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Reviewed by Eeva Lancaster for Readers' Favorite
The Empress Holds the Key begins in 1944 with the scene where two Jewish boys were taken and murdered by high-ranking Nazi officers. A picture of this gruesome event falls into the hands of Jack Rogan and this ignites a quest to identify and prosecute this war criminal... and something else... but nobody knows exactly what yet. Clue upon clue is uncovered as they go deeper into the mystery of the unknown officer in the picture, who carried a most strange violin. From Nazis to the Holocaust to Egypt, back to the legend of King Solomon and the Knights Templar, we are taken on this quest to find something that will not be clear until the last part of the story. A relic that could ruin Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church? Something the Templars protected and died for...
Gabriel Farago is a fine writer who can weave several story lines and make them come together in a satisfying conclusion. The history satisfied my fascination with forbidden and hidden knowledge. In The Empress Holds the Key, we are given clues and trivia galore, and you must not try to make sense of it all right away, but instead allow the author to take you on an adventure until all the answers are found. Characterization is wonderful. Jack Rogan does not dominate the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed Jana Gonski and the other supporting characters. Farago will take you inside the minds of terrorists and criminals and the mystery underlying everything will keep you turning pages to see where it's all leading. And you won't be disappointed. This is a well-written book that you can look forward to reading every time you put it down... if you can put it down. Highly recommended.