Book Review – The Vault by Boyd Morrison

27 06 2011

The Vault

Boyd Morrison

Touchstone Books

Available July 5, 2011

In the last decade, a new type of thriller has taken the publishing world by storm. The typical story goes something like this. Evil bad guy searching for famous, lost historical artifact forces hero to join him in his quest to discover the artifact and gain power or money. This formula has propelled Dan Brown, Steve Berry and James Rollins to the top of the best-seller lists and authors like Raymond Khoury, Andy McDermott and Chris Kuzneski have all made a good living following a similar formula.

In 2010, Boyd Morrison became the latest author to capitalize on the popularity of this genre. After self-publishing three novels and selling more than 7,500 copies of them in less than three months, Morrison landed a deal with Touchstone (a division of Simon & Schuster) to release his third self-published novel, “The Ark.” His debut novel with Touchstone garnered him thousands of new fans and positive reviews, creating a lot of buzz and high expectations for his new novel, “The Vault.” Morrison fans can rest easy – they should find their expectations met and exceeded with this exciting new thriller.

Former combat engineer Tyler Locke, the hero from “The Ark,” returns for more globe-trotting adventures, this time in search of the fabled golden touch of King Midas. Locke’s mundane commute on a Washington State Ferry is interrupted by an anonymous phone call with a chilling message – the caller claims they have kidnapped Locke’s father and a truck bomb was set to detonate on the ferry in 20 minutes. Following the caller’s instructions, Locke finds the truck and discovers classical language expert Stacy Benedict has also been forced to take part in the caller’s deadly game. To disarm the bomb, Locke and Benedict must solve an ancient puzzle written in ancient Greek.

After successfully solving the puzzle and disarming the bomb, the pair learn the bomb was merely a test to prove their worthiness to complete their adversary’s ultimate goal – finding the legendary riches of King Midas. Failure to find the treasure in five days will result in the deaths of Locke’s father and Benedict’s sister, who has also been kidnapped. Following the clues left by the ancient Greek inventor Archimedes, Locke and Benedict traverse the globe, traveling to Italy, Germany, Greece and New York City. As Locke unravels the mystery surrounding their opponent, a broader threat emerges with a purpose buried deep in the past.

This action-packed thriller quickly hooks readers and propels them along at breakneck speeds, faster than the Ferrari 458 Italia that Locke pushed to its limits on the German Autobahn. The historical references and puzzle create an interesting backdrop to the endless twists and turns that Morrison pushes Locke and Benedict through. I had read about the mystery of the Antikythera Mechanism before and was very excited to see how Morrison used it as a plot device in “The Vault.”

With this second book in the series, Tyler Locke has been cemented as an action hero for the 21st Century. Someone should consider purchasing the movie rights to “The Ark” and “The Vault” and lock in Locke as the next literary hero to make the jump to the big screen.

Morrison has proven again that his name belongs right next to Rollins, Berry and Brown. If you are a fan of thrillers and love touches of historical mystery, you should love “The Vault.”

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give “The Vault” a 4.5.

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