Born in Lebanon, Raymound Khoury has had quite the life in terms of travel. He was lucky to escape from Lebanon just as the civil war was starting. At just 14 years old, he moved with his family to the United States of America, moving to Rye, New York.
However Khoury went back to his roots after finishing school. He traveled back to Beirut to live, while he studied at the American University of Beirut. Interestingly, Khoury studied architecture there. While it was obviously a crazy time, it’s a period of his life that Raymound Khoury looks back fondly on. You can tell from any interviews with the man, that those life experiences really shaped him into the person that he is today. Clearly seeing the other side of life while being more mature, really would be quite the education.
One such experience involved the eruption of the civil war again. His plan was to help rebuild the city – one of the main reasons he chose architecture – however with the civil war flaring up, he ended up being evacuated and flown out of Beirut by the Marines aboard their helicopter.
London would be the next destination for Raymound Khoury. London, England that is. He focused on architecture there, however it just wasn’t that big during the 80s and the future didn’t look too promising. So Khoury ended up getting an MBA in France and started working as an investment banker.
However this wasn’t enough for Khoury – he was the type of person that was very creative, and that ended up driving him to leave investment banking within just 3 years. He ended up at a dinner with a banker who was involved in the movie business, and together with an idea Khoury had, they implemented a plan for a screenplay to be written.
Khoury ended up being the man to write the screenplay and develop the ideas he had. It even got on the shortlist for the Fulbright Fellowship in Screenwriting, and he worked on various screenplays including The Last Templar.
While Khoury has focused a lot on screenplays, novel writing is his current forte and from reading interviews with him you can tell he thoroughly enjoys what he does. After writing The Last Templar initially, he now has written multiple books – some as follow ups to The Last Templar which is part of the “Sean Reilly & Tess Chaykin” series of books, and others that are just standalone novels.
Khoury was also one of the authors in the popular FACEOFF book, as he went up against the great Linwood Barclay.
Raymound Khoury Books:The Last Templar:
The Last Templar is Khourys first official novel. It features the duo of Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin, who would go on to start in many more novels following this one. Reilly is an FBI agent and anti-terrorist specialist, and Tess Chaykin is his girlfriend, an archaeologist.
The two generally travel the world following mysteries wrapped up in history. The Last Templar covers the battle between the Gnostic insurgency and the Catholic Church. This book was actually not received too well – with many pundits feeling it was boring, dragged, and that the characters and story were cliched.
Many also felt the novel was anti-religious, which counts for many of the negative ratings it has received.
Despite that, it featured heavily on the NYT Bestseller list, as it remained on there for almost 2 years. There was also a TV miniseries of it made for NBC.
Raymound Khoury Books: The Templar Salvation
After writing some standalone novels, Khoury returned to the characters that made him in Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin 5 years after the original The Last Templar book, to write The Templar Salvation.
That book, while staying true to the historical mystery theme, reached for the emotions with Sean Reilly’s girlfriend Tess Chaykin being kidnapped. Reilly would need to steal an important document – what was thought of as an impossible job.
This was another book that had mixed reviews. Some people didn’t like the fact that the main character Sean Reilly made many mistakes and would have to get lucky often(almost like the opposite of Jack Reacher), while others liked that aspect of it as it showed a hero with flaws.
The general consensus for this book is that if you liked The Last Templar, you’ll like this one. The writing style is mostly the same, although it probably fell just short of being as good as The Last Templar.
Raymound Khoury Books: The Devil’s Elixir
This is where things get a lot better. This one focuses on the 1700 century in Mexico, and involves a drug that had went missing. Story wise, this one went better and had a good pace, with a solid mystery and very intriguing as well.
One great thing about the book is that if you missed the first two in the series it’s not a big deal – this one also functions very well as a standalone. It’s credit to Raymound Khoury and his writing style that it is able to do that, because there had been a lot of character development in the early books. Still, if you read the early books it should read better as well.
The story moves at a faster pace than the other books, and despite the success of The Last Templar many people agree that this, The Devil’s Elixir, is the best book Raymound Khoury wrote.
Books in order of publication by series:
Sean Reilly/Tess Chaykin Books
|The Last Templar||(2005)|
|The Templar Salvation||(2010)|
|The One-Armed Knight||(2018)|
|The Devil’s Elixir / Second Time Around||(2011)|
|The End Game||(2016)|
Last Templar Books
|The Knight in the Crypt||(2016)|
|The Sunken Church||(2017)|
|The Falcon Temple||(2017)|
|The Devil’s Handiwork||(2018)|
|The One-Armed Knight||(2018)|
|No Rest for the Dead||(2011)|
|Second Time Around||(2013)|
|The Ottoman Secret / Empire of Lies||(2019)|
|Pit Stop: Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber||(2015)|