I will admit up front, I'm not a huge fan of suspenseful gun packed action-adventure stories involving cyphers and secret societies. Sure I've read and enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, but Angels and Demons by the same author has sat on my shelf unread for years.
The premise is Dr. Steven Cross, crypotologist widower, is surprised by Natalie super-hot chick in catsuit with the unfortunate news that suddenly an intellectual exercise of his, The Voynich Cypher, has become a life or death riddle. They must escape the Order, a section of the Catholic Church, as well as other, more ruthless, opponents, all of whom are after a secret he has yet to decode.
After a page of this book, I was hooked and into the story. Russell Blake writes a tight novel, and The Voynich Cypher is incredibly readable, and fast paced. The author does a fantastic job of describing Italy, a place I have visited dozens of times myself. The story ushers us through several Italian cities, as well as historical places like an old mausoleum in Rome. The main characters even have time to eat delicious Italian food and sip fine wines while they run from their perusers around the peninsula. I was very impressed by the research that must have been done to create the map of historical points, and the context of the Cypher within history.
All and all a good read! Well done.
*Reviewer received a copy from the World Literary Cafe in exchange for a review*
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