Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Death Relic (Jonathon Payne & David Jones, #7)” as Want to Read:
The Death Relic (Jonathon Payne & David Jones, #7)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Death Relic (Payne & Jones #7)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,838 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews

The New World, 1545...

Vanquished by the Spanish Empire, little remains of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. From the ashes of their cities, a unified legend emerges: the Christians who conquered them possessed a mysterious object, an artifact so powerful-so deadly-that it was known throughout the Americas as "the death relic."

Yucatan Peninsula, present day...

When Mar

Kindle Edition, 465 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Death Relic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Death Relic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 25, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe if I had some history with the characters I might have enjoyed this more. As it was I didn’t connect with them much. I liked the idea of the long standing relationship between the two friends with all sorts of history that leads to friendly banter. Unfortunately it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. The banter was odd and forced and sounded awkward and ended up taking away from the story instead of adding to it. And unfortunately there were long passages of it. There is some good action ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Birdie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book from LibraryThing's early reviewer program because the author had been recommended to me by a friend. This will be the first and last time I read anything by Chris Kuzneski. The plot was highly improbable coupled with horribly moronic banter among the characters. Maria who is somewhat the center of the story is unlikable, with her outbursts of anger and bottled up daddy issues. That's 12 hours of my life I will ever get back, what a complete waste.
The last two novels of Kuzneski give you the impression as if they were novels of him written at the beginning of his career but just newly published. I'n just glad that this was not the first book I've read by Kuzneski, otherwise I wouldn't have read any others by him...
Apr 10, 2016 Neil rated it it was ok
From the early books in the Payne and Jones series it is easy to see that the writing has vastly improved. Although the sentence structure and grammar might just be down to better proof reading. However, the plots have suffered, both in this offering and the previous book (The Secret Crown). In this one I found myself about 60% of the way through the book before the plot really started going. It read more like a tour guide with plenty of historical information, but it didn't really tick any boxe ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action-adventure
Boring, predictable and the plot was mediocre at best.
Feb 03, 2013 Denise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 out of 5 stars - I give this a higher rating because of the topic and the setting. I just visited the ruins of Tulum, Chichen Itza, and Coba this past summer and loved the history and the mystery surrounding the lives of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.

I saw the "praise" blurbs on the back of the ARC book and couldn't wait to get started. (I had previously promised myself to ignore those because I'm so often misled, but these were BIG NAMES in authorland so I got sucked in AGAIN).

The plot
Linda B
Death Relic starts out strong in this archaeological mystery. Dr. Maria Pelati is invited to Cancun to discuss employment working for an archaeologist studying Mayan civilization, Terrance Hamilton. It is out of her expertise, but she is curious and decides to at least meet with Mr. Hamilton. At their initial meeting, he steps out to retrieve some information and disappears.

The book is compelling as it introduces us to Maria, Hamilton, and her friends, Payne and Jones. This is a “buddy” type sto
Feb 03, 2013 Tad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, arc
The Death Relic is the latest Payne and Jones thriller from Chris Kuzneski. It’s an exciting page-turner with an interesting backdrop.

One of the things I like best about the Payne and Jones books I’ve read is the extensive research that goes into the setting and the story. In this book, it’s the Maya and Aztecs as well as the Spanish conquer and rule of central and south america. The characters are a lot of fun too, particular Payne and Jones as well as their historian and antiquities friend, Pe
James Johnson
Oct 11, 2015 James Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody on this planet
More dreadful writing by a dreadful author. Risible plot lines, unpleasant characters, completely misjudged dialogue (oh how the gay banter between our rugged protagonists grates). Avoid this author like the plague.
Cindy Meilink
Chris Kuzneski's attempt at delivering a fast-paced, action-loaded book falls a little short.

Normally, I love books based on the treasure hunt, or ones that delve into history to shed light on unsolved mysteries, but although the hunt for secrets of the Maya and what may have happened to their treasure is enticing, the book dragged with poor dialogue and the author's attempts at injecting humor into the characters.

The history that the author disburses throughout the book to bring the reader up t
Kislay Verma
My complete review is at Solomon Says.

