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The Secret Crown (Jonathon Payne & David Jones, #6)
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The Secret Crown (Jonathon Payne & David Jones #6)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,682 ratings  ·  124 reviews
From the mountains of Bavaria to the secret tunnels under King Ludwig II's castles, no one is safe when they search for the Secret Crown.

Hidden among the crates in a recently discovered World War II bunker are documents stamped with an elaborate black swan, the insignia of the murdered King Ludwig II. According to legend, Ludwig stockpiled a massive treasure in the years
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Paperback, 465 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Penguin Books (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kim
This book was disappointing to me. The first fifty-one chapters are nothing but a gun chase through the Bavarian Alps and sophomoric jokes. This is just not my cup of tea. I do have to admit though that my Dad really liked it and my sister liked it too, so I think the issue is that it's just not my genre.

The portions of the story about Ludwig and his castles are fascinating though! I do wish the author had developed this portion of the story more and had much less of the gun fights, action, and
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Stacie
77 Pages in and I have to quit! I can not stand one more bad, sexist, frat-boy joke. The first 50 pages went no where. It was almost as if the first chaper was re-written 9 different ways for the first 9 chapters. Too drawn out. I really wanted to like this story, but after reading so many words soaked in maple syrup and stuck to the pages arranged to look like proper homework after a night of binge drinking, I decided I would rather pay hommage to the porcelin god than finish this crap.
Ronda
I remember when I first picked up one of Chris Kuzneski's book, I believe it was back in 2009, I enjoyed it that much and kept on talking about it that a work friend of mine bought me his following book as a present. My favourite book has to be The Sign of the Cross, but this one is not that far behind...

Jon Payne and David Jones, I love their relationship, their banter and their amazing clarity of working together. Being ex soldiers (MANIACs), they have a unique relationship and a fantastic nos
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Cyndi Beane-Henry
In a fast-paced, super action-packed story, Kuzneski gives us two men who are unstoppable. Think Dan Brown's Robert Langdon, Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt, Indiana Jones and Rambo all rolled into the two, and the possibilities for action, intrigue, mayhem and secret treasures are unfathomable!

I literally read this book in one sitting! I simply could not put it down.

I have one thing to say... Mr. Kuzneski, when does production for a movie begin? This book reads like a fantastic movie from start to fi
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Billy Young
This book would have been a better read if the author hadn't slowed the pace of the story by trying hard to get over how amazing his two main characters were. He repeatedly stopped the story to retell us how they had been part of the MAINIACs a secret, secret special force unit in the US military. I also thought the end of the story was a little on the flat side. Though the lead up to the end had been the best part of the tale and had me finally getting into the book. I may being a little on the ...more
High Wycombe Library
The Secret Crown has the potential to be a gripping novel of suspense, action and history, however, the feeling I am left with, having enjoyed the previous installments in the series, on finishing the book is one of disappointment.
Certainly, the historical details regarding King Ludwig, his life and his castles are interesting, and indeed are the high point of the book. Unfortunately, the rest of the novel, from the confused shoot-out in the Bavarian Alps, to the contrived repartee between DJ,
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Cliff
At least the author has the chutzpah to gently mock Dan Brown with a comment about Robert Langdon being able to read some symbols on trees in a Bavarian wood! That apart, rather lightweight and to me irritating with constant (weak) jokes between the main characters. I also found the constant reference to any gunmen not on the side of those characters as 'goons' very annoying. None of the main characters seemed that believable. I also found the author's occasional didactism unnecessary. Did he th ...more
Mae Clair
This wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Although I did like the characters of Payne and Jones, I was expecting something deeper in the way of plot. The information about Ludwig and his castles was intriguing, and I would have loved to have deeper intricacy related to that. I guess I expected the book to unfold over an extended period of time, but much of it happens over a few hours and eats up most of the book (the shootout/flight in the gorge).

