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The most closely Guarded treasure on Earth.
An explosive ancient secret.
A breakneck journey into the heart of the Vatican.

In a small, heavily fortified room just north of the Sistine Chapel, a master thief is about to strike. All he needs is an instant–to steal the most important treasure in the Vatican museum: two antique keys–one gold, one silver–that protect the secret of salvation….

But a surprise awaits Michael St. Pierre deep inside the Vatican, an ancient secret so explosive, it sends him running for his life—from the streets of Rome to a small stone church in Israel—with two stolen keys and a terrible realization: the consequences of his desperate, brazen act are far greater than he could ever have imagined.

For the treasure he has uncovered—the gleaming prize buried within the most clandestine structure on earth—is about to bring him face-to-face with an enemy more shocking, frightening, and insidious than anyone can guess....

Sounds like a pretty nail-biting thriller, wouldn't you say? I mean reading the back of the book you'd expect some high stakes game of a man being silenced by the all-powerful Church after he discovers some deep dark secret about the Church's past. After all, that's exactly what I was expecting when I picked up this book. But the blurb on the back of the book is a far cry from the reality of the words on the pages. Even the bit at the top on the front cover makes you think it's some big awesome secret, but it's not. It's rather something you'd expect a thousand year-old faith to possess.

I'd have to say that this is the first book I've ever simply quit reading because it was boring. The plot certainly did not live up to the hype on the back. It just fell flat. I'm even ashamed to admit that I actually lied to a friend when she asked if it was getting better. Well, it did for a short while... when the master thief was actually conducting the theft, but then it fell flat again. I kept trying to give the author the benefit of the doubt and kept reading, hoping for some redemption, but there was none. Last night I read until I got fed up and closed the book forever. I don't care how it ends, really.

While this book is Richard Doetsch's first book and should be spared a significant amount of criticism, I think he - like his publisher Dell - simply jumped onto the bandwagon of religious thrillers brought about by Dan Brown's wildly successful The DaVinci Code.

This was another book in the "bundle" I bought, including "Flight of the Maidens", I remember now, the whole bundle was less than the individual Margaret Atwood book in it that I hadn't read.
This story follows the teenage years of Astrid, who has been raised solely by her mother. Then her Mother, Ingrid, a poet, murders her ex lover, Ingrid is found guilty, put in prison for life, and Astrid is left to the tender mercies of the USA foster system.
The story follows Astrid from 13-18 through her various foster homes, and what she does to cope with the homes, and how she finds out who she is, rather than being a pale shadow of her mother, the poet.

A bit of a departure for me reading this, in one way, as when I got the set of Paulo Coelho books given me, I thought they were just tsraight novels. But you find them in the bookshop with the "spiritual" type books.

The story is about Paulo's quest to see his angel, with him on his quest is Chris, his wife. They journey to the Mojave from Brasil, for forty days and forty nights. The book tells of Paulo's quest, the people they meet, excetra on the quest, which inadvertently becomes a learning journey for both of them.
The book is quite easy to read as the type face used is easier on the eye than usual, and I think slightly larger than normal. Coelho doesn't tie his reader up in wordy explanations, but put's the thougths and stages of the "quest" in easy to understand language.

The Valkyries
Why is it that we destroy the things we love most? This is the question Paulo Coelho faces in this story of his confrontation with his past. 'The Valkyries' is a compelling account of his journey, as Paulo and his wife embark on a forty day quest into the searing heat of the Mojave Desert, where they encounter 'The Valkyries', strange warrior women who travel the desert on motorcycles. This is not only a modern day adventure, it is also an exploration of one man's battle with self doubt and fear, as well as a true story of two people striving to understand one another through adversity. Ultimately, 'The Valkyries' delivers a powerful message about forgiving our past and believing in our future.

Taken from Coelho's website;

However, saying that this book was a departure isn't strictly true as I am interested in the spiritual side of things, just the books I read on this subject are more "text" books and not something I would blog about.

At twelve, she killed her first warrior.
At twenty-one, she defended her land against an invasion by the most powerful empire the world had ever seen.
At forty, she led her people in a bloody revolt - and became a legend.

These are the words that lead to a spectacular story of Boudica - the greatest female warrior of Ancient Britain. While not much is known about Boudica from any historical documents, Manda Scott manages to take what information is available of the time in which Boudica existed and mould it into a powerful story. A story of a triumph of a people protecting themselves from invasion during a time of druids, dreamers, warriors and singers.

Last Thanksgiving (2007) I decided that I wanted to start reading more historical fiction as a short-cut way to learning history outside of a class room. I was fortunate enough, that day, to discover Historical where I found hundreds of historical books listed and discussed. I was in reader's heaven! Being an Anglophile, I knew this was the key to learning a lot of history of England while truly enjoying it. Of course I don't take everything I read at face value. I consult Sea quite often regarding how history truly views certain events and do my own research. Still, I have learned far more about this ancient country than I would have otherwise.

