(Previously published at www.crimefictionlover.com)
The fictional city of Ruin in modern day Turkey. Over it towers the Citadel, where the very first Bible is believed to have been written. Built into the Taurus mountains where the Carmina, a society of monks, has been living for a couple of millennia, the building is entirely cut off from the rest of the world. There they hide and protect the Sacrament, an ancient relic of inestimable worth.
Not every monk in the Citadel has access to the Sacrament – only the chosen ones do and they’ve been through a rigorous and violent ritual lasting years. Once they’ve reached this point the chosen each become a Sanctus, members of the Sancti. They’re never allowed to leave the Citadel – not dead, and certainly not alive. No one else can know the true nature of the Sacrament.
So of course one Sanctus, Samuel Newton, gets out. He climbs to the top of the mountain, standing there for many hours with his arms outstretched forming a cross, the sign of the Tau, older by far than the Christian cross. While the whole world below watches he lets himself fall to his death. But why? His sister, Liv Adamsen, undertakes a dangerous journey to find out the truth behind his demise. She’s helped by the Mala, a group who believe in a different version of the Bible, whose history is as old as the Carmina’s. The Mala wants the Sacrament to be revealed to the world.