Inquisition Paperback – 29 Sep 2011
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A masterful thriller for fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris.
About the Author
Alfredo Colitto is the author of six novels. He lives in Bologna.
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise is relatively straightforward - three Knights Templar scattered throughout Europe, in Naples, Cyprus and Toledo, have been sent a letter that piques their interest, the promise of the secret of alchemical transformation waiting for them in Bologna accompanied by a finger that has been turned into iron, but the letter hints at another dark practices. When a victim subsequently turns up in Bologna, his body mutilated, his heart transformed into a solid block of iron, Mondino de Liuzzi, a physician and lecturer at the Bologna School of Medicine becomes involved helping out a young Knight Templar who is in danger of being accused of the crime, a clearly satanic act that is likely to be judged very harshly by the church and its chief Inquisitor in the city, Uberto da Rimini.
The Inquisitor has other reasons for wanting the young Knight Templar convicted of the murder, and it's very much to do with the order falling into disrepute, with its heretical views that threaten the authority of the church during a period when its power is being challenged.Read more ›
This is glorious stuff. I like CJ Sansom and have been looking for another historical fiction writer to read in between Shardlakes, and although I haven't much liked SJ Parris or James Forrester, Inquisition absolutely did it for me. It's smart but fun, full of interesting details about the Inquisition and the science of anatomy, and it's a cracking murder mystery to boot. I read online that the author has written two more books with these characters, and I want to read both.
Set in Bologna in the 14th Century and base around themes of alchemy and science, Colitto has linked different concerns adeptly. The central character Mondino is a physician who is determined to progress scientific knowledge, even if that brings him into conflict with the Catholic Church and the Inquisition in particular. The trial of the Templar knights sits in the background whilst the central narrative is about the gruesome deaths of two templars.
It's not a hard read, it's not highbrow but it is good fun.
But even beyond that, the story itself was absolutely brilliant. What a great concept - the mysterious death of a man who appears to have been a Templar, at the time when being a Knight Templar was in itself a dangerous occupation. The novel is set in Bologna, already a city in a region torn by long-standing Ghibelline and Guelph allegiances. More than that, the Church under Pope Clement V and King Philip IV of France are setting up actions against the Templars, and attempting to make those stick across the whole of Europe. The Inquisition in Bologna is keen to do their duty by the Church, particularly under the auspices of the really nasty Uberto. So when Mondino, an anatomist who really just wants to be left alone to work on his medical theories (also a touchy point with the Church at this time), finds himself caught up in conspiracy theories and unsolved mysteries which also seem to involve occult powers, it really becomes a race against so many factors to work out what's going on and why.
The characters are really well-developed in this book - they all stand out from the page, and are well characterised. The story races along - I found myself turning the last 50 pages at the rate of knots, absolutely frantic to find out what was going to happen next. The setting is very evocatively drawn for the reader - medieval Bologna, the Church, the life led by the people in these places at these times - it all rang true, and worked really well - there was nothing that jarred my historical senses at all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
even though i found the book good overall, i felt that it cojld get a bit hard to follow at times with the specilised language… i would have liked more depth around the main... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Irena
An intriguing tale, with an interesting twist to keep one wanting to know how the whole plot pans out. A little dark in places, not for reading over the dinner table!Published 17 months ago by Ian Crosskell
I chose this rating because the book kept me captivated right until the end never guessing the real culprit of the crimes being committed. Good page turner and read.Published on 18 Jun. 2013 by susan bonnett
Not as good as CJ Samson...a little on the far fetched side for me.
Still a good 'holiday read' as the Middle Ages atmosphere is well portrayed.
I was unsure initially whether to award this book a three star or four star rating. In the end I opted for the four star simply because I enjoyed the read and as the book... Read morePublished on 14 Jan. 2013 by Mont Blanc