Swerling, a successful author of historical novels, moves into the suspense genre with a combination ghost story and mystery. It’s reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code, but the history is more realistic and interesting. Vividly written with supernatural elements and a dual narrative that is used extremely well, this book will thrill even those who typically dislike Tudor-era stories. Here’s hoping a sequel is imminent!
Architectural historian Annie Kendall is in England to work on a historical mystery: Were there still Jews living in Tudor England when supposedly they were all expelled? Her employer is the head of a Jewish organization who wants her to find traces of a man known as the Jew of Holborn. Annie sees this as a chance to regain her professional standing. She stays in Bristol House in the Holborn District, and on the first day she sees the ghost of a Carthusian monk, who wants something from her. When she meets TV investigative reporter Geoffrey Harris, she is startled by his resemblance to the ghost. Geoffrey is sure her employer is planning violence. The book moves back in time through the memories of two men of the period who are now in the waiting place, hoping to save the present through what they know of the past. (VIKING, Apr., 400 pp., $27.95)