When a sacred relic is stolen from its subterranean guarded vault, Dr. Steven Cross, amateur cryptologist, becomes embroiled in a deadly quest to decipher one of history’s most enigmatic documents – a 15th century parchment written entirely in unbreakable code; The Voynich Manuscript. Stalked by secret societies, and aided by the daughter of a murdered colleague, a trail of riddles catapults Cross from England to Italy to the Middle East, where a Byzantine web of ancient secrets leads him to a revelation so profound it will change the world order.
~~~ (Summary from Goodreads) ~~~
Though I have heard of him before, this was the first time that I got a chance to read Russell Blake’s work.
The story begins with a vivid description of how a scroll gets stolen. Right from the first line of the first chapter, the author manages to grab your attention. Then we move on to our protagonist, Steven Archer. We are given a glimpse into his life with Antonia and his life after her. Steven is the head of a software company and a cryptologist by hobby. He had managed to combine his business and pleasure by coming up with a software that deciphers cyphers. Soon contacted by a colleague’s daughter, Steven gets embroiled in a situation that could very well cost him his life.
What is a story without secret societies and some ruthless and powerful villains? While Steven & Natalie try to decode the seemingly impossible to break cypher, they are pursued by some powerful forces - some of who want to bury the secret of the cypher and some people who want to use the secret of the cypher to meet their own sadistic needs.
The author portrays a beautiful picture of the places in the story that makes you feel that you are there when it all happens. For the first time readers like me, the character of Steven Archer Cross develops right alongside Natalie. Their interaction and relationship development is also something that I enjoyed reading in this book.
The fact that this is also a fast paced story and zero dragging on uselessly, it will keep you hooked on from the first page till the last. A fantastic plot, great twists, detailed research and amazing narration is the USP of this book. It is literally unputdownable!
I am going to go back and read the other Russell Blake books as soon as I can get my hands on them!
Disclaimer: I received a free ebook from "World Literary Cafe" for review purpose. Beside that I did not receive any kind of payment or benefit from the author or the publishers for reviewing this book.