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Inquisition; Poor Man’s Da Vinci Code?

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By Roop Kunwar Singh

An Italian town with history engraved on every stone. A conflict rooted in the age old battle between religion and heresy. An uncanny murder. A lethal criminal on a spree. A gifted and ingenious protagonist supported by a courageous associate. And a blood trodden endeavor to decipher the mystery. No, Dan Brown has not given us all a pleasant surprise by releasing another one of his masterpieces. This plot belongs to Alfredo Colitto’s historical thriller, Inquisition.

The plot is set in 1311 A.D., Bologna, Italy. Tension is in the air with the church comprehensively executing on its charge against the Knights Templar.

Mondino de Liuzzi is an exceptional physician and anatomist but despite all these faculties, he has had to face insult from the church just for being a Ghibelline (supporter of the rule of the emperor). His life completely takes a turn one night when one of his ill-disciplined students-Gerardo (a Templar in disguise), turns up at his door with the corpse of a viciously murdered man. Alchemic curiosity forces Mondino to provide refuge to Gerardo rather than turning him over to the inquisitor.

Thus begins Mondino’s struggle where on one side he’s being increasingly scrutinized by the inquisitors and on the other hand, the threat of the unidentified killer is looming over his head. The build up to the main climax is indeed engaging and when it arrives, you are left stunned. Each and every character Alfredo Colitto introduces has a pivotal role to play in the plot, however small his part is. Each character has a grey side to him/her- the inquisitors, The Archbishop, the greedy banker and the appealing Sorceress. As the story progresses, you become more and more skeptic for forming sympathy towards any character and the reality of the murdered is the ultimate blow.

The addition of all the ‘Alchemic’ facts and the history of Templars is a bonus for all historical thriller fanatics. The book illustrates how humans have repeatedly crossed all moral perimeters in hope of attaining the secret behind this surreptitious science.

‘And blood changed into gold was an essential step in attaining the limitless power

over life and death that they wanted.’

Although the backdrop of Inquisition has striking resemblance with The Da Vinci Code, it would be really unfair to the writer if we label the former as a downgrade version of the latter. Both the book and Alfredo Colitto have their own unique eminence. With an intriguing plot, Inquisition is surely a must read for all the fans of knowledge laden thrillers.

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