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Cordy, Michael - 'The Source'
Paperback: 364 pages (July 2009) Publisher: Corgi Books ISBN: 0552156981

In a nutshell, this book has flavours of Indiana Jones but instead of the Nazis being the bad guys, in this case it's the Catholic church, or at least one of the 'popes' in the Catholic church, the so-called 'black pope' who is head of the Jesuits, who is called Torino. The book centres around a mysterious book called the Voynich, written in an unknown language which various experts have failed to crack. However, Ross Kelly's wife, Lauren, a linguistic expert, has finally succeeded, and in doing so attracts the attention of Torino.

The Voynich apparently describes a secret garden of Eden, where the 'source' is located. The source may be the original source of all life on earth. A nun, sister Chantal, has a diary written by the author of the Voyich, which gives instructions on how to find the garden, and indeed, she has apparently been there before. When Lauren refuses to co-operate with Torino, he sends his half-brother to steal information from the house when the Kellys are supposed to be on holiday. They arrive back unexpectedly, and disturb the thief - resulting in tragedy. Lauren is seriously injured and may never recover from a coma, only possibly lasting long enough for her unborn baby to develop enough to be born. Now Kelly has a personal reason for finding the source, and trying to bring back whatever he finds there which may have healing powers, and cure his wife.

Sister Chantal, and Lauren's assistant, Zeb go with him. But of course Torino is having them followed, and plans to destroy the garden, and keep the source for the Catholic Church. The rest of the book then details the search for the garden, what they find there, and how Torino tries to do his dirty work.

Overall the book is well written, the plotting is good and the book is a good 'page turner', although the story pretty much follows the line that you might expect from this type of book. It's a bit disappointing that yet again the Catholic Church is painted in a bad light, or at least one of the leaders of the Church appears to completely give into his obsession with the Garden and becomes so ruthless. The main character, Ross Kelly is apparently a geologist, and I thought this might have been used to more effect as they searched for and then reached the garden. But his skills in reading rocks and geological formations were not really used in his quest. But overall, it was an interesting and at times engrossing read. Definitely one for the beach I think.

Read another review of THE SOURCE.

Michelle Peckham, England
August 2009

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 9/08/2009 10:56