Book & Author Details:
The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney
Publication date: 27th October 2013
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Thriller
While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam.
Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon’s Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:
The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal’s Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.
Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world’s most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer’s connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.
Packed into these 407 pages, is a very detailed, complicated and sometimes confusing book. You will definitely need to keep your wits about you with this one. No late night reading when a little drowsy. No trying to read and watch your favourite TV show at the same time. This complex tale will demand your full attention.
But it is worth it. As with all conspiracy type novels, there is just enough truth here to make a believable story, but add in the intriguing mix of history POV switches, religion and suspense, and you have a story which is elevated from the run of the mill.
But the ending? I’m not entirely happy with the conclusion, but I am glad that the author didn’t compromise the integrity of the overall tale by taking the easy way out.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Glen Craney holds graduate degrees from Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine.
The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting, and he is a three-time finalist for Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award.
His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was honored as Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards.
His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.
AMPAS Nicholl Fellowship Winner
indieBRAG Medallion Honoree
Chaucer Award Double Finalist
Nautilus Silver Award Winner
IPPY Silver Award Winner
NIEA Award Winner for Best New Fiction
Eric Hoffer Finalist/Honorable Mention Winner
Three-time Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Finalist
Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist