Anne Rice's extraordinary new novel summons up for us the world of fifteenth-century Rome: of Michelangelo and Raphael, of the Holy Inquisition and of Leo X, second son of a Medici, holding forth on the papal throne... a city of domes and rooftop gardens and rising towers. And into this time, into this century, Toby O'Dare, former government assassin is summoned, by the angel Malchiah, to solve a terrible crime of poisoning and to search out the truth about a haunting by an earthbound restless spirit -- a diabolical dybbuk. In the fullness of the high Italian Renaissance, Toby is plunged into this rich age as a lutenist sent to charm and calm this troublesome spiri... He soon discovers himself in the midst of dark plots and counter-plots surrounded by a darker and more dangerous threat as the veil of ecclesiastical terror closes in around him.
As Toby once again embarks on a powerful journey of atonement, he is reconnected with his own past, with matters light and dark, fierce and tender, with the promise of salvation and with a deeper and richer vision of love.