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Payne & Jones Books In Order

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Publication Order of Payne & Jones Books

The Plantation (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sign of the Cross (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sword of God (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Throne (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prophecy (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret Crown (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Death Relic (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Einstein Pursuit (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Malta Escape (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Payne & Jones is a series by American author Chris Kuzneski. Chris Kuzneski has authored several techno thrillers. His first work was as a child, when he wrote his own cookbook called “The Monster Cookbook”. His librarian was so impressed by his book that the cookbook was added to the school library. Chris himself became involved in education, becoming a teacher for six years. He left his teaching job to go after his dream of becoming a novelist. He successfully achieved that dream with the publication of his first novel, The Plantation.

The Payne & Jones series is a collection of books that follows the exploits of two people. These are Jonathon Payne and “D.J,” or David Jones. Both used to be members of the M.A.N.I.A.C.S.. The M.A.N.I.A.C.S. stood for Marines Army Navy Intelligence Air Force and Coast Guard. They were an elite unit that belonged to the special forces of the United States military. Both Payne and Jones are former elite soldiers. However, the books themselves aren’t necessarily in the realm of military thrillers per se. Another interesting note about the series is that it is loosely connected to The Hunters, another series by Kuzneski.

Payne is a former commander of the M.A.N.I.A.C.S. and also is a current CEO of his own company, Payne Industries, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company is a high tech company that is apparently doing very well. Payne enters in the first book, The Plantation, and has actually appeared in every book in the Payne & Jones series so far.

David Jones was the second-in-command to Payne when they were in the special forces. The two are best friends, and Jones runs his own detective agency that is run out of Payne Industries.

Other characters include Nick Dial, Interpol’s homicide division; Petr Ulster, the curator of the Ulster Archives and historian; Randy Raskin, Pentagon computer researcher who is also loosely based on a real life college friend from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Plantation

The Plantation was actually the debut novel ever published by Chris Kuzneski. It was published in 2002 and is the first book in the Payne & Jones series. Several authors endorsed the book, including Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, James Patterson, and James Rollins. It was re-released with an updated version by Berkley Books in 2009 with several added scenes.

The Plantation is a rollicking thriller that sees the past rise up and start to manifest. The problem is that people are slowly disappearing, one by one. They’re people of all ages, and they’re vanishing in cities in America. They’re being taken from their homes, from their cars, you name it. But while these kidnappings may seem unconnected, they may also be part of an elaborate set up and not be so unconnected at all.

Are these kidnappings not random but actually crimes of intent and great passion? Is there a purpose behind the abductions, and is it enough to create a pattern that can be traced back to the source? The problem is that the abductor seems to actually be a master mind who is planning these kidnappings and researching them many months before they actually happen. But the closer that the crimes are looked at, the more the pattern starts to appear: the motive is revenge, and the roots of America’s past may not be as buried as we think.

Sign of the Cross

Sign of the Cross is the exciting second book in the Payne & Jones series. It was published by Penguin Group USA in October 2006. It once again picked up with Payne and Jones, and introduces the character Nick Dial. The book was endorsed by Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, Nelson DeMille, Tess Gerritsen, and James Rollins. Penguin UK also released a UK version April 2007, where it made #11 on the British Bestseller list. In addition, the rights to the book have been sold in over 15 languages.

In Sign of the Cross, Payne and Jones are sought after for the purpose of finding Dr. Charles Boyd. Boyd is a known archaeologist whose most recent achievement is finding the Catacombs of Orvieto, a safe place for the popes in the Middle Ages. There’s just one problem: Boyd is not immediately able to be found. As people start to turn up tortured and dead, crucified just as Jesus Christ was reported to be, the only people that can decode the mystery are Payne and Jones.

It’s up to the two former special forces soldiers to figure out what’s going on and why it is they who have been chosen to figure out the pieces. The first person to show up is taken from Italy– but then their torture and death is carried out over a thousand miles from there. The same thing happens again the next day– but in Africa and Asia. Three separate continents, two days, and one commonality locking them all into place. Can Payne & Jones solve the crime before more are crucified? And will Payne and Jones be able to break the arrest on them for alleged military crimes from the past?

It might just be all right if they can just catch Boyd, who turns out to be actually quite the thief. In fact, he’s been able to whisk away several of the best treasures in all of Europe. But Boyd isn’t just a master burglar, he’s actually one of the most well informed individuals in the world on Ancient Rome. He’s tantalizingly close discovering something that could shake Christianity to its core.

Sign of the Cross is an interesting read that weaves its web slowly on the reader. It works its way up from an exciting start to a conclusion that is guaranteed to shock its reader to the core. From start to finish, you won’t be able to put it down.

Books Being Made Into Movies

While none of the Payne & Jones series books are being made into movies, but film rights to The Hunters have been optioned and are moving forward. The Hunters is loosely connected to the Payne & Jones series.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Payne & Jones

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