To say it is intriguing is an understatement. Thomas F. Monteleone’s “Eyes of the Virgin,” published in 2002 is an excellent companion read for fans of Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code.” To Monteleone’s credit, “Eyes” was published first.
A sacred stained glass portrayal of the Virgin Mary periodically provides prophecies, warnings, and spiritual guidance. It is a holy relic that The Church has long countenanced--and kept within its hallowed halls. Immense power is brokered by these messages from the Holy Mother and in the wrong hands this power, obviously, is lethal.
And so, the plot thickens. The glass is stolen and the Vatican is clueless--horrified, even terrified, yes, but still clueless. However, the thief must have the “key” to code for deciphering the holy revelations or the glass is no good. Monteleone then brings in Kate Harrison, after a bit, to proceed. In addition, as the story becomes more involved, Matt Etchison, former Navy SEAL, joins in and between the two of them, the story line heats up, with murder and mayhem only two of the ingredients. Needless to say, there is a major race here for both sides. Needless to say, the Vatican is in near-panic stages. Suspenseful from the opening pages, “The Eyes of the Virgin” has provided a mesmerizing tale. Certainly Monteleone’s story is Ludlum-esque, but that doesn’t detract from the overall impact of it. Granted, religious conservatives may find fault with it, but that aside--and taking it as a work of fiction, this novel is gripping, well-researched, and one likely not to be forgotten soon. (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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