The Inquisitor’s Key By Jefferson Bass

Only when I had read the whole book and then the slip cover did I realize that these books are collaboration between two men – their surnames being Jefferson and Bass. Not only a clever idea but a very catchy name too. One is a forensic anthropologist and the other a writer. They do a fabulous job together and the other thing I didn’t realize was that this is their seventh Body Farm book. I will now be going back and reading them from the beginning.

This novel is a story that takes place in the present but also the past. We go between the 14th Century as well as modern day. As you can imagine from the title, the Catholic Church is involved to quite a degree as well. Some bones have been found in France and there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest they could be very important indeed. Our hero, who is new to me but maybe not to you, is Dr. Bill Brockton and he is summoned to help to identify said relics. With anything of historical importance there are people and dare I say organizations that want to profit and could care less about significance let alone reverence. What the heck, I am just jumping in here and saying it, they think the bones are those of Jesus Christ. There is significant enough evidence to justify the reasons but they need Dr. Brockton to do some verification. He is a skeptic and that always proves interesting and so he just wants to find some answers.

Meanwhile back in the 1300s we meet a variety of wonderful people including artists, monks as well as a horrific Cardinal who sees it as his personal quest to rid the world of sinful beings hence the Inquisitor title. The authors did a wonderful job with this character whose name is Fournier. He is ghastly and holds quite a bit of power and influence with the pope himself.

So we go back and forth in time, discover more about the people involved with either hiding the bones of Christ or maybe they aren’t that old and date back only 700 years. We encounter the Shroud of Turin, how that could maybe be explained and how it could help to verify the bones.

Dr. Bill’s assistant, Miranda is the one who needed help from Bill and the two of them go on a few adventures while checking out the French and Italian countryside. They are residing in Avignon in France and there are some great descriptive passages about this lovely town as well. All in all a great book and some red herrings thrown in for fun too.

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