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Sign Of The Cross
Chris Kuzneski
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Sign Of The Cross (Payne & Jones #2)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  5,416 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
On a Danish shore, a Vatican priest is found - hanging on a cross. Within days, the same crime is repeated...this time in Asia and Africa. Meanwhile, deep in the legendary Catacombs under Orvieto, Italy, an archaeologist unearths a scroll dating back two thousand years, revealing secrets that could rock the foundations of Christianity. Its discovery makes him the most want ...more
Published (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one that I like
Recommended to Amanda by: Ben's Aunt
Shelves: crap, book-rape, blog
Have you ever had that experience that occurs when people find out that you're a reader and so the next time they see you, they're clutching a book in hand that they force upon you while insisting that you read it? And not when you can get around to it, oh, no, they want you to read it NOW. They look so damn hopeful that you, too, will love it that you just can't say no. That's how I came upon this little turd-nugget of a book. This is one of the most pitifully written books I've ever read. Ever ...more
Jasmine Poirot
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jasmine by: next-door neighbours
I am adding and reviewing this book two years later and so, can't go much into details.However,this book was a one of a kind.Not in a good way,but not in a bad either.The plot was a twisting, action-packed and thrilling journey with a diverse,humorous cast of characters.I have seen the criticisms for this book and nevertheless,I think it deserves at least a 3.5 stars/5. The only bad thing I can think of right now is that I wish the book had never been so into depth and detailed in the theologica ...more
This book was so bad, I am embarrassed for the publisher. (Come on, Penguin, did you run out of Jane Austen novels to reprint or something?) It appears to have been researched on Wikipedia over a couple of lattes at the local Starbucks. Laced with painfully dated pop-culture references, preposterous dialog, and demeaning stereotypes, this book reads more like Dan Brown fan fiction penned by the author's high school students. Students to whom he apparently never explained the concept of verisimil ...more
✿ Deni
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!!
Shelves: 2010
It could be an interesting story... if it would be properly written!.

He tries too hard to give the two "main characters" a super-cool-cop personality which doesn't really work; gives hints what's going to happen next at the end of every chapter which I believe it's intended to keep the suspense, but does exactly the opposite! and keeps writing "anyway" and "anyhow" which does not make a good writing style, but feels more like some macho-wanna-be is trying to tell a story in a bar, specially whe
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all I don't compare books with others books, because they ought to be reviewed based on the book alone. So yeah...

I don't know how I ended up reading this, but I did which is awesome. I really enjoyed the suspense, the thrill, the mystery and the humor, especially.It had me gripping the book half the time, the thrill and the suspense it gave me. It had me going to bed really early, like 3 or 4 in the morning just to fulfill my desire to know what would happen next. That's how good that
Lisa James
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, owned
If you enjoyed Dan Brown's DaVinci Code & Angels & Demons, you will like this book. It starts with some mysterious person crucifying Vatican priests on 3 different continents, & it goes from there on a thrill ride that includes secrets that could turn the Catholic church on it's ear. Great read, it hooks you from the first paragraph!
Gary Buckland
Jan 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book sat on the shelf for a few years, having picked it up in a lovely second hand bookshop. I sometimes enjoy this sort of high-speed, page-turning thriller, with religious artefacts and mystery. And so, having read woefully little this past year, I picked this as my first read of 2017.
Oh dear. It's truly painful. The writing is that of an over-excited 14 year old who has just finished reading The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail for the first time. I would write about the author's
Found this book in the effort of finding good-quality religious thrillers like Dan Brown's. Sign of the Cross is an okay book, pretty mainstream as in it's not Dan-Brown-good but it's not trash either. Everything's there: action, conspiracy, Christian leaders, cops--so it can't be too bad. The only downside to this is the believability in the details of the story. I find it so simplistic and lacking details at times, and the characters are unbelievably lucky at times too. Like avoiding a bullet. ...more
Jun 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Extremely bad writing and plot. The most apalling book I've read all year.
Tyson Adams
Sometimes when I'm reading a book I'm not sure if I'm meant to be excited, enrapt, or cringing. It's taken me a few days to arrive at a decision and I've decided to cringe.