For more information about Scott's other writings, visit her website.

Meggie's father has a secret talent. One that, I dare say, many readers would like to have. It's an extraordinary ability, but one that comes with a price. You see, when Meggie's father reads aloud, he brings forth characters from the book. Suddenly, they're flesh and blood. The only problem is, he cannot control who is brought from the pages of the story. When Meggie was just a toddler, her father, Mo, read aloud from Inkheart and brought forth the story's villain as well as a few other characters. Years later, he comes face to face with Capricorn, the very villain he read from the book. With the aid of Meggie, the author of the book and a few others, Mo must find a way to get rid of Capricorn before he tries to take over the world.

I picked up this book solely for the purpose of knowing the story before the movie comes out in 2009. I saw a trailer for it and it appealed to me, so I decided to buy the book. It's a fantastic story. I mean who wouldn't love to come face to face with their favourite characters from a book? I love any story where books are treated as friends that is the sort of mind-set conveyed through the book. So now I can look forward to the movie.

For more information about Funke's other books try here: Scholastic
For information about the movie: Inkheart

First, I must apologise to Old Bean, as this book is on her TBR list, what she didn't know was t'was also on mine!
I started this when I posted last, and haven't been able to put it much so that I left other stuff just so that I could get on with reading.
This novel is a crime/detective novel, but Karin Slaughter has put so many twists into the plot that it takes a while to figure out exactly "whodunnit", that is not a criticism, as so many crime novels are so obvious, they get boring to read. In fact if this one is available as a talking book, I would get it for my partner who is dyslexic, and does love a good crime programme on TV. I think this would equal most CSI episodes.
I won't spoil the plot of this brilliant novel here.
If you want to know more, visit
for the bumph, which I must say completely undersells the novel.

The Galaxy Book Awards have just been announced here in the UK. They are said to be the book world equivalent of the Oscars.
The winners were;

Book Of the Year; On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

Book People Lifetime Achievement Award; J K Rowling

Richard & Judy Book Club Best Read of the Year; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Reader's Digest Author of the Year; Ian McEwan for On Chesil Beach.

Waterstones Newcomer of the Year; WINNER - Catherine O'Flynn for What Was Lost.

WHSmith Children's Book of the Year; Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman by Francesca Simon.

Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year; Patricia Cornwell for Book of the Dead.

Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Award; WINNER - The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Popular Non-Fiction Award; WINNER - Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor & Charlie Boorman .

Tesco Biography of the Year; WINNER - My Booky Wook by Russell Brand.

To find out more about these books, visit the following link;

This book can definitely be classed as "blue". I won't say much about it, except I kept thinking the heroine would come to her senses and leave the situation earlier rather than later. It wasn't total dross, better to my mind than the one I struggled with and abandoned a few weeks back. I'll be honest. I just read it from curiosity, as it is supposed to be by a leading female author, although there is no hint as to who might have written it.,,1873439,00.html

sums it up pretty well.

This is one of those books I bought in a bundle from the Book People, link at the bottom of this. It was cheaper to buy the bundle of books, obtaining two I wanted, for the price of maybe 1 and 1/2 in the shops, and getting 7.
However saying that....this book was very entertaining. It follows three girls in the summer before they go up to university. The difference being these three girls have grown up during the second world war, and they haven't really had the chance to be "girls", they just had to get on with growing up. There are some very poignant moments in the book, and I would happily read another by this author.

It's ages since I read a book by Harlan Coben, but I do like a good crime/detective novel. Promise Me did not disappoint. From the first to last page I was hooked, pots went unwashed, dogs let out into the yard, (joking!) so I could read. I did find myself sitting up in bed reading "just one more page" before I went to sleep. I love trying to second guess the "detective" and try to predict who the perpetrator is/was, and trying to predict the twists, but the ones in Promise Me were very subtle, and may not even be picked up on a second, or maybe third reading. Unless you sat there and started all over again, but the only time you would ever do that would be if you were studying the book as part of degree level education.
The bumph about the book is on Harlan Coben's website, link below. The only thing I should say is for lovers of Myron Bolitar, it's his return novel. If you read it, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This was a fun read. Not too serious, but unlike some "fun reads" very well constructed. It didn't have me screaming in my head...."noooooo...get your facts right!"
I loved this book, not because it was easy to read, although it was, but because of how well the plot was constructed. I would read other books by this author, as it was good light relief after my previous book.
Anyway, rather than me copy out the bumph from the back of the book, I'll direct you to the author's website page about the book.

If you click on the header, of that page, it takes you to the home page, where you can find out much more about Karen Quinn.

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