cover image The Lazarus Vault

The Lazarus Vault

Tom Harper. Arrow (IPG, dist.), $12.95 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-0-09954-783-9

Fans of Harper’s First Crusade trilogy (The Mosaic of Shadows, etc.) will find the subtlety and creativity of those books missing from this Da Vinci Code wannabe, which also borrows heavily from Grisham’s The Firm. When Ellie Stanton, a British medieval history grad student, shows up for a job interview with Vivian Blanchard, the director of London’s Monsalvat Bank, Blanchard offers her a lucrative position on the spot, despite her lack of any relevant background. The salary, living quarters, and fringe benefits are too good to refuse. Of course, it’s soon apparent that the bank is up to something sinister. Warned that the sixth floor is off-limits, Stanton discovers that the building stops at the fifth floor. Meanwhile, a Luxembourg bank examiner encounters dirty dealings at a Monsalvat branch. The author’s efforts to transform a meek academic into an action figure are less than convincing. (Nov.)