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When Lucy King receives a heart transplant, she gets more than a new ticker-she gets the memories, friends and quest of donor Will Stafford, descendant of Queen Elizabeth's spiritual adviser, John Dee. Soon, Lucy's on the trail of a secret protected by generations of Dee's heirs. Unfortunately, ruthless fundamentalists pursue, convinced that Dee's secret holds the key to the Rapture. A softer, semifeminist riff on The Da Vinci Code, Hardie's debut is richly woven, drawing on sources ranging from Elizabethan mysticism to computer games; the intricacy of the quest will pull readers in, but the story loses steam before coasting to a disappointing end. Hardie falls victim to some of the same pitfalls as Brown, letting interesting background material devolve into dry recitation and fact-combing. Further, her characters are almost all kindly, whip-smart do-gooders or swaggering bad guys, and Hardie is reticent to put her heroes in real danger (lest it interfere with their research). She blurs the lines between faith and reason cleverly, but her labyrinth of exposition will probably wear out readers before they find the exit. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.