Kate Mosse, Author . Putnam $25.95 (572p) ISBN 978-0-399-15467-6

Contrivance, cliché and expository overkill overwhelm bestseller Mosse’s tale concerning a rare tarot deck that helps link the lives of two women living eras apart. In 1891, Parisian teenager Léonie Vernier and her brother visit their young aunt at an estate in southern France. After finding a startling account of her late uncle’s pursuit of the occult, Léonie scours the property for the tarot cards and Visigoth tomb he describes, unaware that more tangible peril in the form of a murderous stalker is seeking to destroy her loved ones. Present-day biographer Meredith Martin is in France finishing a book and tracing her ancestry when she sees a reproduction of the same tarot, which bears her likeness. She investigates the connection when she, too, arrives at the estate, now a hotel in which a new battle between good and evil rages. Mosse (Labyrinth ) conveys so much unnecessary information through so many static scenes of talk, reading and interior monologue that the book’s momentum stalls for good soon after its striking opening. Mosse’s fans will hope for a return to form next time. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/11/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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