The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell Summary
The Serpent Papers introduces readers to Anna Verco, a young literary researcher whose involvement in a series of mysterious murders in contemporary Barcelona brings her face to face with the ancient worlds of alchemy, magic and explosive historical secrets concealed in long-hidden manuscripts. Jessica Cornwell’s debut novel is a stylish, sophisticated literary thriller that will enthrall readers of The Historian, The Name of the Rose, The Thirteenth Tale and The Da Vinci Code. Barcelona, Summer 2003. Three women are sacrificed to an unknown purpose, their skin carved with a cryptic alphabet, and their tongues cut from their mouths. Sent beautiful, sinister letters—clues, or confessions?—Inspector Fabregat cannot decipher the warnings within. As Barcelona explodes in revelry on the Festival of St. Joan, Natalia Hernandez, flower of the National Theatre and Catalan idol, lies broken on the steps of the Cathedral. The city bays for blood, and Fabregat chases riddles and shadows—signs that whisper of secrets beyond his grasp. Barcelona, Winter 2014. Anna Verco—academic, book thief, savant—unearths letters hidden for centuries from a lightning-struck chapel in Mallorca. What they reveal compels her and Fabregat to reignite the Hernandez investigation. Every page she turns conceals a coded message; every street she treads leads her deeper into the labyrinth. As Fabregat baits her with suspects, and threats darken her steps, Anna hunts her own prey—the book that began it all, a medieval revelation written in the language of witches and alchemists: The Serpent Papers. Anna believes this book will unlock the mystery. She does not yet know she is the key.