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The Devil's Elixir Hardcover – December 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; 1st edition (December 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952435
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Khoury brings back Sean Reilly and his girlfriend, Tess Chaykin, in another round of mayhem in his popular Templar series. Michelle Martinez, Reilly’s former girlfriend, calls him in a panic. She and her son were attacked in their home and barely escaped with their lives. Reilly runs to her side. Soon he discovers a conspiracy involving distribution of an ancient Mexican drug. Reilly can’t utilize his FBI resources because the people out to get Martinez and her son may have connections inside the bureau and the DEA. This is a fast-paced thrill-ride, in which bullets fly with abandon. Knowledge of prior Reilly and Chaykin books is not necessary to enjoy the fun. Though the twists are a bit predictable, and the book’s title is a bit misleading, these are minor nits to pick in a fine thriller to start the new year with. A sure bet for fans of Steve Berry and James Rollins, too. --Jeff Ayers

About the Author

Raymond Khoury is the author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers: his debut The Last Templar, The Sanctuary, The Sign, and The Templar Salvation. His books have been translated into over forty languages. To find out more about his work, visit his website at www.raymondkhoury.com, or join him on his Official Facebook Fan Page.

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More About the Author

I was born in Beirut, a Scorpio and the youngest of three. The civil war broke out there when I was 14 and my parents, in a noble effort to keep us alive into adulthood, wisely moved us to Rye, NY. I stayed there until I graduated from Rye Country Day School, then, intent on thwarting my parents' nurturing instincts, I decided to go back to Lebanon to study architecture at the American University of Beirut. Which, in hindsight, wasn't as nutty a decision as you might think. Those years, marred by repeated flare-ups of fighting and a couple of invasions, were emotionally taxing, harrowing, sometimes dangerous, often maddeningly frustrating, but always intense in the most visceral sense of the word and, weirdly enough, I wouldn't have missed them for the world. Maybe that's the Scorpio in me...

So there I was, gingerly studying architecture in the hopes of one day helping rebuild the city (rumours that a local cabal of intensely purist architects was having ugly buildings selectively blown up remain unproven). The civil war erupted again a few weeks after I graduated, and I was evacuated out from the beach down the road from our apartment on a sunny but sad day in February, 1984, by the Marine Corp's 22nd Amphibious Unit on board a Chinook helicopter, to whom I'll be eternally grateful (the Marines, not the chopper).

I ended up in London, where I joined a small architecture practice. The architecture scene in Europe was pretty bleak at that time, so I decided to explore other career options. I got an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and joined an investment bank, selling gold-linked convertibles and other far less exotic financial instruments, surrounded by Gekko wannabes and hating waking up every day. In fairness, I have to credit those 'wilderness' years with one wonderful thing: meeting my gorgeous wife, who tolerated my exhausting yearnings for something more fulfilling and eventually gave me two incredible daughters.

I left the glamorous (at the time, anyway) world of investment banking after three years to return to my creative roots. I bounced around for a while, trying different things, and during a business trip to the Bahamas (don't ask), I met a banker who dabbled in the film business. I've always been a film geek and harbored a burning desire to make movies, so at dinner one night, I bounced an idea off him, and the idea struck a chord. I had a new partner, and we agreed to develop my idea into a screenplay -- by hiring a professional screenwriter he'd worked with.

Several conference calls later, the outlines coming back from Los Angeles weren't what I had in mind. I offered to write an outline myself. When I faxed my notes to my partner (yes, this was in the early 90s, long before email), he called me up and said, "Our man in L.A. isn't going to write this movie for us. You are. You're a writer."

So I did. And it got shortlisted for the Fulbright Fellowship in Screenwriting award, which I had to apply for under a friend's name (I wasn't eligible, but that's another long story). My next script, a semi-autobiographical screenplay about my college years during the war, was also nominated for the award a year later. Then the next year, in 1995, I optioned the film rights to Melvyn Bragg's novel, THE MAID OF BUTTERMERE and wrote the adaptation myself while completing an original screenplay called... THE LAST TEMPLAR. Buttermere found its way to Robert DeNiro, who announced in Variety that he would be producing it and playing the lead. The Last Templar... well, if you're reading this, you know that after ten years or so, it managed the quantum leap off my laptop's hard drive and into novel form, but that's a longer story, one I'll go through in a separate post...

Since then, and after working as a screenwriter and a producer on shows like the BBC series Spooks, (MI-5 in the US), I'm now solely focused on the novels, the fifth of which is THE DEVIL'S ELIXIR.

And that's about it... Thanks for taking the time to explore my ramblings, and if you do pick up one of my books, I hope you have a blast reading it. And let me know-connect with me on facebook on my Official Fan Page (and NOT on one of the others that I don't manage!). Enjoy!