Also many scenes seemed to draw out the same inf
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Shade Shogun
I had a really hard time digesting the banter between the two characters Jones and Payne. The immature, high-school level joking in a constant, three-jokes-too-far stream killed the action. No one jokes during a firefight, regardless of your skill level as a soldier. It removed me from the action like a buzzing fly removes me from a tranquil picnic. The historical aspect of the story was interesting (though I can't speak on how factual the information is) and the action sequences were fun. Less ...more
Sampath Jayarathna
I guess its my kinda genre, history-fiction and treasure hunting. But the problem is, you can see the plot twist miles away. <***spoiler alert***>I knew that there going to be some sort of an ambush after they discover the treasure in that Nazi bunker. And the peak of the cliff-hanger end up just a simple crown in a box. Yeah, thats all you got after pages of ranting about hidden treasure? So just 3 stars from me, because I like the Clive-Cussler type books, but may be the author was simpl ...more
James Johnson
Poor writing and even worse structure - the long chase through the gorge completely stops the story in its tracks - make this one to avoid. The painful attempts at banter between Payne and Jones go from annoying to downright embarrassing. There are so many better authors writing this kind of stuff. By the way, if you're going to build a novel almost entirely on research and historical facts, be careful to get it right. Berlin isn't Germany's biggest airport, and the second castle near Neuschwans ...more
Jason
traces of Clive Cussler, although a different story model. The story was good, but some parts of the book were either cliched (mostly the repartee with Heidi) or underdevelped (some of the gunfighting and action scenes). To me, those issues just seem to be be from a writer early in his career, or new to this genre. I would be reading along, "in the story", and BAM, a cliche that would just about make you jump out of the book.

HOWEVER, the story itself, and the plot, were excellent. Some parts had
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Paul Pessolano
“The Secret Crown” by Chris Kuzneski, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

This is Kuzneski’s sixth book and as a reader if you are interested in a mystery/thriller that has a good base in history that provides action, adventure, comedy, and puzzles to solve these books would be excellent choices.

Jonathon Payne and David Jones are ex-military that keep getting involved in cases that have historical value along with murder and deception.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known
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Tessa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt
I am a fan of Kusneski and his Payne and Jones series, of that I will not lie. However, this was the first of the books I actually read instead of have Dick Hill narrate to my by audiobook, and in reading it, I noticed some things that really made it a hard read. A good story, but a hard read.

First and foremost, as some others have commented on the book, the sexual inuendo was pretty thick and played no part in the storyline at all. I mean, one or two referenced double entendres by Jones would h
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Susan
"The Secret Crown" is definitely not my usual reading genre: action-packed, all male characters (well, there is one female), gun fights, rappelling from helicopters -- you get the idea. But I was compelled to pick it up because a commenter found my blog because he was searching for information on King Ludwig II, who of course is the subject of my latest book.

"Secret Crown" is based on two Indiana Jones-types who are looking for a treasure supposedly left by Ludwig. Perhaps it even was the cause
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Pallavi Ivashkov
Well here is what my friend's first words were before she handed me the book, "Warning: The wriiting part is amateur. Something like Chetan Bhagat" And to be honest, I definitely felt that way when the writer failed to get one of the scenes, which was I think one of the most important event in the story. Ofcourse I hated him at that moment. But then ALL IS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. And add the beginning to it too.

The story is about Ludwig, his castles, his birth and death, and ofcourse out-of-the-wor
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James
This was a confusing book. Not because the plot line, or the characters, were confusing, but because it was so damned hard to get into. Indeed, despite it being a brilliant book from about 150 pages onwards, I have come out of this book thinking a lot less of Kuzneski. Still, an entertaining book, and well worth the read. Three Stars.

I haven't actually written a review for any of the previous books due to the fact that I read them before I joined Goodreads. I will eventually write them, when I
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Jennifer Footman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tad
The Secret Crown by Chris Kazneski is a fast-paced adventure that reminded me a lot of a Clive Cussler novel.

Payne and Jones are ex-members of the MANIACS, a secret, highly trained group of soldiers. A call from a somewhat shady but trusted friend sends them on their way to Bavaria where they discover a clue to a long-rumored treasure hidden by King Ludwig, II, the Swan King. They, of course, are not the only ones on the trail and have to solve the riddles left behind by the long-dead King while
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Vamsi Krishna
Honestly, I've never read Chris Kuzneski before. This is my first book of him. I just happened to read this book after going through the book summary.

