India Sommers is a librarian and a talented historian, so when a stranger asks her opinion on an ancient but obviously fake coin, she thinks no more about it. That is, until he is murdered outside the very library she works in. It soon becomes apparent that there is far more to this situation than meets the eye and she is quickly recruited by Brandon Walker, a special service intelligence officer, investigating the disappearance of a very special young girl. As the facts unravel, they realise that an ancient artefact linked to the cult of the Vestal Virgins from ancient Rome, may hold the key to her whereabouts and Brandon draws on India’s vast historical knowledge to unravel clues that date right back through history to the time of the great flood. Slowly, the full horror and mind blowing truth of what they have discovered becomes clear and they become involved in a race against time in a horrific and shocking finale.
From the very first page, this book is compelling and pulls you into the story straight away.
The differing timelines that the chaptering is split into, isn’t confusing at all as it gives a well rounded plot. The 64BC storyline compliments the 2010 plot as the reader learns, alongside Brandon, about the history of The Vesta Virgins and the Palldium (not the theatre in London).
The pace is consistent and this keeps the reader engaged and rooting for India and Brandon on their quest to find, not only Camille – the Prime Minister’s niece, but also the truth about the Palladium and the Vestal Virgins.
I love a good detective story, even more so when it’s mixed with history, but this had a twist as neither of the main characters were police. India’s a librarian and Brandon’s a serving member of the army, yet they still manage to get further than the police.
The only reason I didn’t give this a full 5 stars were the editing errors that caught my eye. They weren’t major and certainly didn’t distract from the story, but they were just noticeable enough to make me pause.
I will certainly read more by this author and definitely more of this series.