Dr. Ottavia Salina, a brilliant paleographer, toils at her classified workspace deep within Vatican City, analyzing and restoring some of the world’s most valuable religious artifacts until she is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church and commissioned with a mysterious new assignment: she is to decipher the strange tattoos — seven Greek letters and seven crosses — found on an Ethiopian man’s corpse. Next to what was left of the body were three pieces of wood—suspected by Vatican scholars to be fragments of the Vera Cruz, actual splinters from the Cross on which Christ was crucified.
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