The Brotherhood of the Tomb

Daniel Easterman, Author Doubleday Books $19.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-385-24178-6
This fourth thriller (after The Ninth Buddha ) by a pseudonmyous British author confirms his rising reputation as a literate writer of well-researched espionage tales. In 1968, in Jerusalem, a tomb is discovered that contains the bones of Jesus, his ``brother''quotes ok James and their mother Mary. At the same time, at Trinity College in Dublin, young American student Patrick Canavan falls in love with Francesca Contarini, who wears a strange cross around her neck. Twenty-four years later, Francesca has apparently drowned, and Canavan, now ex-CIA, has returned to Dublin to try to recapture his youthful peace of mind. But events from the past impinge on the present: just after Canavan realizes he is being watched by a sinister man with a strange tattoo, he discovers an old priest with his eyes gouged out. Then children are murdered and their hearts ripped from their bodies, and KGB agents have their heads shaved and covered with plastic bags. Teaming up with an Ethiopian priest, Canavan (a la Umberto Eco heroes) must decipher Hebrew, Greek and Italian texts to detect the apparent reemergence of the secret Brotherhood, a 12th-century right-wing sect. Is the cult, founded on the teachings of James, out to seize the papacy, spread the word that Christ did not die on the cross, and reinitiate human sacrifice? And is Francesca dead or Dead? Easterman connects the threads of his complex narrative with riveting suspense: almost every chapter ends with a cerebral cliff-hanger guaranteed to speed readers on to the next page. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-52047-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-06-100206-9
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