Heresy-S.J. Parris

Heresy

S.J. Parris

Anchor Books (Random House), Feb 1 2011, $14.95

ISBN: 9780767932523

In the late sixteenth century the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Monk Giordano Bruno for his heretic belief in the Copernicus theory of a heliocentric system.  He has no safe haven as the Inquisition hunts him in order to burn him at the stake for daring to espouse that the sun is the center of the universe.  Still he flees his Naples monastery just before the Father Inquisitor comes for him heading to Paris and then London where he prays he will find respite in Queen Elizabeth’s anti papal reign. 

In 1583 the queen’s Secretary of State Sir Francis Walsingham asks Bruno to visit to Oxford to look for treasonous Catholic scholars.  He agrees as he wants to go to Oxford but in search of the fifteenth book of Ancient Egyptian High Priest Hermes Trismegistus who wrote in this tome his understanding of the “Divine Mind”.  However, the defrocked monk never expected to be the hub of gruesome homicides.

The real life intelligent elucidate Bruno tells the tale mostly of his time in Oxford in 1583.  He makes the story line fun as a wonderful historical thriller.  The serial murder mystery engages the reader also, but takes a back seat to the divided deadly dogma of religious loyalties during the Elizabethan Era as portrayed by the excommunicated enlightened monk.

Harriet Klausner

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