Journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker Jon Jefferson, one half of the best-selling writing team Jefferson Bass (the other half being world-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass), is appearing tonight at Books & Books. The duo recently released The Inquisitor’s Key, the latest book in their Body Farm mystery series. The thriller provides fans with a new twist on the adventures of Dr. Bill Brockton, forensic anthropologist extraordinaire, delving into the mysteries and secrets of the Catholic Church’s past.
This latest book finds Brockton at the Palace of Popes in Avignon, France, when he is called to help his appropriately named assistant Miranda Lovelady and her former boss- as well as ex-lover – identify bones they discovered. This is no ordinary excavation, as they suspect the bones may belong to, of all people, Jesus of Nazareth. The skeptical scientists expect to discover that the bones are fake, just like that of so many other relics. Yet, as they conduct their research, the evidence of authenticity grows – as well as the potential for danger. Brockton and Lovelady soon find themselves in the middle of a murder case that originated seven centuries ago.
As to be expected, religious fanaticism comes into play, with a look at both the inquisitions of the 14th century and modern-day groups preparing for the apocalypse. The dual stories of present and past, include disturbing details of torture and persecution, allow for serious reflection on what has changed – and what hasn’t.
Of course, any religious mystery with a historical context will make readers think of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and the authors acknowledge this with Brockton making a subtle shout out to the book at one point. This is not a copycat book however, and the detailed research combined with the fast-moving plot provide an easy and fascinating read.
Where: Book & Books (265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables)
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15