The problem sometimes with stories that have fast paced action is it can often be at the expense of character. That is not the case with According to Luke. The characters are well drawn and fully developed. Jana is meticulous in her research and patience in authenticating historical artefacts. She also encounters a fellow Australian sent along to oversee the handling and authentication of this artefact. The Roman Catholic Priest, Rob Anderson, has his own share of problems, some of which are medical and which challenge his vocation. The two become closely involved as they set out to uncover the truth of the portrait she uncovers. Of course this is not as easy as it sounds. There are those who want to prevent this at any cost. One woman, Jana’s assistant, has already lost her life because of it.This portrait Jana finds could have significant implications if her suspicions are correct and they are certainly not the only ones who desperately want the portrait. Each group wants the portrait for different reasons.
The characters and their quest quickly draw the reader into the lives and problems they find themselves in. The relationship between Jana and her wealthy, domineering mother provides further depth and insight into the character of Jana and underscores the reasons behind some of her life decisions,
It is obvious from the writing that a great deal of research has gone on prior to the writing of this novel. Place is so effectively evoked, it is almost a character, with the scenes of Venice. Other places in Italy, as well as Malta and Syria are brought to life. Many of the artefacts and historic events revealed add an authenticity to the novel and the sleep disorder that plagues Rob is suitably unusual but also one would suggest soundly researched. Such titbits will have the reader longing to explore these tangents further but without ever taking away from the story and the problems of the main characters. All of these factors and more make this a thoroughly engaging read. The sign of good book is one that stays in the mind after the last page has been turned. That is what Rosanne Dingli has managed to do withAccording to Luke.
Reviewed by Dale Harcombe