Sign of the Cross is a fast paced action adventure novel in the vein of Steve Berry, James Rollins, or that guy who wrote the book that annoyed the Pope; what was his name? In the second instalment of Payne and Jones' adventures, the mercenaries are hired to hunt down two archaeologists who have uncovered a secret that could b
Tim Pendry
Mar 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a romp
Shelves: thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Sign of the Cross" proves that just because a book is published doesn't mean it's any good. The author, riding the popularity of the super-secret religious thriller wave (thanks, Dan Brown!), sets up a mystery involving Jesus that only a pair of wise-cracking cops can solve.

I'm all for literary fluff - a good mindless read that requires the suspension of belief, but the writing here is simply atrocious. The plot is predictable, but most of the plots of this genre are. Where Kuzneski fails is in
Parwati Singari
Sign of the cross
Author Chris Kuzneski.
Genre: thriller, Christian mythology

An interesting fictional thriller, narrated in a comfortable pace. The author takes us through the Christian lore, and the politically savvy Roman Empire. He has used the available roman historic factors and academic debates to weave a thriller from Boston to Beijing, from Denmark to Libya while the action is cantered at the intersection in the catacombs of Orvieto. Where an archaeologist uncovers an ancient
Giuseppe Ruotolo
Jul 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There's a WARNING in the author's notes at the end of this book which says some major plot twists will be spoiled if you read this note first. When I gave the book up on page 216 and I couldn't care I read the note and for the life of me I couldn't work out what twists have been spoiled. The problem with this book is it's all been said before: the Da Vinci, the First Apostle. Basically find some remote scroll Christianity is threatened blah blah. I loved Kuzneski's first book The Plantation, it ...more
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book despite some questionable reviews. Each to their own, I guess!

Anyhow, I thought there was an effective balance of action and suspense. Hints were given at the end of each chapter as a tease to what was coming. Some may see this as a poor cliff hanger but for me it just served to make me read on!

The relationship between Jon and D.J was well drawn and a pleasure to read. Also, thanks to good background information and rich description characters were easy to visualise.
Sep 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really, I would give this story 3.5 stars. It was what a religious thriller should be, exciting, action packed, informative. Interesting premise revolving around Christ, Tiberius and "the laughing man". A lot of characters, but all of the "shtick" seemed a little out of place and unnecessary.
I just realized that this is the second book in a series. I would read the others.
Rowell Glabog
It was a total waste of time.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Someday someone will write a Ph.D. thesis on the penchant of American authors to write books about human superheroes who have usually been members of an secret elite force (in this case the MANIACS, that's highly amusing *sarcasm*). The heroe(s) of these books can cause mayhem all round whilst managing to avoid all the attempts to maim or kill them, a few kickings apart. These thoughts occurred to me while reading this farrago of nonsense. It gets 2* as the writing isn't that bad and the story, ...more
Geoff Battle
Sign of the Cross is an easy read. The characters are paper thin as is the mysteries presented within, however, despite these prominent flaws it remains just interesting enough to hold your attention. Two of the protagonists appeared in Kuzneski's previous book, The Plantation, but this is a standalone novel and previous reading is not required. The style of narrative is occasionally distracting, with 'cliffhanger' type foreboding frequently used at the chapter ends, which were completely unnece ...more
Ken Schloman
How best to describe this thriller is tough. It contains spies, Vatican conspiracy theories, police procedural elements, archeological digs, and murders. Yet the book brings these elements all together in a way that ultimately holds together . It is an entertaining read. The one real thing that is irritating was the author's tendency to close chapters or scenes with heavy handed hints as to what will happen next. If I had been the book's editor these "hints" would have been deleted. Those who ha ...more
At some points, I wanted to scream - are you trying to get on the 'sensational' band wagon by writing this? Perhaps, I'm tired of church-bashing stories - there are too many of them.

