Dr. Maria Pelato, Italian Archaeologist, flies to Cancun, Mexico for a mysterious job offer from an American scholar and anthropologist, Terrance Hamilton. Hamilton, who wants Maria’s expertise with Christian artifacts, he has been working at a hidden Mayan archaeological site. Maria, puzzled that she would be called to consult on the Mayans when her knowledge is clearly with Christianity, is first angry and then fearful when Hamilton disappears. Maria’s room in trashed and her passport is stolen. Unsure whether Hamilton has been kidnapped or she is the victim of a hoax, she turns to the two people she can trust implicitly for they have saved her life once before. David Jones and Jonathon Payne, retired from Special Forces and adrenaline junkies, are happy to leave winter in Pittsburgh where they test equipment for Payne Industries, and fly to Mexico to help Maria.
On the trail of Hamilton, Maria and her friends encounter CIA agents and drug cartels while trying to figure out how the destruction of the Mayan empire by the Conquistadores centuries ago has drawn in them into a fight for their lives today.
Entertaining banter by Payne and Jones as well as past relationships with Maria and other persons of interest in the Sign of the Cross, makes this a must read. Seventh in the Payne and Jones series, The Death Relic, offers solid action and adventure.