Multilayered mystery inspired by actual events.
In 1985, commercial fisherman Anthony Fallon stumbles upon a centuries-old relic, a golden cross, off the coast of Bermuda. He asks his wife, Maggi, a researcher at the Bermuda Maritime Museum, to investigate its value, inadvertently igniting a contentious dispute over the cross’s rightful ownership. Claimants to the cross are many, each with his or her own peculiar set of interests. The government of Bermuda vies for the cross since it was found within its territory and by one of its natives. The Vatican competes for it, claiming original ownership; more importantly, they want to extract a key of mysterious wealth they believe is held within the cross. Meanwhile, Fallon, Maggi, and his business partner, Kat, become embroiled in their own dispute over how to fairly spilt the proceeds once the cross is finally sold to whomever—contretemps complicated by the romantic triangle the three of them form. Based on historical events and a real unsolved mystery, this book is one part research, two parts suspenseful thriller. The plot unfolds quickly, with no shortage of intrigue: denied access to inspect the cross for the purposes of authentication, the priest charged with brokering the Vatican’s acquisition secretly steals it. For all its twists and turns, the novel is held together by an affecting portrait of the trio who found the artifact, both financially saved and personally challenged by its discovery. Also, first-time author Bentley, who has lived in Bermuda, deftly researched the relevant historical events and fills in the blanks with some gripping drama. The true story is so extraordinary it hardly needs much additional dramatization.
A fast-paced thriller that’s difficult to put down.