In 1453 the collapse of Byzantine Orthodox Christianity's most sacred City, Constantinople, radiated shocks through the entirety of the Christian world. Symbolically, the Islamic Ottoman Turks had made Santa Sophia, the most famous Christian church in the world, into a mosque. Any doubts that there was a now an Ottoman Empire poised to conquer the Christian West were dispelled. But the history around the collapse itself was surrounded with loose ends and oddities.
This novel fastens on one of these pieces. When Constantinople fell there was a huge amount of slaughter and pillage by the Ottomans. There are some doubts about what happened to the Christian Emperor, Constantius. It is said that he was killed in battle but some accounts suggest otherwise. During much of World War II Nazis occupied Greece. The Greeks put up a torrid resistance to this occupation. On the island of Lesbos two resistance fighters came onto a cache of objects that could turn history on its head. But the cache is re-buried until at last the two fighters, now in their eighties, must face the question of whether to reveal their find. Bertrand McAbee is a PI residing in the heart of the Mississippi Valley in Davenport, Iowa.
A former college professor of classics, he has been in the PI business for ten years. He has a knack for getting involved in situations that mushroom into particularly difficult and dangerous cases. At the deathbed request of one of these Greek resistance fighters, McAbee is asked to go to Mt. Athos in Greece, the monastic center of the Orthodox Church, and speak with the other resistance fighter about the cache found years back in Lesbos. After he consents to do so he will encounter an extraordinary set of deadly obstacles as he confronts a historical dilemma.
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