Synopses & Reviews
A bomb in Rome, a flash of bluish-white light, and photojournalist Josh Ryder's world exploded. From that instant nothing would ever be the same.
As Josh recovers, his mind is increasingly invaded with thoughts that have the emotion, the intensity, the intimacy of memories. But they are not his memories. They are ancient... and violent. A battery of medical and psychological tests can't explain Josh's baffling symptoms. And the memories have an urgency he can't ignore pulling him to save a woman named Sabina... and the treasures she is protecting.
But who is Sabina?
Desperate for answers, Josh turns to the world-renowned Phoenix Foundation a research facility that scientifically documents cases of past life experiences. His findings there lead him to an archaeological dig and to Professor Gabriella Chase, who has discovered an ancient tomb a tomb with a powerful secret that threatens to merge the past with the present. Here, the dead call out to the living, and murders of the past become murders of the present.
International bestselling author M.J. Rose offers a spellbinding, psychologically riveting epic thriller of secrets, history and murder that will challenge the way we think about who we are and who we were.
"'Best known as an author of erotic thrillers, Rose (Lip Service) delves into religious myth and past-life discovery in her well-paced ninth novel. In present-day Rome, a terrorist bomb explosion triggers flashbacks of pre-Christian Italy in photographer Josh Ryder. Josh experiences the memories as Julius, a pagan priest defending the sacrosanct monuments of his gods and the life of his vestal virgin lover against the emperor-mandated onslaught of Christianity in A.D. 391. Six months later, Josh has teamed with the Phoenix Foundation, an institute specializing in past-life memories in children, to explore a newly excavated tomb that may contain pagan memory stones that incite past-life regressions and will, by proving the existence of reincarnation, challenge the church. The stakes rise after it becomes clear that dangerous outside forces also want the stones. In a series of memory lurches, the narratives of Josh and Julius slowly wind together to reveal a Da Vinci Code esque tale of intrigue that's more believably plotted and better meets its ambitions than Dan Brown's ubiquitous book. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"A breakneck chase across the centuries. Fascinating and fabulous." David Morrell, author of Creepers
"A compelling, ferocious read, an intelligent thrill ride, intricately plotted, with enough twists to keep the reader firmly in M.J. Rose's grasp." Robert Ferrigno, author of Prayers for the Assassin
"Dramatic suspense and intriguing characters expertly set the stage for this first in a series." Library Journal
"One of the most original and exciting novels I've read in a long time, with a premise so delicious I'm sick with envy I didn't think of it myself. It will open your mind to some of the incredible mysteries of the past and the greatest secrets of existence. The Reincarnationist is more than a page-turner-it's a page-burner. Don't miss it." Douglas Preston, author of The Book of the Dead
Mention reincarnation to someone and you may see his eyes roll and hear him begin to speak slower and use simpler words as if your IQ has just dropped ten points in his estimation. But don't be daunted. Now you can be armed with the internationally bestselling author, M.J. Rose's literate thriller, The Reincarnationist
. that not only makes past lives feel as real as the one you're living now, but also gives you supportive quotes from respected believers such as Cicero, Thoreau, Emerson, Hugo, and Kipling. In this sure, erudite, page-turner, Rose will have you believing too.
A bomb explodes in Rome and Josh Ryder, a photographer, gets a head injury that brings him so far back into the past that it is 391 A.D. There is the pagan priest, Julius, desperately trying to save Sabina, a Vestal Virgin, from being suffocated, her punishment for breaching her vow of chastity. Sabina has already had a daughter with Julius by the time she's shut up in her crypt. And bound in her garment is the Memory Stones she has sworn to protect, the keys to revealing past lives.
And who is responsible for the cruelty meted out to these lovers as well as the destruction of the pagan temples? Of course, the Catholic Church. This time the church is trying to suppress the belief in wicca, pagan religions, and reincarnation because each chips away at the church's authority. But the church harbors dark secrets of its own, as well.
Don't be fooled. While the book might sound vaguely Da Vinci Code-ish, that's where the similarity ends. Artfully researched, The Reincarnationist spreads its wings to encompass Roman history right down to knowing that the jugs in an errant goddess' crypt were filled with water and milk so that she would die of lack of air, not starvation. Rose educates us with brilliant passages about art auctions and theft, and she knows how to tell a real Caravaggio from a fake. But at its shimmering heart, The Reincarnationist is a mesmerizing love story.
Smart and sexy, this introduces a panoply of characters from antiquity to today, and each of the myriad players is so well-drawn that you don't have to use a cheat sheet to remember who is who. Rose tightens the tension, merging past and present lives into a tapestry of exquisite mystery, karmic debt, and a passionate love story worthy of Romeo and Juliet.
But Rose's mission isn't just to tell a riveting, heart-stopping story. Slowly, and believably, she creates a case for reincarnation. The fictional Phoenix Institute that helps children recover from traumas by hypnotically regressing them to reveal traumas in their past lives is based on the actual work of Dr. Ian Stevenson who did past-life regressions on 2,5OO children. At the end of the novel, Rose includes books to delve further into the topic.
The job of any novelist is to create a waking dream, a world so real you don't even doubt the doorknobs in it. Fiercely intelligent and passionately written, The Reincarnationist might just have you humming that old hit song by The Monkeys, I'm a believer.
Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, author of Miriam the Medium
About the Author
M. J. Rose is the author of Lip Service and In Fidelity.
She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.