been revamped with additional dialogue and whole sections re-written for this launch of the book in ebook format. There are new chapters added including a bonus short story titled Elsa Strauss, The Dame of Notre Dame which is a standalone can’t-miss adventure about Elsa, the Professor’s housekeeper, that’s very funny and of course, has an impossible ending just like all the books so far in this series.

How do I review a book that defies description? The Cross of Sins is an adventure that I could not put down. This story is a cross (pun intended) between Raiders of the Lost Ark, James Bond, the Da Vinci Code and every other hair raising adventure that’s been around for decades, including Jaws. But first – the players and the story.

The protagonists are Will Hunter, an American; Italian Luca da Roma; Dr Eden Santiago from Brazil; Shane Houston, another American; and Jake Stone, American – a reluctant addition to the team and its newest member. What surprised me is that although the author, Geoffrey Knight, is Australian, none of his characters is from Oz but I understand that this will be remedied later on in the series. The men are all gay of course and rich, incredibly hot, young, charismatic, and sometimes they have mind blowing sex with each other. The head of the team is sixty year old Professor Fathom, who lost his sight 40 years ago but that has not impacted negatively on his ability to lead this high powered group.

One of the things I really love about this book  is the way each character is introduced in a separate chapter and we get to know his capabilities before we meet the team and even here there is a new introduction for Shane, the cowboy from Texas, and clues to Jake’s story. Additional clues are included in the book about a couple of mysteries and the  excitement starts right away as each protagonist battles volcanoes, fire, double dealing, and escapes impossible situations just barely –  in some cases right from the jaws of certain death.

In The Cross of Sins the team is on a quest to uncover the secrets behind a mystery that has long been closely guarded by the Crimson  Crown, a secret sect of the Church that goes around killing in the name of God. The main thrust of the plot is the search for an ancient statue of  a naked Christ in all his glory known as “the Cross of Sins” that’s been hidden for hundreds of years, which the Crimson Crown considers to be blasphemous. Our heroes race against time to uncover the clues and find the statue before members of the sect find it, or die trying, and each one comes pretty close to paying the ultimate price.

The Cross of Sins is an adrenalin rush from the first page, as the protagonists fly, drive or ride camels from San Diego to Tuscany to Toga, to London to Turkey and the Austrian Alps and places in between, and it was clear from the beginning that I was in for an awesome ride. The pacing of this story is at breakneck speed, including the sex, which makes the book more incredible and hot! There is even a sweet romance between a couple of the guys, which should satisfy the M/M romance readers who need something more than adventure and thrills.

If you love adventure, The Cross of Sins has to be on your must-have list. Geoffrey Knight’s imagination will astound you as he peels back the layers of his story. The danger and the situations that he puts his characters through are impossible to imagine and the thrills are non stop. Of course this tale is completely over the top, since no human being  could survive the death defying escapades and injuries that each protagonist endures.The first 20 pages alone are worth the price of the book as Jake Stone fought nature, lava from an erupting volcano, and a double dealing partner, and I can’t remember another book that I read recently which maintained a similar  level of intensity throughout. Strap yourselves in for the ride of your lives, if your heart can take it. This is a true action/adventure with enough sex tossed in to make it spicy, but never taking anything away from the main theme of throwing caution and everything else to the winds and letting the gods decide your fate. Geoffrey is such a superb writer that I felt a part of the action. The characters are all well drawn and three dimensional, from the main protagonists to the Professor and his housekeeper Elsa, who is one tough woman that you never want to cross.

Of course, The Cross of Sins is not perfect, no book is.  The protags are all human superheroes which we know is not possible, but they sure are fun.

Run, don’t walk, to get your copy of The Cross of Sins if you love sheer escapist adventure and edge of your seat action with a bit of romance thrown in. Highly  recommended!

My review of the second book in the series The Riddle of the Sands is linked. Book 3, The Curse of the Dragon God should be out towards the end of the year.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

70 comments

  • Just bought the ebook on fathomsfive.com (which should be emailed to me within 24 hrs)! Hope the sequel(s) will be available in ebook (& not just kindle) format(s) soon as well. Can’t wait for the Big Gay Wedding! Don’t take too long Geoff, I’m not getting any younger!!!

    Reply
    • Salina
      I hope you enjoy the book. I’ve re-read the original version countless times.

      You probably know that authors have no control over whether a print book will be released as an ebook, as well as the formats. However, maybe Geoff can talk his publishers into releasing a separate ebook version of Riddle of the Sands. Alternatively you can buy a Kindle for those books you can only get in prc format – it’s just been reduced from $259 US to $189 US. 🙂 I should have waited to buy mine.

      Reply
    • Hi Salina,

      Thanks for buying the book – I hope you love it!!! And I can’t wait for the Big Gay Wedding either. It was one of the very first things I wanted when I started writing the series – it’s been plotted right from the beginning!

      But be warned… it will come with cliffhangers!

