Author: Steve Berry
Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jun. 7, 2022
Source: Grand Central Publishing
Book Rating: 8.5/10
The Ghent Altarpiece is the most violated work of art in the world. Thirteen times it has been vandalized, dismantled, or stolen.
Why? What secrets does it hold?
Enter UNESCO investigator, Nicholas Lee, who works for the United Nations’ Cultural Liaison and Investigative Office (CLIO). Nick’s job is to protect the world’s cultural artifacts—from countless lesser-known objects to national treasures.
When Nick travels to Belgium for a visit with a woman from his past, he unwittingly stumbles on the trail of the twelfth panel for the Ghent Altarpiece, stolen in 1934 under cover of night and never seen since. Soon Nick is plunged into a bitter conflict, one that has been simmering for nearly two thousand years. On one side is the Maidens of Saint-Michael, les Vautours, Vultures, a secret order of nuns and the guardians of a great truth. Pitted against them is the Vatican, which has wanted for centuries to both find and possess what the nuns guard. Because of Nick the maidens have finally been exposed, their secret placed in dire jeopardy—a vulnerability that the Vatican swiftly moves to exploit utilizing an ambitious cardinal and a corrupt archbishop, both with agendas of their own.
From the tranquil canals of Ghent, to the towering bastions of Carcassonne, and finally into an ancient abbey high in the French Pyrenees, Nick Lee must confront a modern-day religious crusade intent on eliminating a shocking truth from humanity’s past. Success or failure—life and death—all turn on the Omega Factor.
Thought-provoking, creative, and suspenseful!
In this intriguing new standalone novel, The Omega Factor, Berry introduces us to the resourceful Nick Lee, a UNESCO investigator who, after heading to Belgium to meet up with his ex-fiance, art restorer and catholic nun Kelsey Deal, becomes swept up in the centuries-old conflict and mystery surrounding one of the world’s most important works of art from the early fifteenth century, the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert & Jan van Eyck.
The writing is descriptive and rich. The characters are inquisitive, driven, and fearless. And the plot is an intricate tale that will have you contemplating the significance and importance of historical artefacts, Christian history, the dealings and scandals of the catholic church over the years, and the possible location of the final resting place of the Virgin Mary and the ashes of Joan of Arc.
Overall, The Omega Factor is a unique, mysterious, action-packed thrill ride that grabbed me from the very start and did an excellent job of blending historical facts with compelling fiction.
This book is available now.
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Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.