On the Isle of Capri, classical scholars compete against cult
members searching for a long-lost Pythagorean manuscript in the
latest from Goodman (The Sonnet Lover, 2007, etc.), who specializes
in mysteries polished with a patina of highbrow culture.Classics
professor Sophie Chase is attending a department meeting at the
University of Texas when the crazed boyfriend of her prized student
Agnes, a beautiful small-town innocent, comes in shooting. The
department secretary and a professor die. The meeting concerned a
trip to Capri being organized by Sophie's former mentor, and lover,
Elgin, to research an important manuscript recently discovered in a
house under excavation. Soon Sophie, at Elgin's prodding, takes the
place of her dead colleague on the expedition. In Italy, as
first-century historian Phineas Aulus's unbelievably detailed diary
is translated daily for the researchers, readers are treated to a
sordid story of sexual/religious rites in the days before the
Vesuvius eruption. Meanwhile Elgin (whose sister was lost to a
cult) warns Sophie that the FBI has informed him that someone from
the Tetraktys, a creepy, possibly violent cult of devotees to the
teachings of Pythagoras, has infiltrated the research team. Sophie
has connections to Tetraktys. Her great love Ely disappeared into
the Tetraktys compound years ago, although she blames her affair
with Elgin as much as the cult for their breakup. Sophie doesn't
completely trust Elgin, whom she assumes is dallying with Agnes,
and finds herself attracted to her wealthy host, who's funding the
project. When Agnes and Simon, another researcher, are trapped in
the excavated tunnels, Agnes barely escapes with her own life.
Simon dies in the hospital. Then Ely shows up claiming he has left
the cult and with warnings of his own for Sophie. Whom can she
trust? Readers will decipher the answer early on. For a professor,
Sophie is slow on the uptake.The ancient diary is marginally more
entertaining than the contemporary romantic mystery, which is
neither very romantic nor mysterious. (Kirkus Reviews)
Recovering from a shocking act of violence, Cory Chase, classicist
and mythographer, decides that taking part in The Papyrus Project,
which aims to restore the charred scrolls of Pompeii, might offer
her a much needed escape. That is until she suspects that the
Modern Pythagoreans, a cult who believe that a lost manuscript of
Pythagoras may still exist, are also interested in the scrolls.
Suddenly Cory finds herself following a trail that leads her
through Southern Italy, Sicily and to Pythagoras's birthplace,
where she is pulled into a terrifying underworld of conspiracy to
reignite an ancient cult that once rivalled Christianity in the
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