Friday, November 2, 2012
When ex-priest Tom Shaman, jaded from years in the Los Angeles ghetto, decides on a last-minute trip to Venice, he gets much more than he expected. A brutal killer is on the loose and Tom finds himself in the midst of a series of ritualistic killings unlike anything Venice has ever seen. Enlisted by the Italian police, Tom teams up with young investigator Valentina Morassi to dig deep into the city's darkest history,stretching from an ancient civilization to the sexual decadence of eighteenth-century Italy to the gritty underworld of modern-day Venice. As Valentina and Tom trace the killings through the centuries, they uncover a deadly secret that generations have killed to protect: a priceless mosaic known as the Gates of Hell.
As the clock counts down, Tom and Valentina's adventure builds to an astonishing and satisfying end. Exotic and well-researched, The Venice Conspiracy will continue to build Christer's name in the hit-thriller genre. -- The Overlook Press
My dad loves a good thriller so when I saw THE VENICE CONSPIRACY by Sam Christer, I immediately thought he might enjoy this novel. For the most part, I think he did. Here are his thoughts:
THE VENICE CONSPIRACY begins in Los Angeles where Father Tom Shaman accidently kills two men in an effort to protect a young girl from rape. Confused and disillusioned, Shaman decides to leave the priesthood and, inspired by an old postcard, travels to Venice to start a new life.There he quickly gets into a romantic relationship with a freelance writer.
As if bad things are destined to happen to Shaman, soon after arriving in Venice, he discovers a dead body in a Venice canal. After first considering him a suspect, the Venice police then turn to Shaman as a consultant in the case. It seems the murder has all the signs of a ritualistic killing and ironically they want to tap into Shaman’s knowledge and experience as a priest. To add interest to the story, Shaman must work with an attractive young investigator. As the killings begin to mount, Shaman is drawn into the dark and dangerous world of Satanism.
The true beginning of the story goes back to 666 BC when an Etruscan priest sees his wife raped and soon thereafter has a vision of great evil. His artist-wife secretly turns the vision into a three-piece etching she called The Gates of Destiny. Throughout history people seek control of the etching to create more evil in the world.
Author Sam Christer (a pseudonym), smoothly moves back and forth in the novel from the 600 BC, through the decadent 18th century Italy to modern day Venice telling the story of the evil effect caused by the pursuit of the etching.
THE VENICE CONSPIRACY is a story about love and hate, good versus evil and betrayed friendships. It is also about religion, secret societies and symbols.
I am not a fan of the spiritual thriller genre but I must admit I was drawn into the story. The author moved the story along at a brisk pace and created sufficient suspense to hold my interest. I feel, however, the ending was a little disappointing as it related to the relationships that were being developed throughout the novel.
If you are a fan of Dan Brown novels or generally like stories about the mysterious then you will likely enjoy this book.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy and to Booking Pap Pap for his review.