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A British detective faces down the combined forces of the Mafia and the Vatican in Becker's jaw-dropping thriller. Tunbridge Wells Det. Sgt. Chris Bronson is helping his best friend, Mark Hampton, deal with the sudden death of Mark's wife, Jackie. Her supposedly accidental fatal fall at their house in Ponticelli, Italy, was caused by intruders seeking an ancient Latin inscription revealed during remodeling, the first clue to locating a scroll and diptychs that describe the crucifixion and beheading of two unnamed Jews in A.D. 67. Mafioso Gregori Mandino wants to find and destroy the relics, and he pressures Joseph Cardinal Vertutti to help. After Mafia hit men target Mark, Chris seeks vengeance and answers with the help of his ex-wife, a British Museum conservator. Fast-paced action propels the imaginative and controversial plot. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.