In January of 1497, Fray Augustin Leyre, a Dominican Inquisitor and expert on the interpretation of secret messages, is sent to supervise Leonardo Da ...Show synopsisIn January of 1497, Fray Augustin Leyre, a Dominican Inquisitor and expert on the interpretation of secret messages, is sent to supervise Leonardo Da Vinci's last touches to "The Last Supper" painting. He was sent by Alejandro VI who had heard that Da Vinci was painting the twelve apostles without their halo of sanctity, that the chalice was missing, and that Leonardo had painted himself in the painting with his back to Jesus. This could have sent him to the inquisition. Why then did he do this? Was Leonardo Da Vinci a heretic? Full of misleading facts and controversies, "The Secret Supper" reveals the truth behind Da Vinci's best-known Christian piece. After finishing this novel, you'll never see "The Last Supper" in the same way again.Hide synopsis
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I bought this because I had read the authors latest book The Lost Angel, and wanted to read what else he had written. I got hooked on historical mysteries and such with The DaVinci Code and have been reading several other authors like Steve Berry and Raymond Khoury as well. Anyhow, this is a different look at the sort of DaVinci type of hidden message that might or might not actually exist in his works, wrapped around the Catholic church and it's workings at the time. It's a period piece, not set in current day. Not quite up to Dan Browns standard but enjoyable.
As the headline says, this is less "breathless" than Brown's Da Vinci Code but where it aims for the cerebral quality of The Name of the Rose, it falls far short. OK, I'm an historian and art historian, but to be frank, I solved the "mystery" merely by looking at the illustrations on the endpapers. If you know anything about the Cathars of Languedoc and anything about the courts of Renaissance princes, you will too. The characters aren't compelling and the plot is jumpy. It had potential, but did not realize it. I finished it because I was traveling and had little alternative. In my edition (paperback), there was a section devoted to an interview with the author, who seemed to me to be entirely too impressed with his own work.
Not a bad mystery overall. I understand that it is the first book of a trilogy. Presents some very interesting perspectives on the story of Jesus from Mary Magdalene's view. The stories from Mary's view are sometimes quite intense. The modern day part of the mystery at times is a bit hard to follow. But all in all, a good read. Also, gives you thoughts to chew on for days.
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