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The Mithras conspiracy

M.J. Polelle

Followers of an ancient cult threaten to overthrow the Italian government and destroy the Church. Rome is in chaos. Earthquakes shake the city. The pope is in a coma. And a Vatican scholar has been found dead in the Tiber.
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Followers of an ancient cult threaten to overthrow the Italian government and destroy the Church.
Rome is in chaos. Earthquakes shake the city. The pope is in a coma. And a Vatican scholar has been found dead in the Tiber.

Detective Marco Leone is about to take a sabbatical when his estranged friend—charged with organizing the Vatican’s secret archives—is murdered. Leone stays to investigate, but the killing is just the first in a series of ritual assassinations and attacks on specific churches—all of which were built over ancient chapels of the Roman god Mithras.

Leone’s research leads him to two American scholars who have uncovered a pair of scrolls that, if authentic, could rewrite history. While attempting to unravel the parchments’ mysteries, they are drawn into a bitter feud between a scheming cardinal and a charismatic tycoon, Lucio Piso, himself bewitched by the cult of Mithras. As the deaths pile up, Leone begins to wonder if Piso is involved, and if his obsession feeds larger personal and political goals. Could the cult of a long-forgotten god topple the Italian government and bring the Church to its knees? In the tradition of The Da Vinci Code comes a thriller that dives beneath the veneer of a powerful ancient institution to explore the crumbling ruins—and the shocking secrets—that lie within.

Born and bred in Chicago, M.J. Polelle is an emeritus professor of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he practiced civil litigation in Chicago before becoming a law professor at De Paul University College of Law and then at the UIC-School of Law where he taught constitutional law. At UIC-School of Law, formerly John Marshall Law School, he co-taught a comparative law course in Parma, Italy with an Italian professor and served as a Special Assistant State’s Attorney for several years. THE MITHRAS CONSPIRACY, a historical and religious mystery, was his first novel. It was a finalist in both the Eric Hoffer Book Awards and the Royal Palm Literary Awards of the Florida Writers Association. It also received an IndieBRAG Medallion for placing in the top tier of novels submitted for review. His second novel,, AMERICAN CONSPIRACY, is a political thriller. It was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards and the SPR Book Awards.He lives in Sarasota, Florida with his wife, Donna, and is inspired by walks along the beach. You may contact him on his website: www.mjpolelle.com. Free Author’s Notes are available through his website for the historical background of The Mithras Conspiracy.

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