The Borgia Ring, by Michael White

Middleton crashed down on the table, his face connecting with a clutch of wine bottles and glasses, knocking them into laps and on to the floor. One of the women screamed and leapt up. The architect slid backwards, away from the table. As he fell, more blood and vomit gushed from his mouth.

Max Rainer dashed over to him. Middleton had stopped moving. One eye stared sightlessly at the ceiling; the other was a uniform scarlet. Rainer placed two fingers to his partner’s neck then turned to the others as they clustered around, a look of disbelief on his face.

When builders unearth a skeleton on a building site, they are shocked. But more shocking is the chain of events this ancient skeleton unleashes. First a security man is brutally murdered as he guards the site. Then others connected to the site are also killed, one at a time.

DCI Jack Pendragon is having a tense first week at his new posting. The pressure is on him to solve the murders and stop the serial killer from striking again. But the only clues to the murderer’s identity seem linked to the skeleton – a man who has been dead since the fifteenth century.

The Borgia Ring is an absorbing crime thriller set in contemporary London, with a parallel story set in France and London in the fifteenth century, allowing the reader an insight into the older mystery which those in the modern one cannot know. The modern killer draws his inspiration from the fifteenth-century Borgia family, renowned for their cruelty and depravity, giving a chilling depth to the series of crimes which Jack Pendragon must solve.

A compulsive read.

The Borgia Ring, by Michael White
Bantam, 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.