by Rita Monaldi, Francesco Sorti


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11 September 1683, Rome. The citizens of the city wait anxiously for the outcome of the battle for Vienna as Ottoman forces lay siege to the defenders of Catholic Europe. Meanwhile, a suspected outbreak of plague causes a famous Roman tavern to be placed under quarantine. One of its detainees, the mysterious Atto Melani, a spy in the service of France, discovers a secret passage leading deep into the Roman underworld. A plot to assassinate the pope and plans to use the plague as a weapon of mass destruction in the battle between Islam and the West are discovered. Meticulously researched and brilliantly conceived, Imprimatur contains startling revelations that have been concealed for centuries, drawing on original papers discovered in the Vatican archives. A thriller in the vein of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, this novel sheds new light on the power struggles of 17th-century Europe, the repercussions of which are still felt today. First published to great controversy in Italy in 2002, Imprimatur was boycotted by the Italian press and publishing world. Despite this, the novel has gained European bestseller status; it has been translated into 20 languages with editions published in 45 countries. Over 1 million copies have been sold to date.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781846971051
Publisher: Birlinn, Limited
Publication date: 03/01/2009
Pages: 568
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Rita Monaldi was born in 1966 and is an expert in the history of religions. Her husband Francesco Sorti was born in 1964 and has a background in musicology. Both Rita and Francesco have worked as journalists, but in recent years they have collaborated on several historical novels including Secretum and Veritas, sequels to Imprimatur. They live with their two young children in Vienna and Rome.

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Imprimatur 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
hornsbylibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book hard going and didn't finish it. Set in medieval Italy it relied on some knowledge of Italian politics of the time. It revolved aropund a group of people who were held in quarantine in an inn because of a suspected case of plague. Cynthia
pierthinker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An intricate, slow moving thriller set in Rome during the second half of the 17th century. The novel has a 'confined space' structure so often used by Agatha Christie and others (the protagonists are confined to an inn suspected of carrying the plague).The primary 'detective', Atto Melani - spy, castrato, schemer - could be a significant fictional character, but is not drawn vividly enough for my taste and has too few foibles to be memorable. There are too many characters giving too little to the narrative. And why the revelation at the end of the book - PLOT SPOILER HERE! - that the narrator is a dwarf? I did not see what that brought to the book as a whole.An interesting and successful device is the use of lists. Almost every meal and discussion is accompanied by a list of ingredients, people, places or artefacts. The impact of these strange and often unknown items is to reveal the otherness of this historical world and its sophistication. We often see this period in history as less 'civilised' than our own and this device serves to reveal it as different, not lesser.The first in a series, I am not generally encouraged to read on.