31 Jul 2017

(THE BODY FARM #7): THE BONES OF AVIGNON.

THE BONES OF AVIGNON (Otherwise published as The Inquisitor's Key) by JEFFERSON BASS.

BACK COVER BLURB: A burial chamber beneath the Palace of the Popes in Avignon.

Inside, a 2,000-year-old skeleton.

The discovery ignites a conspiracy theory that will shake the foundations of the earth.

Could this be the final resting place of Jesus of Nazareth?

FIRST SENTENCE {Part 1: PROLOGUE. KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE: THE PRESENT}: A mockingbird twittered on a branch of a dogwood as a middle-aged man - his hair going to salt and pepper, but his body fit and his movements brisk - approached a chain-link gate at the edge of a wooded hillside.

MEMORABLE MOMENT{PAGE 134}: A black curtain, the width of the chapel, hid the relic completely from view; a poster-size enlargement of the face on the Shroud - a ghostly grey negative, which was more dramatic than the faint, reddish-brown image the cloth actually bore - was suspended above the altar.

SOURCE: A charity shop buy.

READ FOR: The 14th of 24 books read for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2014.

MY THOUGHTS: Hmm! A conspiracy theory novel (be warned published here as The Bones Of Avignon, it is otherwise published as The Inquisitor's Key) involving the possible final resting place of Jesus. The author, a man renowned for his research facility (The Body Farm), the first of its kind to develop a systematic study of the decomposition of human remains, highly recommended by several of my friends. This should be a good read despite the fact I haven't read any of the previous books in the series of which this is number 7.

Bones discovered - perhaps those of Christ ... perhaps not. Mention of the Shroud of Turin. A case that could shake the Vatican to its very foundations. Vaguely I'm put in mind of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code only less action packed and arguably more intelligent or, the even more superior, Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs.  

With a story that runs in parallel, switching between medieval Avignon (the medieval characters so much more interesting, the Italian painters Giotto and Simone Martini and Petrarch and his unrequited love Laura so much more appealing) and modern day France in which main protagonist, Bill Brockton (in a nod to a romantic sub-plot) experiences what I can only describe as his having teenage fantasies over his much younger colleague whilst chastising himself for doing so.

The first half reading like a travelogue come guide to medieval painters, the latter half, slightly better, meanders along until it reaches a somewhat less than satisfactory climax. In a nutshell .... whilst definitely not a novel that will see me rushing to read any more books, either before or after this one, in the series, neither is it a book that has put me off the series completely. 

7 comments:

Kelly said...

At first glance, I immediately thought of the Dan Brown novel. And any time I see Knoxville mentioned along side bones, I think of The Body Farm.

While it's one I might enjoy if it appeared in my lap, I don't really care to pick up something in the middle of a series, even if it does okay as a stand alone.

Suko said...

Tracy,
Thanks for an honest review. You are "going to town" with the Mount TBR reading challenge!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... I might enjoy this one. It looks so interesting and the fact that it reads like a guide to medieval painters is a plus for me. Yep, I may have to read this one.

Brian Joseph said...

The plot sounds interesting. However, I would begin with the first book in the series.

It does sound like Dan Brown.

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
After I read your honest
review, I am still uncertain
about this book. Perhaps
I would rather borrow it
from the library first
before putting it on my
list. But I would definitely
appreciate what you said
about the medieval painters.
As well as that I would start
at the beginning of the series.
Raven

Heather said...

I've heard of this body farm. Sounds like an author worth checking into. Thanks.

Alexia561 said...

I'm not much for historical novels so doubt that I'd pick this one up, but I did enjoy your review! Hope you have a lovely week!