The Assassini Author:Thomas Gifford The Assassini marks the triumphant return of a master at the peak of his powers-the first novel in eleven years from Thomas Gifford, acclaimed author of The Wind Chill Factor. Now, Gifford surpasses himself with a complusively readable novel of international suspense that pits a tenacious investigator against a shadowy conspiracy with roots deep... more » in the past. It is 1982. In the Vatican, princes of the Church gather around the dying pope, whispering the names of possible successors. In an all-but-forgotten manastery on Ireland's gale-swept coast, an exposive document is hidden, waiting to be claimed. And in a family chapel in Princeton, New Jersey, a nun is murdered at her prayers.
Sister Valentine was an outspoken activist a thorn in the Church's side. To her brother, lawyer Ben Driskill, she was simply Val-the one person in the world he's never been cynical about. When Ben, and ex-Jesuit, realizes the Church is doing nothing to investigate Val's murder, he sets out to find the killer himself. And he is astonished at the pattern that emerges: eight people connected to the Church have died in the recent past, yet again and again Ben is warned away from Church matters.
Ben's quest takes him from the silent desolation of the Egyptian desert to a down-at-the-heels bar in Montmartre, from a gaurded sanctuary in Avignon to Rome itself-the center of the spider's web. There, Val's best friend, Sister Elizabeth, has been conducting her own explorations in the Vatican's Secret Archives, and has uncovered evidence of a brotherhood of killers, deployed centuries before to protect the embattled Church-a group that was reactivated whenever the need arose: the Assassini.
Together, Ben and Elizabeth confront the unthinkable: Could the Assassini still exist in the secular age? And what grave threat to the Church could they be seeking to destroy?
The Assassini brilliantly calls forth centuries of bloodstained history and shadowy intrigue, transporting the reader to its beautifully evoked settings. Here is the best book yet from the author whom C. P. Snow called "a born writer"-a relentlessly suspenseful novel about the price one man must pay for seeking the dark truth behind secrets long buried.« less