A masterful blend of Christian scholarship and thrilling adventure, The Last Cato is a novel about the race to find the secret location of the Vera Cruz, the True Cross on which Christ was crucified, and the ancient brotherhood sworn to protect it.
Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world—and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop the thieves from stealing what is left of the scattered splinters of the True Cross.
Brilliant paleographer Dr. Ottavia Salina is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church to decipher the scars found on an Ethiopian man's corpse: seven crosses and seven Greek letters.
The markings, symbolizing the Seven Deadly Sins, are part of an elaborate initiation ritual for the Staurofilakes, the clandestine brotherhood hiding the True Cross for centuries, headed by a secretive figure called Cato.
With the help of a member of the Swiss Guard and a renowned archaeologist, Dr. Salina uncovers the connection between the brotherhood and Dante's Divine Comedy, and races across the globe to Christianity's ancient capitals. Together, they will face challenges that will put their faith—and their very lives—to the ultimate test.
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Matilde Asensi is the author of many internationally bestselling thrillers, including The Last Cato. She lives in Alicante, Spain.
Matilde Asensi, periodista y escritora española, ha publicado varios libros bestsellers, incluyendo su primera novela, El salón de ámbar, que ha sido traducida a varios idiomas, Iacobus que la situó en los primeros puestos de las listas bestsellers y El último catón que la confirmó como la autora de su generación de mayor éxito de crítica y público. Actualmente reside en Alicante, España.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Asensi's first novel to be published in English features a clandestine religious organization, a code contained in the work of a long-dead genius, a plucky heroine, and just the right combination of obscure history and plausible conjecture. Sound familiar? The Last Cato will inevitably draw comparisons to The Da Vinci Code, but this book is in many ways more compelling, if a bit less accessible. After Dr. Ottavia Salina, a nun working as a paleographer at the Vatican, is asked to decipher tattoos on the dead body of an "enemy of the Church" from Ethiopia, she soon discovers the deceased was tied up with the Staurofilakes, an ancient order who have sought to protect the True Cross and now seem to be stealing slivers of it from around the world. The key to tracking them down? Dante's Divine Comedy. Turns out that Dante was a member of the order himself, and that the notoriously dense Divine Comedy is a kind of coded guidebook to the order's rituals. Salina and a couple companions set off, with Dante as their guide, on a rollicking, round-the-world adventure. Some of the conjecture seems far-fetched, but the research is impeccable, and the behind-the-scenes Vatican life feels utterly authentic. As engrossing as it is intelligent, this just might be the next big book in the burgeoning religious thriller subgenre. John Green
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