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on 29 April 2012
I was completely hooked from the first page; the story takes off with a lightening pace of events as the complexities of the plot unfold.

The story begins in Venice with such a wonderful descriptiveness you can really imagine yourself to be there walking through the many canal filled back streets. Here we find the main character Jana, who is working in a scientific laboratory on the restoration of a religious icon. During this process she uncovers a secret which if proved could destroy the foundation upon which the Catholic Church has been built.

As Jana starts to dig deeper into the mystery of the icon she develops an unlikely relationship with Rob Anderson, the Curator and a Roman Catholic priest. A series of events transports them to Malta where they end up taking a huge risk which causes them to have to run for their lives from what appears to be three separate groups who all have invested interest in obtaining the secret of the icon.

Through a trusted friend they are introduced to an expert in the interpretation of symbols who helps them to unravel the various meanings of the pictograms embedded in the icon. This fatherly Welsh professor becomes the real sticking element of this group of eclectic characters which grows in numbers as the plot twists and turns. The stakes are raised, a ransom is demanded and people are found dead as a race against time sees the group flee to other exotic destinations trying to unravel various clues along the way before one of history's biggest secrets falls into the wrong hands.

This book will grab your attention from start to finish. It has a bit of everything in it including colourfully illustrated destinations, mystery, romance, vibrant characters and a well researched plot which is so believable that it is quite shockingly real. The amount of work which must have gone into checking the facts and the restorative methods used on such pieces is tremendous and yet flows so simplistically throughout the book without detracting from the story line. There was a great balance of characters, story, detail and mystery. It was a hugely enjoyable book which I would highly recommend.I will definately be checking out other books by this author.

Andria Saxelby for the Kindle Book Review
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on 19 February 2012
This was a real pot pourri of intrigue, suspense, history, mystery, murder, blackmail, tragedy and romance. My kind of book.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jana is an art restorer and uncovers a secret when renovating a religious icon that could shatter the foundations of the Catholic church with the potential to alter the way it is run - a highly controversial prospect. Not surprisingly, she is not the only one to realise the implications if her findings were to become public knowledge, and there are other parties who will stop at nothing in their eagerness to have the icon in their possession, each with their own unscrupulous methods and price.

Jana and Rob, the curator (and a priest) at Zona Scientifika where she carries out her art conservation are drawn into a tense and thrilling adventure across Europe and the Middle East. There are injuries, casualties, blackmail and emotions which run high on all levels - romantic, self-preservative, greedy and fanatical.

The story is fast-paced; the romance that develops between Jana and the handsome priest, Rob, is not straightforward; his profession somewhat obfuscates its future. All the characters have been well-conceived - I could picture them on a movie screen with no difficulty at all - from Jana's immaculately presented, billionaire (and ruthless) mother to the shambly, but loveable, expert of ciphers and symbols who helps Jana and Rob get to the bottom of her extraordinary discovery.

The book draws you in right from the first page and climaxes in a dramatic denouement leaving you shocked, relieved, satisfied and thoughtful all at the same time.

I did find I had to keep my wits about me - I wasn't always as intuitive as the characters, and I sometimes found Rosanne's style a little bumpy, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book one little bit. Rosanne's impressive research was thorough, and the results of her meticulous investigation are expertly and captivatingly entwined into this excellent and (almost shockingly) credible story.
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on 20 February 2012
Almost every reader review mentions the resemblance of 'According to Luke' to Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code'. Other than the religious artifact aspect, another example of the Catholic Church's long history of deceit, cover-up and hypocritical leadership; there's no comparison. Luke is more love story, mystery and character driven plot line than Mr. Brown has ever written. The religious artifact, an ancient painting of St Luke, serves primarily as the device for bringing a group of fascinating characters together and developing a story that spans some of the most interesting places in the world, as well as, in-depth knowledge of art and art restoration processes.

I must say that the details of art restoration and the discovery of the hidden painting was so detailed and specific to the profession, that I was overwhelmed - almost to the point of giving it up. For me, it was too much detail and a bit boring. I stuck with it, however, and I'm very glad I did. I look for strong characters, a plausible premise, realistic dialogue and fast pacing when selecting what I'll read and Ms Dingli delivered, with only a scattered few 'bumps' in the road, exactly the kind of book that I enjoy.

