Published: 28/03/2016
ISBN: 9781785890437
eISBN: 9781785896316
Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Secret Scrolls
by Sonia Falaschi-Ray

They gazed at a bronze-bound wooden chest supported by bossed feet in the shape of lion paws. It was covered in a film of limestone dust. There were handles at each end and it was similar in size to a case of wine. Both knew that they should wait for archaeologists to examine the chest in situ but the temptation was too great...

To her amazement, historian Verity Hunter discovers a chest full of letters, hidden for two thousand years in a Sicilian catacomb. She and her classicist colleague, Crispin Goodman, have been investigating the apparent disappearance of restoration funds. They race to translate and return the scrolls before anyone knows they exist. Once their astonishing content is revealed, there is a battle for possession. The Vatican wants them for ‘safe storage’ due to their doctrinally incendiary nature; the catacombs’ director wants them as a tourist attraction; scholars want them for their historical value, the restoration contractor recognises their financial value; and who is the Russian private collector of religious relics with Mafia connections?

The Secret Scrolls is a fast-paced mystery novel, and can be compared to Susan Howatch’s ‘Starbridge’ series and even reflects Dan Brown’s themes. The book is set in the present, but the situations of the modern protagonists and the ancient writers reflect and inform each other. It encompasses a historical background, the differing significance of religious relics to different interest groups, the power of the numinous and the enduring longing for love and acceptance experienced by all.

The Secret Scrolls will appeal to those who enjoy historical novels, mystery quests, spirituality, romance and a good story.

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