Mysteriously summoned to Quantico to help re-create the face of a murdered, mutilated young woman, FBI forensic artist Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick knows immediately this is no ordinary crime. The hit-and-run death of the forensic anthropologist assisting her-a close friend-and Sydney's abrupt dismissal from the case by covert government investigators only strengthen her need for answers. Now her hunt for a killer is carrying her from Washington to Rome to the hidden chamber of a legendary tomb-on the trail of a fabled treasure of the Knights Templar . . . and a curse.For buried deep in the mysteries of the Freemasons and the Vatican's Holy See is a secret that could rock the world. Suddenly an ancient map is pointing Sydney toward something the Templars wished to hide away forever-something that could unleash an unstoppable tide of blood and devastation.
Burcell's second novel to feature FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick (after 2008's Face of a Killer) offers plenty of action, if not the freshest ideas. After Fitzpatrick helps identify the faceless corpse of a young woman as the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Fitzpatrick decides to follow mysterious, predictably gruff covert government agent Zach Griffin to Rome. There they search for a "third key," alluded to by a forensic anthropologist friend and colleague recently killed in a hit-and-run accident. Fitzpatrick and Griffin believe the key will lead them to a map, buried in the crypts of Rome or Naples, that may be connected to bioterrorism and a very bad guy named Carlo Adami. All this excitement takes them through standard variations on the Freemason conspiracy theory and a good deal of underground scrambling, Indiana Jones-style. It's all fun, if somewhat cliched, and a little burdened by Fitzpatrick's many moments of brooding and indecision. (Dec.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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December 28, 2009
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