This book is quite out of character with the rest of the book in the Payne and Jones series. It is more historical lesson than it is a action/adventure novel. The mystique of the Mayan civilization and the research Kuzneski has put in to get to it is clearly evident in the passionate characters and descriptions.

The main characters are bit of a let down. Too much whining, romancing, and breaking up. The story curtails the aggression of our protagonists and le
May 25, 2016 Genna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a quick read that doesn't require too much concentration, this book was fine. I enjoyed some of the historical information. But there were several aspects that I found lacking:
1) The characters - so there's a super-intelligent expert on Christian history who spends her time getting angry with people over nothing and doesn't really show an ounce of intellect throughout the entire book. Then there's Payne and Jones the two ex-service, military experts and close friends who constantly make ridi
Much better than the last one i have to say albeit rushed at the end I thought, I was disappointed that the story didn't actually really centre around the death relic, it was almost an after thought. I also thought there was a little too much emphasis on the racial jokes, it got rather tiresome after a couple of dialogues to be honest. Other than that, the action was good and I flew through it when I had chance to read
Apr 29, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book. The jumps in viewpoint were jarring as were the sudden tense changes. I also found the cultural information to be shoehorned into the story, the facts droning on without being organic to the story telling. Most of the times I think the author would have been better served by adding footnotes about the subjects.
Jan 07, 2013 Alison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2012 Rustum rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thank you very much Mr. Chris Kuzneski, this is the only book I would read in your so called JP/DJ series, its 99% Death for readers and 1% relic, two stars for keeping is short!
Feb 25, 2012 Blysse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Formulaic with clonky character development and an unsatisfying plot.

May 25, 2014 Cliff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is even more irritating than its predecessor. The author's dialogue is diabolical. The continued 'joking' between Payne and Jones is just not funny and extremely tedious. There is very little plot - the story doesn't really get going until about four fifths of the way through. Most of it reads like a (bad) introduction to the history of the Maya. There is even two or three pages on the revitalisation of Pittsburgh! The author continually insults the reader's intelligence - even down to ...more
Oct 02, 2013 Tori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Took an inordinate amount of time to get to a boring ending.
May 26, 2015 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My first time reading a Kuzneski novel. The blurbs on the book say "...same raw power as the early Stephen King..." (James Patterson) and ..."writes as forcefully as his tough characters act..." (Clive Cussler). Maybe they read a different book, I don't know. I found the dialogue tedious and pedantic, the plot plodding, and the constant guy jokes throughout lame. The author has at least six other books so he sells but I won't be back. The resolution and climax were less than satisfying. I finish ...more
Linda Munro
Mar 02, 2014 Linda Munro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book on my list of books to read for sometime. I found it on and finally decided it was time to read it; I am glad I did!

It is an awesome book, filled with CIA hi-jinx and espionage, as well as a great deal of Mayan and Aztec history, all rolled into a book that was hard to put down. I may have never read this author before, but that is about to change…. This book deserves a 10 star rating for combining two topics I love in a page turning novel! Since the ratings on
Crestial Wintersmith
Jul 11, 2012 Crestial Wintersmith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-hold

Boring ass book. Too much talking
Aug 17, 2014 Kandi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I would have liked this book more if I had read the rest of the books in the series. As it is, not knowing the backstory on the relationships between Maria and the two main characters made the story a little confusing at times. Payne got upset over what seemed like tiny issues a couple of times which made no sense to me and broke the flow of the story.
I thought the story would center more around the Death Relic in the title, and it seemed like the ending was a bit convenient, but all in a
Jan 22, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
This is another brilliant thriller from Kuzneski that combines a historical quest with kidnapping, conspiracy and espionage. The story starts with Payne and Jones tormenting new recruits and testing new technology in the tunnels beneath Payne's property before they are contacted by a blast from their past in the form of Maria Pelati as she finds herself in way over her head in a five star Mexican resort. The situation goes from normal to crazy in a matter of pages as Payne and Jones embark on a ...more
D.J. Weaver
Jul 31, 2013 D.J. Weaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Death Relic was written by Chris Kuzneski and published through Putnam Adult in 2013. You may buy this book at and you may learn more about the author at

Jon Payne and David Jones are back together again in this action-adventure romp by six-time international bestselling author Chris Kuzneski. If you have read his work before, you’ve probably met these two elite, military-trained heroes, who constantly make the reader laugh with their witty banter and kee
Jul 18, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kuzneski always puts together a great read, filled with some good action, a little humour, and some sensational historical references. I feel as though I learn a great deal and am not only entertain, but educated as well. While the dialogue can be somewhat juvenile at times, I do enjoy the character development and how the two main characters feed off one another.

Set primarily in Mexico, Kuzneski takes the reader on an adventure into the depths of the Maya and Aztec tribes and their fall from po
Having visited many of the ruins in Mexico and Guatemala I was pleased to be able to read “The Death Relic” by Chris Kuzneski. I enjoy the excitement of stories about archeologists and adventurers searching for lost artifacts. This book lightly addressed that theme, but it was not as major a part of the story line as I would have appreciated.

Mayan and Aztec history have always held an interest for me and I was pleased by the descriptions of things such as the ball court and found the analogies t
Amy Cockram

For a longer review of this book, and a link to my view of previous books in the series, please visit my blog at

In his new novel, Kuzneski's ex special forces heroes are called by Maria Pelati - a character who also appeared in the earlier novel, "The Sign of the Cross," and Jones' now ex-girlfriend - because she is in danger. Maria has gone to Mexico in answer to a job offer from renowned fellow archaeologist Terrence Hamilton, who then disappears and sh
Chris Kuzneski is my new favourite author of the moment and having thought I'd read them all, I was pleased to find this one in my library. Much as I enjoyed it, I don't think it is up there with the better ones - the plot seems to fizzle out in the end in a slightly anticlimactic manner; after pages and pages of build-up and the traditional battle scenes, the unveiling of the perpetrator just feels a bit of a letdown and kind of disappointing. There is also very little mention of the "Death Rel ...more
Feb 10, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phew, what a relief, the last book was just a glitch. Kuzneski is back to his best, or near enough. After a stumble in the last book, this one needed to pick things up or risk alienating me as a reader. It did. An entertaining, if still somewhat lacking, Four Stars.

Plot : Three stars

Just what the doctor ordered. Fun, fast and well put together. Again, though, this book suffered from a feeling of incompleteness. It just stuttered a little here and there, especially towards the end.

But lets fo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Chris Kuzneski: RELEASE DATE! 1 8 Oct 01, 2011 12:00PM  
  • The Lost Relic (Ben Hope #6)
  • The Gods Of Atlantis (Jack Howard, #6)
  • The Templar's Code (Caedmon Aisquith, #2)
  • Temple Of The Gods (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #8)
  • The Messiah Secret (Chris Bronson, #3)
  • The Eden Legacy (Daniel Knox, #4)
  • The Devil's Elixir (Templar, #3)
  • The Gilded Seal (Tom Kirk, #3)
  • The Chosen One
  • The Temple Mount Code (Thomas Lourds, #3)
  • The Sacred Blood
  • Black Sun (Hawker & Laidlaw, #2)
Chris Kuzneski is a New York Times and Sunday Times (UK) bestselling author. His thrillers have been translated into more than 20 languages and have been published in more than 40 countries. His works have been featured by the Literary Guild and honored by the Florida Book Awards. The first novel (The Hunters) in his new series is currently being made into a major motion picture. It will be releas ...more
More about Chris Kuzneski...

Other Books in the Series

Payne & Jones (8 books)
  • The Plantation (Payne & Jones, #1)
  • Sign of the Cross (Payne & Jones, #2)
  • Sword of God (Payne & Jones, #3)
  • The Lost Throne (Payne & Jones, #4)
  • The Prophecy (Payne & Jones, #5)
  • The Secret Crown (Payne & Jones, #6)
  • The Einstein Pursuit (Payne & Jones #8)

Share This Book