A Fantastic Thriller

By Robin Wasserman
Random House Children’s Books, $17.99, 432 pages

Nora Kane’s life changed the night she found her best friend, Chris, lying dead in a pool of blood and his girlfriend, Adriane, catatonic. Worse, her boyfriend Max has disappeared and the police think he killed Chris. Determined to prove Max innocent, Nora follows the trail of clues he leaves – clues that inexplicably lead back to historic letters that Nora has been translating as a school project, and a secret religious society that has been looking for the letters – and for her – for centuries.

The Book of Blood and Shadow is a superbly written novel that perfectly blends the historical with the modern. The two stories – that of Elizabeth Weston who wrote the letters Nora translated, and of Nora herself – are woven together nicely and drive the story along.  The characters and plot are complex, vivid, and meticulously researched and written calling to mind previous writing by A.S. Byatt. This is a novel that fans of historical thrillers or mysteries will really enjoy.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern

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