I recommend 'According to Luke' on its own merits, without comparison.
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on 26 May 2011
According to Luke by Rosanne Dingli really is a book you should read. As a mystery it is superb, well crafted with innumerable convolutions and complexities in a plot that could change the world.
She proposes a theory which could rock the Catholic Church to its foundations far more than Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and could inspire change undreamed of for two thousand years because its fundamental hypothesis is so plausible. For anyone approaching Christianity and the Catholic Church for the first time it provides solid evidence that is denied by established doctrine and yet makes complete sense. The evidence offered and the masterly way in which it is revealed and presented makes Dingli's theory all the more possible in a way that is reinforced by the devious machinations of those who would conceal and refute its essence.
Starting in a laboratory where an old religious icon is undergoing restoration, the tension mounts swiftly. There is enough technical detail to let the reader know that she really does know what she is talking about, whilst not enough to detract from the important message of the story. The story swiftly moves on to other locations, building the tension as it goes and adding layers of complexity to the mystery which gets deeper as it unfolds.
Her portrayal of the various characters and illustrations of the political manoeuvring that goes on in the Catholic hierarchy are beautifully illustrated and the whole lot is set in a mobile but very well researched series of locations. At the same time her characters are very real as individual people, with emotions and attitudes we can all identify and share.
Her research has been impeccable and detailed, enabling Dingli to use her considerable descriptive powers to bring locations to life. These include the sounds and smells of Venetian canals and plazas with the angelus playing Ave Maria, the incense laden atmosphere of beautifully described churches in Italy and Malta, narrow lanes the an isolated dead end of a Maltese jetty, together with the windswept starkness of an ancient monastery on the Syrian plateau.
Through these places she moves like chess pieces a collection of characters, each with their own talents and dilemmas, who mesh together in a well crafted way that enables the reader to share their joys and agonies, fears, and successes from an intimate perspective.
According to Luke is compelling reading from the very beginning to the last page and well worth reading more than once. This is suspense writing at its best, worthy of great acclaim.
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Rosanne Dingli packs punch onto every page with her action-packed thriller, According to Luke. Was the Beloved Physician really a woman? A sacred ancient icon brought to the prestigious Zona Scientifika lab for authentication and restoration sets off spine-tingling intrigue as questions arise. Dead bodies, stolen objects, gunshots, and an impossible love affair with a priest suffering a terrifying affliction pepper the pages as a bishop’s forces race Moslem terrorists to capture the icon. Unlikely alliances thrown together to recapture and protect the icon brave perils to chase it to exotic locations. Dingli draws on her inside knowledge of the world of art conservation to seamlessly educate readers on conservation techniques and a bit of art history and her insight into human nature to reveal emotionally complex characters.

What’s not to love about a story with all that? I bought this book on the insistence of a friend. He was right. I read it non-stop and can’t wait to dig into more titles on the lengthy list of this talented and prolific writer.

Now it’s your turn to ponder the enigma, “Was the Beloved Physician a woman?”
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on 22 July 2013
According to Luke by Rosanne Dingly
Reviewed by Lucy Pireel

Amazing, captivating and very well researched.
First let me tell you I am not unversed in Catholicism. Not that this book is religious, but its plot revolves around an issue which is very important to the Church. As a non-Catholic it made me look up references which are dropped in the story to see if they hold up. Let me tell you this writer has done her job. Not only on the religious, biblical and general spiritual matters, but also on the down to earth day to day things such as travel and knowledge of locations.
Yes, this is an author who is thorough, not only in research, but in editing and continuity. Her story telling abilities combined with a surefire way of captivating even the not in the least religious reader is a guarantee for success.
This is not only a mystery, it is a love story, a detective, a crime novel as well as a historic document. I was captivated the entire 391 pages!
At the end there is a mention of the author's use of facts. I was amazed at how one thing I took for true was actually made up, while the rest of it read as truth and is actually pure fiction!
I would say this is a job well done, a book well worth your time and money if you love suspense, mystery, crime and romance.
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on 14 March 2015
I loved this book, fast pace, had lots of twists and turns. Great characters and locations yet again.
Would thoroughly recommend!

Rosanne Dingli deserves 10 out 10 :)
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on 8 March 2013
This is very disappointing. Too far-fetched, and the art details not interesting enough to carry you through. Not even the descriptions of Venice and Malta are adequate.
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