This was a real pot pourri of intrigue, suspense, history, mystery, murder, blackmail, tragedy and romance. My kind of book.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jana is an art restorer and uncovers a secret when renovating a religious icon that could shatter the foundations of the Catholic church with the potential to alter the way it is run – a highly controversial prospect. Not surprisingly, she is not the only one to realise the implications if her findings were to become public knowledge, and there are other parties who will stop at nothing in their eagerness to have the icon in their possession, each with their own unscrupulous methods and price.
Jana and Rob, the curator (and a priest), at Zona Scientifika where she carries out her art conservation are drawn into a tense and thrilling adventure across Europe and the Middle East. There are injuries, casualties, blackmail and emotions which run high on all levels – romantic, self-preservative, greedy and fanatical.
The story is fast-paced. The romance that develops between Jana and the handsome priest, Rob, is not straightforward; his profession somewhat obfuscates its future. All the characters have been well-conceived – I could picture them on a movie screen with no difficulty at all – from Jana’s immaculately presented, billionaire (and ruthless) mother to the shambly, but loveable, expert of ciphers and symbols who helps Jana and Rob get to the bottom of her extraordinary discovery.
The book draws you in right from the first page and climaxes in a dramatic denouement leaving you shocked, relieved, satisfied and thoughtful all at the same time.
I did find I had to keep my wits about me – I wasn’t always as intuitive as the characters, and I sometimes found Rosanne's style a little bumpy, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book one little bit. Rosanne’s impressive research was thorough, and the results of her meticulous investigation are expertly and captivatingly entwined into this excellent and (almost shockingly) credible story.