• The Serpent Papers

  • Autor: Jessica Cornwell
  • Sprecher: Lauren Saunders
  • Spieldauer: 14 Std. und 21 Min.
  • Ungekürztes Hörbuch
  • Erscheinungsdatum: 15.01.2015
  • Sprache: Spanisch
  • Anbieter: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 3 out of 5 stars 3,0 (1 Bewertung)


Barcelona, Summer 2003.Three women are sacrificed to an unknown purpose, skin carved with a cryptic alphabet, tongues cut from their mouths. Sent beautiful, sinister letters – clues, or confessions? – Inspector Fabregat cannot decipher the warnings within.
As Barcelona explodes in revelry on the Festival of St Joan, Natalia Hernandez, flower of the National Theatre and Catalan idol, lies broken on the steps of the Cathedral. The city bays for blood, Fabregat chases a shadow-like suspect and signs that whisper of secrets beyond his grasp.
Barcelona, Winter 2014. Anna Verco – academic, book thief, savant – unearths letters hidden for centuries from a lightning-struck chapel in Mallorca. What they reveal compels her and Fabregat to reignite the Hernandez investigation. Every page she turns conceals a coded message; every street she treads leads her deeper into the labyrinth.
As Fabregat baits her with suspects, and threats darken her steps, Anna hunts her own prey – the book that began it all, a medieval revelation written in the language of witches and alchemists: The Serpent Papers. Anna believes this book will unlock the mystery. She does not yet know she is the key.
©2015 Jessica Cornwell (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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3 out of 5 stars
Von BikerJoe Am hilfreichsten 17.02.2015

Da Vinci Code reloaded

It is quite difficult to write a fair review of this unusual novel. Jessica Cornwell is a very promising author, her language has multiple facets and ranges from breath-takingly beautiful to outright vulgar. The story is complex and moves through several layers of time, not always easy to follow.

I was a little bit unhappy with the speaker Lauren Saunders. She tried so hard to give the characters of the story a strong Catalan or Spanish accent that it was really hard for me to understand the English sometimes. She simply overdid it, because it made the listening quite an effort. Less would have been definitely more.

There are some similarities of this book with the Da Vinci Code. In both novels crime is linked to mystic societies and a web of cabal and symbolism. Especially the mutilation of bodies to leave cryptic messages reminded me of Dan Brown. But there are major differences. While Dan Brown allows the reader to unravel the mystic riddle piece by piece, Jessica Cornwell uses alchemy and cabal to obfuscate the story and leaves most of the questions unanswered.

The reader is flooded with bits and pieces of alchemy, secrets of the Illuminati, ancient scrolls and mysticism in general. Not all of that is really helpful or adds anything to the story. It does not help a lot that most of the cabalistic rambling in the scrolls of the alchemists refer to the infantile desire to create gold or brew the elixir of eternal life. By contrast all the detailed and loving description of Barcelona, its history and architecture or its local customs is really nice and adds a lot of color to the story.

In the story young Anna Verco, scientist and thief of historic books, is asked by Inspector Fabregat, a retired police officer, to help with a series of cold murder cases. Some years ago 3 girls were murdered in a ghastly fashion and the naked bodies were mutilated and left with mystic symbols carved into their skin. To the chagrin of Fabregat, every murder was accompanied by a letter with a cryptic message, nobody could make head or tail of. A further murder seems to be linked to this serial killer, Natalia Hernandez, actress and Catalan idol was brutally killed and left on the steps of the cathedral, but with her death, the murders stopped.

Anna Verco is an unusual girl. She has the rare gift to enter a trance like condition, where she relives situations or feelings of other people. Using this talent and her vast knowledge of alchemy and mystic symbols she starts to penetrate deeper in the web of mysteries and secrets surrounding the murders. While Inspector Fabregat is driven to bring the killer to justice, Anna Verco's prime goal is to find the lost palimpsest of Rex Illuminatus, the murderer seems to have in his possession.

Anna Verco is a fascinating and dubious character. She is ruthless in her desire to find old scrolls and to steal them, but at the same time she appears to be extremely vulnerable and indecisive. This adds a certain quality to the story, but unfortunately all the other characters do not have the same depth or complexity, but look rather plain by comparison.

It is an interesting book, and if you have the patience to work your way through the quagmire of alchemistic rambling, it might be a gratifying experience.

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