King Ludwig II ruled Bavaria for twenty-two years, commissioning extravagant castles throughout his homeland and exhibiting such bizarre behavior that he was eventually declared insane. According to legend, Ludwig had stockpiled a massive cache of gold and jewels that would finance the construction of the largest castle of all time. But in the years since the king’s mysterious death, no one has found any evidence of such a trove.
Jonathon Payne and David Jones are pulled into the mystery by a colleague, who asks them to investigate the legend. They agree, and quickly find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to uncover the truth about Ludwig’s death, his mythical treasure, and who would be willing to kill for it.
Kuzneski's lightweight sixth contemporary thriller featuring former Special Forces pals Jonathon Payne and David Jones (after 2010's The Prophecy) takes the bantering duo to Bavaria, where they get on the trail of a hidden treasure belonging to Ludwig II, the eccentric 19th-century Bavarian monarch popularly known as Mad King Ludwig, who died mysteriously at age 40. A bad guy, Hans Mueller, also seeks the treasure, and a pretty young woman who works for a government ministry that oversees all the castles in Bavaria serves largely as the butt for sex jokes from the guys when they aren't making fun of each other's manhood. Kuzneski is good at parceling out interesting historical details, but it's pretty much a stroll through a Bavarian theme park for Payne and Jones, who barely break a sweat while dispatching evildoers. Fans of sophomoric humor will be most rewarded.