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The Medusa Amulet    by Robert Masello order for
Medusa Amulet
by Robert Masello
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although they rely upon a well worn and time proven formula, the thrillers constructed around a centuries old object with legendary powers just won't go away. While some of these novels sputter and die an ignominious literary death because they have nothing new to offer, there are others that still manage to hold our attention and offer a highly entertaining read.

Created by Benvenuto Cellini, La Medusa is the ancient artifact with magical powers that drives this thriller. Once reputedly the cherished possession of some of the world's most famous statesmen and church leaders, the Medusa amulet purportedly holds 'the power of immortality'. Now if you buy into that premise, then the exciting adventure to locate the object will keep you flipping pages long into the night.

David Franco, a scholar at the Chicago Newberry Library, launches an investigation into La Medusa that will take him across continents and centuries in search of the precious object and an answer to a riddle that has puzzled scholars for centuries.

Joining Franco in the search will be a beautiful young woman who has her own reasons for wanting to find the amulet. Naturally there are those who are pitted against this pair and these sinister forces will do whatever it takes to thwart their progress.

From Cellini's Rome and Marie Antoinette's Paris to Hitler's Germany, the story unfolds across centuries and conjures some remarkable characters and scenes so astounding they will be hard to dispel from one's imagination.

A pinch of historical fact mixed with a liberal dollop of conjecture and some ingenious plot twists make The Medusa Amulet a gripping, albeit fanciful, novel that supplies good value for the money and time invested.

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