I read this book last week on my Kindle, and it turned out to be particularly appropriate for the week before Easter. I like this author, as it turns out, and may hunt for a couple of his books at the next two library book sales (the next 2 Saturdays).
THE VOYNICH CYPHER
by Russell Blake
Some reviewers on Amazon have likened this book to The DaVinci Code. I don't see that. In order to enjoy it, however, you do have to believe on some level that it's possible that the Knights Templar were not driven to extinction following the Crusades; they just renamed themselves and restarted elsewhere.
The Voynich Cypher is a medieval scroll written in a cypher which has never been cracked, although plenty of cryptologists have tried.
Two weeks ago, the Abbey of St. Peter in Dorset was broken into. The Abbey is guarded by the Order of The Holy Relic, descended from the Knights Templar; an intruder drugs one guard, then rappels 60 feet into a hidden passage in search of a treasure in a hidden chamber. The treasure, a cylinder of oak and clay inscribed in Latin, holding the "Key to the most important secret ever known," which is capable of changing the course of history, is stolen. Now, Dr. Steven Cross has missed a call from Winston Twain, famous cryptologist, about the Voynich Cypher, which both men have been trying to decode; when Dr. Cross tried to return Mr. Twain's call, he learns that Twain was murdered the day he made the call.
A few days later, Winston Twain's daughter Natalie appeared in Dr. Cross' office in Italy; she is in possession of the stolen cylinder. Thus begins the chase involving two different groups intent upon gaining control of the cylinder: a team sent by the Order of The Holy Relic, headed by a former Mossad agent, and one headed by Morbius Frank, a homicidal billionaire, who was Natalie's father's partner, and instrumental in having the cylinder stolen. The Order wants the cylinder to be returned to them and never opened, thus preserving the secret of The Voynich Cypher, while Frank wants the key to the Voynich Cypher contained within the cylinder, so he can find the riches presumed to be available to whomever controls the key to the cypher.
This book was fast-paced and exciting It might not be appealing to those who are exceedingly devout, and offended by any suggestion of change to religious status quo; however, I found it to have a very satisfying and rather realistic conclusion. Indeed, if the discovery at the end of the book were made in real life, I believe it would be not a hindrance, but a boost to religion. It was at least something very interesting to contemplate during Holy Week, which makes a good book all the more satisfying.
Thor would also have liked me to take a minute to dedicate this Thorsday Book Review to Tsar of the Portuguese Water Dog Pack. Tsar was not a Portie, but a calmer, more reserved guy who lived with 8 Porties, a little white dog, and their humans, Sue and Rob. Tsar has been sick for the past few weeks, and he crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Monday. I extend my deepest sympathy to Sue and Rob, because I know their broken-heartedness. I will miss Tsar, too. And I'm sure that Thor was waiting at the other end of the Rainbow Bridge to welcome Thor, and go hang out in a sunny meadow together. RIP, Tsar, and my love to your family.