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John Larocque, the most successful homicide detective in Phoenix PD history, has an uncanny knack for knowing when he is being lied to. His latest case, the high-profile rape and murder of a teenage girl by her father, “Big Ben” Benton, a prominent business man with a flawless reputation, seems like a slam dunk. There is an orgy of evidence, enough that no jury in the world could possibly acquit. And yet, John knows absolutely that Benton is innocent. Putting his reputation on the line, John promises Benton’s frail wife that he will find the real murderer.
That’s when John’s world begins to collapse. The more he digs, the more the evidence impossibly points to Benton. His aging father, Jack, is deteriorating into a delusional paranoia, claiming that he has witnessed a mysterious old friend gunned down in the street and that he is the next target. Haunted by his fruitless search for the Benton girl’s killer and bordering on madness himself, John resigns in disgrace when he discovers his father’s body at the bottom of his basement stairs, an apparent victim of a tragic accident.
Following clues left behind by his dead father, John and Jackie, his reclusive daughter, discover a hidden vault in Jack’s basement containing a library of ancient manuscripts of unprecedented importance. Reading Jack’s translation of one of the manuscripts, they become immersed in the rich historical account of the rescue of the Forgotten Ones, an event left out of modern history books. The date is March 1314, seven years after the fall of the powerful Knights Templar and ten years after the precipitating event known as the Outrage of Anagni, when an army of mercenaries hired by King Philip IV of France attacked Pope Boniface VIII. They discover that the real reason for the attack on Boniface and the destruction of the Templars is vastly different than history records, and directly relates to secrets of the Larocque family line that must be kept hidden at all cost.
But they are being watched. Hired to steal the library of manuscripts, Slade Lassiter is now hunting John, who possesses the only means to enter the vault. A ruthless killer with a dark past, Slade also holds the key to solving the Benton murder.