      Does anyone remember that season finale of Dynasty with the wedding in Moldavia that ended in the biggest soap opera cliffhanger EVER!?! That’s my inspiration 🙂

      geoff

      Reply
      • I was just thinking earlier that where other weddings have confetti, this one will have bullets. 😉

        Reply
        • JFM
          That is so funny. 🙂 Don’t give Geoff any ideas – he’s already talking about killing off one of the guys in Book 4 which I don’t like. How would he like it if he was killed off?

          Reply
        • Hey JFM,

          No, I know exactly what’s going to happen, and it doesn’t involve bullets! But great guess…!

          This was one of the VERY FIRST scenes I envisioned for this series. BUT… You need to read the NEW version of THE CROSS OF SINS to start this thread. There’s a character in the NEW version who is NOT in the old version… and this person will be responsible for what happens at the wedding…!

          And it will be a VERY BIG CASE of who will live and who will die!

          Reply
  • I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE these Fathom’s Five books. I have Cross of Sins in the old Kindle version, but if this new release has added scenes… I’ll rebuy it! 🙂 Can’t wait for the third book in the series to be released! 🙂

    Reply
    • Diane
      Aren’t these books absolutely the best? The adventures are totally impossible and the guys have 10 lives or more.

      The additional content is about 45 – 50 pages of new material. I can’t wait for book 3.

      Reply
    • Hi Diane,

      I’m SO excited about this release!!! The new stuff is great, I love it (but then again, I’m biased!) The thing I love most though is I got to finally add my short story of Elsa (the housekeeper). I LOVED writing this story so much – in many ways she’s my favorite character!!! Actually, that’s a lie. They’re all my favorites!

      Actually, that’s a lie too. They can’t all be my favorite. After all, someone dies at the end of book 4…! Yikes, who will it be???

      🙁
      geoff

      Reply
  • I’ve read the print version as well. Thanks to Helen, a very kind member of my Yahoo Group & genuinely awesome lady, it was even signed and had little notes from Geoff in the margins. : )

    That being said, you’ll want to get the new and improved updated version. The one thing I remember most about finishing the earlier print version was that it was over WAY too quickly. I’ll be buying it just to see what’s been added. Though I will miss those notes in the margin. : )

    Ethan

    Reply
    • Ethan
      I just want you to know that Geoff sent me a signed copy of Riddle of the Sands with a nice note after he read my review. 🙂

      Where is my signed copy of ANY of YOUR print books? OK, Aunt Lynn won’t let me near your books because she grabs them first but you could send me ONE. (Just kidding Ethan). 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Kim

    Re the cover, I’m so glad that the cheesy looking cover was not used for the ebook. I have it in print and hate that cover.

    It’s my understanding that there won’t be a second edition of the print book in the immediate future. However Geoff should be awake soon 🙂 (he lives in Sydney) and I’ll have him give you a definitive answer. This new version does have a lot more content and I like what he’s added.

    Reply
  • I love this cover revamp. ^_^

    I’ve had the print version of this book on my buy list for a while, but now I’m hesitating at buying it if the ebook version has more content. Will there be a 2nd edition of the print book with the extra chapters?

    Reply
    • Hi Kim,

      No, this re-release won’t be available in print until we explore that option. So my advice would be don’t buy the old one – grab the new eBook. It’s a much better book anyway! 🙂

      Hope you enjoy it!

      Geoff

      Reply
  • Question to people who have read the book. Does it have m/m/m scenes with the guys or are the guys paired off into romantic couples? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Lasha,

      There’s no m/m/m in this book. Lots of different pairings. A bit of romance but there is a MAJOR romance brewing throughout the series that will eventually lead to a gay wedding. 🙂

      I won’t tell you who though!

      🙂
      geoff

      Reply
  • Ah, I see. I am well acquainted with the studios. I have lots of gay friends, and have held lots of gay bachelor parties, and you can only imagine the uproar if you buy bad gay porn for a gay bachelor party- it’s like hiring an ugly stripper. The result is not pretty. Hence the familiarity.

    I’m whining for christmas now, because I want my ipod so I can read this book. It looks so good. 🙁

    Reply
    • West
      Blame it all on your gay friends. Do what we do – admit you watch gay porn because you can’t get enough. 🙂

      **

      It must be nice to have someone who will spring for an ipod for Christmas.

      Reply
  • And on another note, this damn book just went out of stock on Amazon.ca. Drat it. Really, Amazon must be have some sort of grudge against Canadians.
    *grumbling*

    Reply
    • Mary
      A lot of the bloggers are high on the Book Depository which does not charge S & H on new books (although I believe they charge full price for the books). I have ordered many second hand books from them and they are very reliable and their S & H charges are reasonable.

      **

      The second book in the series, the Riddle of the Sands, just arrived today so I’ll probably start reading it on the weekend. Hope I’m not disappointed after the big build-up of the first one.

      Reply

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