Friday, 30 June 2017

When is an Alchemist's code not an Alchemist's code ...

The first of a gripping conspiracy thriller series for fans of Scott Mariani and Dan Brown.

A dark figure.  A secret code.  A battle between good and evil...

Years ago the Knights Templar developed a secret code.  A code so secret that only one man could remember it.

The code lies in the hidden recesses of Lorenzo Aragona's memory.  The alchemist has always known it, but, until he crosses paths with a beautiful but brutal Russian spy, he does not realise its significance.

In a race against the clock from Naples to Kiev, Lorenzo uncovers an ancient history involving Nazis and Freemasons, secrets and spies.  He must remember the code, unlock the Baphomet and take control of The Guardian of the Threshold.  The lives of the Pope, his dying wife and all of mankind are at stake and only Lorenzo had the power to save them.

I love historical mystery novels of which there are a great deal written.  The ones I like the most make use of an historical myth and base a novel around it; then at the end (in the noted) they tell you what is real and what is fiction.  Some authors are more successful than others, unfortunately this is the latter. 

As I was reading this novel I was confused by the title.  The main protagonist was a sort of Alchemist in the sense that he was an esoteric expert; and there is a sort of code that needs to be deciphered relating to a mythical society which drove the novel shortly.

The main protagonist - Lorenzo Aragona was dislikeable and full of me-itis.  Although he appears to be living an ideal life nothing is quite as it seems.  As the story develops whatever Lorenzo did appeared at odds with what a reasonable person would do or how they would react.

The actions of Lorenzo were not helped by the fact that the author was not content to just include one historical myth and deal with that thoroughly.  Instead he not only included  secret =society from World War II but also the Knights Templar, alchemy, various other people described as evil; and last but not least the Pope.  With so much going on it got very confusing very quickly.

It would have been far better just concentrating on the Thule society and getting his facts and figures about them well researched and well developed including the actions of the protagonist.  Instead this author does ot seem to know where he is going with any of the story lines leading to a very confusing and badly researched novel.

There are lots of areas in this book where the narrative was repeated, there are some areas that lack credibility and a lot of inconsistency where subsequent actions do not mesh with what had happened before, leaving the reader really confused.  Equally many of the characters are not developed at all and/or are just labelled something without further explanation.

The first part of the novel is really extraneous with the majority of the novel, or at least the action parts, taking place over s dozen or so pages.

This novel was very confusing and was not n the least bit original.  The narrative was incoherence to say the least and fairly reminiscent of another best-selling novel that will remain nameless.

Thank you Netgalley (and the publishers) for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This novel was rated 2 stars on Goodreads and 3 stars on Amazon.