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The Lost Catacomb
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The Lost Catacomb

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Nicola Page receives an invitation of a lifetime to explore a newly uncovered catacomb in the heart of Vatican Rome. There is much at stake with the discoveries Nicola and her partner Bruno will make, if the art and artifacts are of Jewish origin, they will be turned over to the Marchesa, if they are of Catholic origin, they will be turned over to the Vatican. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg with the discoveries in the catacomb. There is also a tomb and an set of ancient murders, a mystery uncovered about Nicola's own unknown family history and a very dark secret that a member of the Vatican has kept under wraps since World War II.

An involved historical thriller with a lot of different things going on. I love dual-time stories and this one had three time periods that were involved, the present, then back to 235 A.D., and 1943-1944. The multiple mysteries the Nicola and Bruno are fettering out in the catacomb is very ambitious. There were times that I was completely drawn in and times where I felt like there was too much explanation of the characters motives and feelings that could have easily been inferred rather than spelled out; however, the overall feeling is one of intensity and intrigued and that kept me interested in what was going to happen next. The mystery that I was most interested in having Nicola solve was that of her own family. This is set up at the very beginning and I'm glad that a portion of the story was reserved for her grandmother's story during World War II.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. ( )
  Mishker | Jul 19, 2014 |
ARC from LibraryThing in return for a review. Interesting premise, especially since Nazi stolen artwork has been in the news recently. Nicola, along with another professor, has been summoned to Rome to investigate a lost catacomb. The rights of the catacomb and contents are being debated between the Catholic church (the Vatican) and the Jewish community (on whose property this resides). Nicola and Bruno's research is supposed to solve the debate. The story then turns back to 253 AD, with an unidentified pope being mysteriously killed and buried. It then goes back to present day, then back with Nicola's grandmother's story of Italy during WWII, the Nazi's in compliance with Italian's and possibly the Vatican, denouncing Italian families, who are then exiled and/or killed. And the Vatican and Nazi's are in cahoots about stolen art. Then the story goes back to present day, and instead of the original catacomb investigation, Nicola and Bruno are now investigating the stolen art link. An ambitious book. The lost catacomb was interesting and the WWII portion was riveting. But the present day writing explained everything to the reader, instead of presenting the facts and letting the reader put the pieces together. That brought the enjoyability of the book down. ( )
  nancynova | May 21, 2014 |
From the very first moment I started reading this book, all the way until the very last word was written I was hooked. Now I have to wait for more. The plot of the story and the twists and turns keeps the reader involved and their hearts racing. The way the author weaves the story with amazing detail to people and places and how there isn't a single moment where you don't feel like you are right there with the characters searching, digging, finding the clues really makes this book worth reading. Along the lines of James Rollins, Steve Berry, and other authors of this genre Shifra Hochberg brings together all of the elements of a fantastic and stunningly fast paced novel that will leave you breathless until the very end. I cannot wait to see where this author takes me next. ( )
  leigh1138 | May 18, 2014 |
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book you get lost in. The author does a wonderful job of describing places and people, you actually feel like you are there with the characters. The storyline has many mysteries but flows well and the characters are well-developed. This is a very enjoyable read! ( )
  sportzmomof5 | May 11, 2014 |
This is an ambitious book with multiple plots and time periods. The backstories are interesting and overall the book flows along. It would be a particularly good read for people interested in historical fiction covering the Vatican/Nazi relationship. ( )
  JaiW | Apr 23, 2014 |
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