Award-winning author Barbara Cleverly returns with this spellbinding new mystery featuring aspiring archaeologist Laetitia Talbot. In Athens in 1928, Letty begins a perilous race to unearth a plot steeped in betrayal, seething with retribution, and about to explode in a wave of lethal violence.
In the open-air theatre of the dark god Dionysos, Letty watches a performance of an ancient Greek tragedy. But the revenge that is exacted onstage, the dagger that is wielded, and the blood that flows in full view of the audience are not theatrical effects. As Letty digs for clues, she unearths disturbing secrets and dark animosities with catastrophic implications worthy of a Sophocles—but of far more recent vintage.
Now, as a killer cuts a merciless swath across a country in the throes of political instability, Letty herself steps unawares into the murderer’s savage spotlight—a light so bright she may not be able to see the dark figure behind it until it’s too late.
In Burgundy, France, in 1926, a famed archaeologist dies a terrible death in a country not his own.…Thus begins CWA Historical Dagger Award winner Barbara Cleverly’s dazzling new mystery novel. And soon aspiring archaeologist Laetitia Talbot will find herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy centuries in the making.
Letty’s joy at snaring a place in the excavation of an ancient church in Burgundy is dimmed by the tragedy of her godfather Daniel’s violent death. But when Letty receives a posthumous encoded message, she begins to believe that Daniel’s death was not a random act. Her investigation into Daniel’s murder sends her on a journey into a country’s remote history…into the orbit of a privileged French family harboring its own damning secret…into ancient Celtic mysteries and one sacred truth kept through the ages. It is an explosive revelation that could rock modern Christianity—and force a killer out of the shadows as a country devastated by one war lays the groundwork for another.…
With the same flawless storytelling that earned her the CWA Historical Dagger Award, Barbara Cleverly delivers a dazzling new novel. Sweeping us to the exotic island of Crete in 1928, Cleverly introduces a marvelous new heroine: whip-smart and spirited Laetitia Talbot, an aspiring archaeologist with a passion for adventure–and for the mysteries that only the keenest eyes can see.
Born into a background of British privilege, Laetitia Talbot has been raised to believe there is no field in which she may not excel. She has chosen a career in the male-dominated world of archaeology, but she approaches her first assignment in Crete the only way she knows how–with dash and enthusiasm. Until she enters the Villa Europa, where something is clearly utterly amiss…
Her host, a charismatic archaeologist, is racing to dig up the fabled island’s next great treasure–even, perhaps, the tomb of the King of the Gods, himself. But then a beautiful young woman is found hanged and a golden youth drives his Bugatti over a cliff. From out of the shadows come whispers of past loves, past jealousies, and ancient myths that sound an eerie discord with present events. Letty will need all her determination and knowledge to unravel the secrets beneath the Villa Europa’s roof–and they will lead her into the darkest, most terrifying place of all….