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Maureen Paschal, last seen discovering the secrets of Mary Magdalene in The Expected One, returns in this overstuffed sequel. Haunted by dreams of Jesus telling her to search for "the Book of Love," Maureen, now a bestselling novelist, takes off for France, where her estranged lover, Bérenger Sinclair, reveals that the mysterious manuscript is supposed to be a gospel written by Christ and whose existence is merely a rumor. Both Maureen and Bérenger receive strange clues pointing them toward the story of Countess Matilda of Tuscany, an 11th-century noblewoman and an early champion of the Book of Love. With the help of Maureen's cousin, a Jesuit scholar at the Vatican, Maureen confronts dangerous forces bent on covering up the truth and follows Matilde's trail though Belgium, Italy and France, culminating in a stunning sequence within the Chartres Cathedral. However, Matilda's hefty story line exists uneasily next to Maureen's contemporary narrative and relies too much on long-winded narration to explain Christian esoterica. Series fans and readers into Da Vinci Code- style church intrigue will enjoy the hell out of this. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.