Thursday, February 4, 2010

To Know Evil by Stephen Gasper

This is a fascinating book.  Just to read about it, you might think it would be slow or boring, but it really isn't.

 To Know Evil by Stephen Gaspar tells the story of a lost Gnostic Codex found in a Benedictine monastery in Northern Italy in 999 A.D.

The monks are allowed to speak, but they seldom do.  Brother Thomas of Worms, the rebel in the group, forms a bond with the much younger Brother Nicholas to find the codex and solve a series of murders in the monastery. 

Everything about the story is important--the year it takes place, the building itself (which emanates evil), the strange secret revealed at the end of the story.

I read the book because of my interest in religious subjects.  But I found the book to be a good mystery story.  It moves steadily forward. Virtually everyone in it struggles with secrets, hubris, or, in one case, insanity.  

Mystery Scene Magazine called this book, "Medieval noir."  

Such books don't have truly happy endings, and that's the case with To Know Evil.  But the book does close in a strange, miraculous, and surprising way.

This is a well-researched historical mystery novel.  It deals with and explains such things as Gnosticism, Arianism, and the other beliefs which came to be seen as heresies by the established church.

If you enjoy reading historical mysteries, you might try this one.

Publisher: Pemberley Press


pattinase (abbott) said...

Sounds like a good one, Joe. Better than Dan Brown.

Joe Barone said...

It is certainly better than Dan Brown.