Book Review: The Medici Secret by Michael White

The story begins with a flood in a Milanese church crypt in the 1960’s.  But it’s not just any church crypt.  It is the crypt housing the mortal remains of the Medici family.

Back in the present, scientists have been given unprecedented access to the Medici burials, but when the lead Professor, Carlin Mackenzie, is found murdered in the pop-up lab within the church, the question is, what had he found?  His niece, Edie Granger, is another member of the research term, and she wants to find out.

In Venice, an elderly gentleman turns up on the doorstep of Jeff Martin, an out-of-favour Medieval historian.  The old man claims to have been the church warden at the Medici Chapel at the time of the 1966 flood and reveals the disturbing events that came to pass on that evening, events no one has been willing to take seriously.  When Jeff hears of Professor Mackenzie’s untimely murder, he knows he needs to speak to his old friend Edie Granger, and quickly.

However, they quickly learn that they are not the only ones on the same quest for the Medici secret and these others are far more ruthless…

Interspersed with the threads of the story set in the present, we are given the historical back story, told through the eyes of Cosimo de Medici, himself on a quest for a secret.

Set mainly in Milan and Venice, the visual descriptions of the cities, both in the present and past, were vivid and realistic.   Having read James Becker’s The Nosferatu Scroll less than a month ago, itself set in Venice, it was interesting to recognise some of the places that were mentioned.

The characters, both the primary and secondary ones, were engaging and as the plot twists and turns, you don’t know exactly what is going to happen, and most importantly, how it is going to end.

I found The Medici Secret a gripping read; in fact, I finished the book in a day because I couldn’t put it down.  It is rich in detail, and the different story lines flow together smoothly, with ease.

I recommend The Medici Secret to those who enjoy a good historical mystery.

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