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by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne, Anne Trager, trans
Le French Book, March 2016
270 pages
ISBN: 1939474302

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

For conspiracy theorists, this mystery book has it all: Freemasons, Templars, Nazis and Neo-Nazis, as well as secret societies, along with their totems and rituals. It all begins at the French Embassy in Rome

when a young woman is murdered. She turns out to be an archivist for the Freemasons and on the very night she's killed in a ritualistic manner, so too is another Freemason researcher in Jerusalem.

Both of these murders also involve theft of artifacts that lead back to the Nazi era and stretch forward to the present. French Inspector Antoine Marcas happens to be attending a party at the Embassy when the woman's death is discovered and is drawn into the investigation, albeit unwillingly, when he learns he is teamed up with Jade Zewinski, the head of Embassy security.

She despises the Freemasons, of which Marcas is one. Yet she needs the information and connections between clues that only Marcas can provide. Together they must link the past to the present to understand the motivation behind the killings and the group that is sending the Freemasons a clear message.

In addition to the entertainment of the mystery itself (although one isn't sure if the torture scenes should be included under this general label), readers will learn a good deal about Freemasonry, as well as the group's secrets stolen by the Nazis in the 1940s and then later transferred to the Red Army and, eventually, to the KGB.

Translated from the French, this novel keeps the action and secrets flowing. There's a lot of dialogue in which the characters must explain these arcane mysteries to each other, but with such a complex topic, it's hard to imagine a better way to present the material essential to the mystery. For those who revel in secrecy, this novel is sure to please.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, August 2016

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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