*** Books & Benches Mystery-Thriller Book-of-the-Year Finalist ***
*** indieBRAG Medallion Honoree ***
Rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane was never much good at puzzles. But now she must unlock the infamous Templar Word Square to thwart a global conspiracy that reaches across five centuries.
While investigating the murder of an American missionary, Jaqueline discovers the mysterious Latin palindrome carved into an underground Ethiopian church near the tomb of the biblical Adam. Her obsession with solving its coded message draws her into a desperate race with an elusive Middle Eastern mastermind to find the last relic needed to resurrect Solomon's Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads her 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 in a time shift with this modern relic hunt, a parallel duel is waged:
The year is 1452, and one of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal's Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary. Prince Henry the Navigator and his medieval version of NASA plot to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who scheme to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.
Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies dovetail in this breakneck historical thriller to expose the world's most explosive secret: The real identity and mission of Christopher Columbus.
"An impeccably researched, high-velocity historical thriller.... If you love Steve Berry, Dan Brown or Umberto Eco, you may have a new author favorite in Glen Craney."
"A fantastic and enthralling page-turner.... [W]ill keep you glued to your couch. It's the kind of book you can read without seeing the hours pass by, enveloping the reader in its complex and yet logical and well-developed mystery. It's most certainly a tour-de-force."
"A page turner...and a very well written narrative which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended."
"Occasionally I encounter a contemporary historical novelist who provokes me to ask almost the identical question: How can the person whose book I am reading have acquired in a single lifespan the knowledge required to have written it?"
"If you liked Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, you will find this story interesting, too...This book is wonderful in that when you are finished, you are still asking yourself all kinds of questions. It is a great story and one I enjoyed thoroughly."
"[T]his book was compared favorably by other readers to the writings of Dan Brown... I jumped at the chance to see what the hype was about. I'm very glad I did... I stayed up all night to finish this great read and was left wanting more... Many times I will figure stories out early on, but this book keeps you guessing. Mr. Craney is a master of holding back and building the suspense. Though this is a fast-paced romp through history and time, you are still holding your breath... I'm hoping for a sequel."
"An exciting journey across time, with more twists and turns than a strawberry Twizzler. Craney has produced a page-turning adventure, with crisp, clean and measured prose... The research behind the stories is massive, lending credence to the cast of characters and authenticity to the historic periods. This is a highly recommended historical thriller in the manner of Dan Brown."
"Grips you in its teeth and whirls you through history... Naturally this novel will be compared to the books of Dan Brown but the quality of writing in The Virgin of the Wind Rose has the edge for me."
"[A]n excellent, interesting, challenging, addictive and very rewarding read. Look – I’m still figuring it out all these days later.. Thoroughly enjoyable, thrilling and inspiring."
"Five stars. Move over, Dan Brown, you've got competition."