The novel opens with the murder of King Ludwig II of Bavaria (Infact King Ludwig II died in mysterious circumstances). Suddenly the novels shifts its focus to the present day Germany where a Nazi bunker is found accidentally, in which doucments about the deceased king are obtained. The duo Jonathan Payne and David Jones fly to Germany to protect t
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Don Sparrow
This is the 3rd novel I have read by C.K. featuring Jonathan Payne & David Jones (modern day Indiana Jones' & Robert Langdons). I loved it. J.P. & D. J. are now retired from running the elite special forces unit called the "MANIACs" the best of the Marines, Army, Navy, Intelligence, Air Force & Coast Guard. They now find themselves involved in international treasure hunts.The banter back and forth between these two I find hilarious. This latest adventure involves the quest to sol ...more
Nigel
Having just looked at the reviews I have to say that I am absolutely staggered at how many people have rated this book as a four and even five star effort. Sorry if this sounds patronizing or insulting, but they need to read more.
I can pretty much read anything and even when I've rated a book badly I can still appreciate something about the ability of the author... UntIl now. This is so badly written that for the first time ever I think I can safely say, I could do better. I was sure that there
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Joe
Good fun and exciting thriller, with historical facts about Ludwig II (think the Disney Castle), fun dialogue, and great places in Europe, mostly Bavaria. But my first novel by Chris Kuzneski which is like a romp with Steve Berry.

Hidden among the crates in a recently discovered World War II bunker are documents stamped with an elaborate black swan, the insignia of the murdered King Ludwig II. According to legend, Ludwig stockpiled a massive treasure in the years before his death, a cache of gol
...more
Kamakhya
This is my first time reading Kuzneski. I was out of books and picked this up from a store. Within a week, I am left asking for more. Laden with historical accounts of Bavaria, Ludwig the Swan King and action packed moves of Jones & Payne, the book keeps you hanging on to it every moment. Simple narration, no ambiguous and boring twists like other petty crime novels. Seriously, if you are in a mood to watch thriller film but you somehow don not want to go out of your room or don't have the b ...more
Ryan Rauber
I must admit, I love this series. Payne and Jones are two of my favorite characters, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. The story this time around involves the two of them solving a mystery left behind by Ludwig II, the famous Swan King of Bavaria. Most of the action takes place in Bavaria, and Payne and Jones are in usual form. On a personal note, this is the first Chris Kuzneski book that I read on the kindle, and not in audible format. I even sent an e-mail to Chris Kuzneski about i ...more
Lee
The adventure, the historical references, even the 'shoot 'em ups', good! The sophomoric antics of the lead characters were gratuitous and diminished what could have been a great summer read. About a third of the way through the book I began skimming until I reached meaty content, then read...then skimmed through the repartee until the next scene with content. This could have been a four star book.
Joe Cochran
I've read two of the author's previous books and found them, just like this one, filled with history, adventure, and humor. I followed along with Google Images in seeing the castles and mountainous areas that were spoken about within the book. The Google Images were just amazing and it made you want to visit the sites just to get glimpse of the opulence.

The one bad thing about the book was the ending. It left you wondering what happened to the bad guys and lastly – the crown. Hopefully not enou
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Julie
I received a copy of the Secret Crown through a goodreads giveaway. I really enjoy books with action with a quest so I thought that I would really enjoy this. There was a backdrop to the story that included some historical fact. This was very engaging as well as were some of the action scenes. The book overall felt like a Clive Cussler book. Unfortunately, I found it nearly impossible to like the main characters. The dialogue between the two made me feel like I was at a frat house. The humor was ...more
Craig Hall
This is the second book that i have read by Chris Kuzneski and i noted a significant change in the writing style. Although played out by the same characters, there is definitely an irritating theme of pointless and inappropriate jokes made by the main characters. I found this irksome although i cant make my mind up if i was drawn to the problem by another reviewer on here.



The historical references were very interesting and i think i would like to go to Bavaria to see some of the locations. One b
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Chris Kuzneski (born in 1969) is a New York Times bestselling American author. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have been published in more than 40 countries. His works have also been named a Literary Guild's featured selection and honored by the Florida Book Awards. Due to his success in the United Kingdom, his books are released in the British market several months ...more
More about Chris Kuzneski...
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