From Publishers Weekly
Best known as an author of erotic thrillers, Rose (Lip Service
) delves into religious myth and past-life discovery in her well-paced ninth novel. In present-day Rome, a terrorist bomb explosion triggers flashbacks of pre-Christian Italy in photographer Josh Ryder. Josh experiences the memories as Julius, a pagan priest defending the sacrosanct monuments of his gods and the life of his vestal virgin lover against the emperor-mandated onslaught of Christianity in A.D. 391. Six months later, Josh has teamed with the Phoenix Foundation, an institute specializing in past-life memories in children, to explore a newly excavated tomb that may contain pagan memory stones that incite past-life regressions and will, by proving the existence of reincarnation, challenge the church. The stakes rise after it becomes clear that dangerous outside forces also want the stones. In a series of memory lurches, the narratives of Josh and Julius slowly wind together to reveal a Da Vinci Code
–esque tale of intrigue that's more believably plotted and better meets its ambitions than Dan Brown's ubiquitous book. (Sept.)
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After a bomb explosion nearly kills photojournalist Josh Ryder, he begins experiencing flashbacksor, perhaps, memoriesof events that seem to have happened to him 1,600 years earlier, in another life. Convinced these episodes aren't figments of his imagination, he enlists the aid of the Phoenix Foundation, a group that specializes in past-life research. Later, when he becomes involved in the unearthing of an ancient tomband experiences a connection with its long-buried residentJosh realizes he has a chance to right a wrong that happened a millennium and a half ago, not to mention an opportunity to solve a series of modern-day murders. This is one of those books that succeeds in spite of itself: even though the writing is merely competent, the story itself is so appealing that you can't stop reading. Josh Ryder is a difficult character to pull off (among other things, he's a man in love with a woman who lived 1,600 years ago), and at times he comes off a little loopy. But for the most part he, like the novel itself, is surprisingly well grounded in the real world. Pitt, David