Friday, 20 July 2012

Inquisition, Alfredo Colitto

Publishers: Sphere

Pages: 482

Main Characters:
Mondino de Liuzzi, Gerardo da Castelbretone,
Uberto da Rimini


Inquisition is the historical murder mystery novel from author Alfredo Colitto. The novel is based in the year 1311 in the Italian city of Bologna during the Church’s Inquisition of the Knights Templar. On a dark night, Mondino de Liuzzi, a respected physician from Bologna’s prestigious School of Medicine, is interrupted by one of his students knocking on his laboratory door. The student, Gerardo da Castelbretone is carrying a dead body! After Gerardo finally convinces Mondino that he is not the killer of the man he is carrying, Mondino allows him to enter his laboratory and examines the body. He finds the techniques used to kill the man are not normal. The man is missing both of his hands and his rib cage has been made into a chamber in which his heart has been turned into Iron! Mondino demands to know what happened to the man!
Gerardo tells him that the man was called Angelo da Piczano and that Angelo and he were old friends. Angelo was visiting Bologna for a few days, so Gerardo offered him his room as a place for Angelo to stay whilst he was in the city. But that evening when Gerardo returned home, he found Angelo dead in his room and decided to bring his body to Mondino to try and gain an explanation of how Angelo was murdered. That was when he heard a knock at his door from the Inquisitors, saying that they had been tipped off that a Templar Knight had been killed during a blasphemous rite with the Devil. To avoid been caught by the Inquisitor, Gerardo set fire to his room and fled over the roof tops until he came to the School of Medicine and Mondino’s laboratory. He also admits that he is not really a student of medicine but a Knight of the Temple and is in hiding until the Inquisition is over.
The murder of Angelo sets in motion a series of events where Gerardo and Mondino are accused of been heretics and the killers of two other Templars which have been murdered in a similar way to Angelo. Gerardo and Mondino must find who is behind the murders of the Templars to clear their names. Mondino has another reason to help Gerardo. He wants to know the secrets of how blood and flesh can be turned into Iron to further his understanding of the human anatomy in his scientific studies. But will Gerardo and Mondino find the secrets behind the murder of Angelo da Piczano or will the Inquisitor, Uberto da Rimini find them first?
This was a good book and I really enjoyed the mystery behind the murder of Angelo da Piczano. However I did have some issues with this book. When I first picked this book up to read I was like ‘a book about the Templars, I bet it’s about the Holy Grail/ Mary Magdalene’. I was worried that it was going to be full of the Dan Brown clich├ęs that many novels about the Knights Templar and the Inquisition seem to be about these days. But I’m glad to say that it wasn’t! Colitto does briefly mention that there is a secret behind the Order and that the reason the Church wants to dissolve the Order is because they do not agree with the secret. There is also mention of alchemical gold (or the elixir of life) but again, Colitto does not go into it too much. For me this was great because it meant the book was more about the mysteries behind the murders than the mystery behind the Knights Templar, which I really enjoyed.
Another part of this book that I found interesting was reading about 14th Century medical techniques and how medieval physicians had some very modern ideas but didn’t have the means to be able to put them into practice. I also enjoyed reading about some of the gruesome (and at sometimes crazy!) methods 14th Century physicians used to cure illness.
This was a good book and a great historical murder mystery novel. I think that anyone who is a fan of C. J. Sansom’s Shardlake series would love this book. I would even say that fans of authors like Dan Brown would also enjoy this book because it does touch on some of the ideas about the Templars he uses in The Da Vinci Code.
For author's offical website click here
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