Kristin Luna
January 09, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

In Julia Navarro’s The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud, the sanctity of an Italian cathedral is compromised by an underground religious cult attempting to steal Jesus’ supposed burial cloth. As a team of arts-crime investigators strive to find out who is responsible, they discover that a secret society of Christians have been risking their lives to save the holy relic for two millennia. Navarro deserves credit for her extensive research on the legend of the Knights Templar. But the story’s all too familiar and its fluidity gets muddled by the overwhelming number of prosaic characters and crosscutting story lines that span both continents and centuries.

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