Or perhaps, it was the frivolous nature of Jones and Payne against the seriousness of the book's core plot. Like they were having a good time of it all.

Eventually, the story came together well, toward the end. This is my second C.K. book; I'm going to read more, but the image of 2 men, being so close to be crowding
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Those who likes Da Vinci Code must read this book. Great story line. Payne & Jones are awesome. These characters are so amazing. They are funny. I love their bantering.

Just amazing....
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First book in the series was really good however this was an utter disappointment.
Yashwanth Gowda
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a must-read if you love mystery and fantasy :)
Jul 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ENGLISH: Not so good as THE LOST THRONE but good as well. Goes back to the foundations of the Catholic Church presenting a moral dilemma, other scientific explanation or maybe a more human one. What would you do if the base of your beliefs might be compromised? And by compromised I mean based on a well plotted lie.
Of course there's killings, a conspiracy, the Interpol and locations around the world. Everything is connected but in the meantime, you get to know different characters and different
Bruce Henderson
Mar 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody.
This book is another in the recent spate of papal suspense novels. Only so-so at best. Some of the better features are the use of religious theory regarding past events of the Roman Catholic church, such as the premise that the (likely mythic) Pope John VIII was really female (or "Pope Joan," if you will), and not to be confused with the real Pope John VIII who was male; or catacombs used as long-term storage of papal documents, which may or may not have been hidden for specific reasons. However ...more
This book was quite interesting, and totally different from Platation. I enjoyed Platation better as it had much action, and expected the same here, but a big let down in action.
The other drawback is the ending sentence of each chapter. At a point I was telling myself what is the necessary to end each and every chapter with a "cliché" sentence. If the but is to make the reader turn pages, sorry, I really felt like continuing sometime later, as I feared to come across the last sentence of the ne
Tracy Terry
Though hardly an original story if you like religious conspiracy theories and can get past the fact that at times this feels all a bit like Scooby Doo then you may well enjoy this offering ....... at least for a while. I know I did.

Starting off so well, sadly Sign Of The Cross went slowly down hill until far from finding it difficult to put it down as in the beginning I found myself finding it a chore to read, the stereotypical characters more and more irritating, the lack of research increasing
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd book in the Payne and Jones series. At times it seems rather simplistic, and at others rather confusing. The book basically follows three different threads, although it does seem to skip between them at times, which is where the confusion arises. There are so many characters that part of the time I was trying to work out who does what, with who and when.
For those who have not read the 1st book, The Plantation, nothing much is given away about the two main characters backgrounds i
Kislay Verma
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From my review at SolomonSays:

The second Payne and Jones adventure is as gripping a religious thriller as they come. It features all of Kuzneski’s soon to become hallmark styles – a controversial religious plot, fast paced action, multiple mysteries converging onto a single thread, and the inimitable duo of Payne and Jones. The author has skilfully merged a series of ritualistic murders with an almost routine operation to capture a single man. In a quest style novel like this one, it is essentia
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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 released in more than 40 countries. His latest book, The Prisoner's Gold, won the ITW Thriller award for 2016 Book of the Year. He is the first adventure writer to win a prestigious Thriller Award. His works have also been featured by the Literar ...more
More about Chris Kuzneski...

Other Books in the Series

Payne & Jones (8 books)
  • The Plantation (Payne & Jones, #1)
  • Sword of God (Payne & Jones, #3)
  • The Lost Throne (Payne & Jones, #4)
  • The Prophecy (Payne & Jones, #5)
  • The Secret Crown (Payne & Jones, #6)
  • The Death Relic (Payne & Jones, #7)
  • The Einstein Pursuit (Payne & Jones #8)

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“Some people see the glass as half-empty, while others see it as half-full. But Jones stares at it and tries to figure out who drank the damn water.” 47 likes
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