Author Richard Doetsch has created quite an interesting protagonist in master thief and adventurous world traveler Michael St. Pierre. He has already been the lead character in two prior international best-sellers - The Thieves of Heaven and The Thieves of Faith, both of those novels outstanding additions to the ever-crowded field of historical fiction.
With The Thieves of Darkness, Doetsch ups the ante for Michael St. Pierre. He has normally been caught up in various adventures involving the need to retrieve or steal various artifacts that lead to a plethora of international intrigue. The Thieves of Darkness follows that plot-line - only this time, the fate of the world is at stake. The ‘darkness’ that the title refers to is actually representative of the dark abyss that an evil billionaire wishes to launch the world into as he uses Pierre and crew to help him open up the very gates of hell.
This sounds farfetched, but in the hands of Richard Doetsch it is given the full action-adventure treatment in a story that never eases up on the intensity level. Initially, Michael St. Pierre is on a mission to rescue his good friend, Simon, and his latest love interest, KC, from a desolate prison located in the harsh desert of the Middle East. It’s easy to see how Simon and KC ended up in prison - Simon is an unconventional Vatican priest who ‘appropriates’ art and artifacts that have been stolen from the church, and KC is a top-notch thief. Michael, a premier break-in artist, must now break into a prison and rescue his friends before they are put to death.
This happens with seemingly no problems and makes the reader wonder just what the big deal was and where the book will go now. Fear not, for Michael, Simon and KC are quickly off to Istanbul to complete the mission that got Simon and KC incarcerated in the first place. They are on the trail of a map that holds an ancient secret and, if placed in the wrong hands, can put the fate of the world in true peril. This map doesn’t lead to a treasure but to a place of legend and mystery that has been sought by rulers, kings, and despots for millennia.
KC’s younger sister, Cindy, gets caught up in the group’s adventures, and they all find themselves in a race against some evil and well-funded adversaries who also are seeking the same map. An evil billionaire named Venue has hired KC’s former mentor, Iblis, to take out St. Pierre and company and retrieve the map for him. Venue is a believer in the occult and buys into the legend that the location this map will uncover is an ancient place that holds the texts that can allow for the world to be thrust into eternal darkness and literally raise ‘hell on earth.’
Can Michael St. Pierre find the infamous map, keep his colleagues safe, and stop Venue and Iblis in their evil plot to destroy the world? The answers are worth the wait as this gripping thriller grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let up until the final confrontation between good and bad thieves is fought on an ancient and mythical battlefield. I cannot wait for Doetsch to whip up the next Michael St. Pierre adventure.