REVIEWED BY KATHARINE ENGLAND
experienced before. Cesare begins to see similarities between himself and his mentor but it is when he is working as a hospital orderly during university studies in Bologna that he comes across disturbing evidence of what actually connects them and is introduced to a scientific conspiracy that promises nothing less than eternal life.
The layers of the novel are complex and intriguing, starting with a modern frame in which a screenwriter turns a recurring dream into a script and is accused of plagiarism. The reader’s interest is maintained through a range of well-realised scenes, from the atmospheric horrors of sulphur mining via domestic tranquillity on a Sicilian country estate and romance in Paris to the climax which sees the screenwriter step from the frame and take his place in Cesare’s story. The brave new worlds of speculative fiction are often