Customer Reviews

Every page is a cliffhanger.
euonymous
He writes intriguing novels with a good pace and plenty of twists!
KennyD
Seemed to a little contrived and not so believable in spots!
Maynard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As many thrillers as I read, somehow I hadn't yet made it around to Raymond Khoury. So, even though I hadn't read earlier Templar novels featuring Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin, I decided to dive right in. Fortunately, Khoury's enough of a pro to gracefully exposit everything I needed for this novel without spoiling past tales. I didn't feel like I was missing a thing.

The Devil's Elixir opens with three brief prologues that establish elements of the story. After that, the action takes off with a bang. Specifically the bang of the gunshot that kills former DEA agent Michelle Martinez's boyfriend the moment he answers the door to her home. The killers then go after Michelle. She grabs her four-year-old son, gets out, and calls the most trust-worthy person she can think of, former flame Sean Reilly. He gets on a plane no questions asked and gets sucked into Michelle's inexplicable nightmare. She hasn't worked in law enforcement in years, but these killers won't quit.

Of course, this is barely the beginning of what turned out to be an entertaining page-turner. As noted earlier, there's plenty of action, but story doesn't suffer in service of it. Things move at a consistently fast pace. I won't claim these are the most well-developed characters of all time, but they're likable enough that I cared about their fates.

Finally, there was a major twist in the last quarter of the novel. Ultimately, I'm not sure what I thought of it, but I didn't see it coming at all. Overall, it was well-handled. This was a positive enough introduction to Khoury's work, that I'm much more interested in reading the earlier Sean & Tess novels and will certainly consider reading future works.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Imahaint on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of this author since his first book, "The Last Templar." I have followed him through, "The Sanctuary," "The Sign," and "The Templar Salvation." I have yet to pick up anything he has written that does not give me a source of entertainment, the classic 'great read' (by my definition), and always gives me pause and makes me think out of the box.

There comes a time when one needs to sit down and reassess priorities and how one views the world, and Khoury never fails to do this for me. His characters, Tess and Sean Reilly, are typical adults in a typical relationship that comes with circumstances to trip over that do occur in daily living, if one is an FBI agent and another having the fortune, or misfortune, of continually stumbling over historical revelations that need to be reexamined in today's world. I find this couple funny, intriguing and most of all, human. Their affection for one another is clearly communicated through Khoury's writing and one doesn't walk away thinking they could have written their relationship better.

I do not want to ruin the book for potential readers, but I will give a bit of non-spoiler tidbits. Today we are fighting a war on drugs, sadly, we are losing. The premise behind this story is what would happen if a new drug was brought forth from the jungles and tweaked a bit to form a hallucinogenic drug so powerful everyone would want to ride the wave? That being the main storyline, the sub-structure belongs to Sean, who is unexpectedly called by an old girlfriend who is in trouble and can count on no one but him to help her out. Add to this a secret that she has kept hidden from him and how this secret rallies the relationship between Sean and Tess is really an exquisite waltz of drama, love, kindness and compassion.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jim Chieco on December 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Raymond Khoury has once again written a book that while fiction could actually be happening as we read it. His Character's Reilly and Chaykin keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. I am certain you will enjoy "The Devil's Elixir" as much as I have. And I already look forward to Mr. Khoury's next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sean the Bookonaut on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
*slightly spoilerific*

I have somehow missed reading Raymond Khoury, despite him having four consecutive New York Times best sellers. The Devil's Elixir features characters from Khoury's previous novels but it works effectively as a stand alone.
Not having read Khoury before I had no idea what to expect. Prior to chapter one he quotes both Carl Sagan:

There is a lurking fear that some things are 'not meant' to be known, that some inquiries are too dangerous for human being to make.

and Dr Harold Lief commenting on the life and work of Dr Ian Stevenson:

Either he is making a colossal mistake, or he will be known as 'the Galileo of the 20th century'

These quotes become important towards the end of the novel.

The Story
------------
We begin with the discovery of a rare hallucinogenic drug by a Spanish Jesuit, Eusebio, a missionary in Mexico in the 1700's. We are, however, the shunted forward in a quick succession of three scenes leading up to the present; FBI agent Sean Reilly in a mission gone to hell, then a Federal agent intent on revenge, and finally to a murder.

A crazed and previously thought dead Mexican drug baron is set on rediscovering Eusebio's drug and synthesizing it. He is known as El Brujo, the sorcerer, a believer in magic and the ability of substances to facilitate travel between the real and the spiritual, between fantasy and reality, future and past. He's unhinged, intelligent an intent on getting what he wants whatever the cost.

Reilly and a cross departmental team have to figure out what El Brujo's up to and stop him before the drug can flood the streets.

Non-stop action
-----------------
The book is, as the Times says, "non-stop action".
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