I was given an ARC by Canelo Publishing who are awesome legends, and thank you to the fabolous Sophie for sending me this!
To the victor go the spoils…
Historian Carmen Nero, in southern Italy to help a friend search for ancient riches, is caught up in the murderous schemes of the Calabrian Mafia.
Cesco Rossi, a quick-witted conman on the run from a brutal group of neo-Nazis, is about to be confronted by his tragic past.
Israeli Professor Zara Gold is on a mission to find Judaism’s most sacred relic.
For the tomb of Alaric I, the Visigoth king who sacked and looted Rome of its most fabulous treasures, is on the point of being revealed. And who knows what secrets may lie within?
The race to uncover history’s greatest lost fortune has begun…
Warning: Contains little spoilers.
What the bottom line says on the title of this book, it delivers in buckets of oozing action, mesmerizing landscapes, swords, treasures, you name it.
From the start of this novel, you will be pulled into an exotic adventure featuring Italian food, more Italian food, and breath-taking landscapes. There’s a lot of summer in this novel. It will feel like a cookbook and a tourist guide wrapped into an exciting thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. You will be embroiled into a family drama that spans decades of conflict. You will encounter the viewpoint of the Ancients, hidden tombs, and secret conspiracies, corrupt warlords, corrupt mafia.
This has all the standard elements of a thriller fantasy. I’ve read Clive Cussler, Matthew Riley, Andy Mc Dermott, Steve Berry. Dan Brown popularized the genre of course. But this is where I started reading properly. The amount of research is staggering. The amount of attention and love each character is given throughout this novel makes you feel that there heroes and villains. But each hero and villain in this novel sees themselves as the hero. Cesco, the affluent conman who wishes to run from a terrible post and purge all memory of it, is a character that has the characteristics of thieves, rogues. I could imagine him time-traveling to Venice or Medieval Tunisia or the Ottoman Empire. He’s that type of character. I did feel sometimes he was a bit over the top, and sometimes didn’t control too much of the consequences, but that’s my nitpick.
Without going into too many spoilers, I feel the chemistry between Zara and Dov will be for the reader, very volatile. Both have different professions. One’s a commando in Israel’s most special unit, and the other is a history professor that loves history and to be honest, who doesn’t?
The main star of this novel is Carmen. She is naive, but as you read this novel, you get a sense of maturity. She’s strong, pretty, and any man would be lucky to have her as a girlfriend. That said, there’s a lot of romance-esque foreshadowing but you never see it until the end.
The novel has a lot of characters that would be too much for me to describe in detail. Sometimes I did feel the novel’s pace dragged a bit, and some scenes weren’t needed. Without going into too much spoiler mode, some parts with the Neo-Nazi’s gang could have had some more additional scenes. Their POV was interesting, and I felt we needed to see a bit more of them. This is full of Government conspiracy, exciting plots.
And if you’re wondering well, in 2011, thrillers were all the craze. Why should I buy another one that has the same plot/trope? Well, I won’t convince you as that’s your reading taste. What I will say, this novel is a fun ride. You’ll be going through Italy’s famous landscapes, you’ll be discovering hidden old centuries conflict of Mafia drama, you’ll be going through a tour guide of Italian food, you’ll be on motorbikes, you’ll be on farms, hidden tombs. That dear reader is why you should buy this. Let this novel take you at the edge of your seat as you drink coffee, and have a few snacks in between. Or whatever you prefer. I rate this a great book, which could easily be adopted into a movie. My rating is 5/5.