If you're an ardent Catholic, you won't like this book. Like Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, it deals with the dark side of the Church, and is probably more provocative. It is one of those books that grabs the reader's attention right from the start and I found myself absorbed by the interesting characters and the level of historical and scientific detail. Unpretentious in writing style, it is also not without a sense of humour.
Number 2 at the Vatican, Cardinal Secretary of State Lorenzo Petroni has his eye on the top job, given the Pope's failing health. Three things threaten to destroy him - Cardinal Giovanni Donelli has started an investigation into the Vatican Bank ; journalist Tom Schweiker is looking into Petroni's past, and even more dangerously, one of the world's foremost authorities on archaelogical DNA, Dr Allegra Bassetti, a former nun and long ago victim of Petroni, is piecing together fragments of the Omega Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, at CIA HQ in Langley, Mike McKinnon is investigating the possibility that one or more missing nuclear suitcase bombs from the former Soviet Union may have fallen into the hands of Al Quaeda. This could mean a fulfillment of a warning set out in the Omega Scroll more than 2000 years ago.
The Sunday Times called this book "a classy action thriller". I would definitely agree.