Murder mystery twists and turns from present to past and back again

Book: The Seventh Sacrament

Book: The Seventh Sacrament

Author: David Hewson

Publisher: Macmillan

Reviewer: Nthabisang Moreosele

Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code has spawned a host of novels relating to religion, the artefacts used in worship and fanatical breakaway sects that wreak havoc in the name of truth.

It would seem that all religions have murky corners that are out of bounds for believers and TheSeventhSacramentconcernsthenowlargely forgotten religion of Mithraism, which was once the mainstay of the Roman army.

The last and most sacred temple to Mithras was sacked by Emperor Constantine's army, leaving hundreds of soldiers killed.

A modern archeologist discovers this temple and the fact that the soldiers who worshipped at the temple were killed just before they were about to offer a living sacrifice to their god.

There are asides about how elements of Mithraism were incorporated into the Catholic church to weaken its mysteries but also to entice its followers.

The author's obsession with the rites of Mithraism is the trigger for much of the story, which is one of passion, revenge, guilt and serial killings as the protagonists are drawn into an ancient world and religion that they know little about.

A trio of suspended police officers from Rome are drawn into the story and set out to stop the serial killer.

The killer is known, finding him is the problem. Eventually the reason for the killings comes to light along with a missing corpse.

The Seventh Sacrament has twists and turns aplenty to keep the reader engrossed.