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by M.J. Rose

Pub Date: March 13th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2130-3
Publisher: Atria

This addition to Rose’s Reincarnationist series of spiritualist romance thrillers (The Memoirist, 2008, etc.) takes on the power of scent as a gateway back to past lives.

Jac and her younger brother Robbie L’Etoile are heirs to a family perfume empire that their Alzheimer’s-ridden father has brought to the brink of bankruptcy. Jac has lived in the States since she was 16, two years after her mother’s suicide and her resulting mental breakdown. An author and TV personality, she is an expert on uncovering the truth behind myths. Robbie, a Buddhist, has remained in France and is dedicated to saving the perfume business. Having found shards of an Egyptian perfume pot an ancestor brought home from Egypt in 1799, he convinces archaeologist Griffin, who happens to be Jac’s former lover, to translate the pot’s hieroglyphics. He believes they list the ingredients to a scent that releases memories of former lives and plans to give the information to the Dalai Lama to support the Buddhist belief in reincarnation. Meanwhile in China, art student Xie Ping has won permission to travel abroad with other students for their calligraphy exhibit. But Xie is no average art student. As a 6-year-old child lama, he was kidnapped from a Tibetan monastery by Chinese "protectors." When Robbie goes missing along with the pottery shards, leaving a dead Chinese Mafioso asphyxiated in his workroom, Jac flies to Paris. Soon Griffin is helping her search for Robbie, whom they find in the tunnels of Paris protecting his Egyptian pot. Along the way Jac and Griffin rekindle their undying love despite his marriage and child. But Jac is suffering from hallucinations—or are they memories from previous incarnations? By the time the L’Etoiles turn up at Xie’s calligraphy exhibit, along with the Dalai Lama and members of the Chinese mafia, Jac’s a believer.

Although cynics would say that the convoluted plot is built on coincidence, Rose’s characters repeatedly preach that coincidence does not exist; maybe not, but here’s proof that claptrap does.