The Mithras Conspiracy
by M.J. Polelle
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When Commissario Marco Leone finds the corpse of a Vatican scholar floating in the Tiber, he must overcome a tragic family history and a neo-fascist conspiracy inspired by an ancient Roman cult. This murder of Leone’s estranged friend is the first in a series of ritual assassinations and terror attacks on churches built over mithraeums (underground chapels) devoted to the god Mithras. The detective postpones a professional sabbatical to solve a murder that is but one thread in an intricate tapestry of political intrigue.
The conspiracy led by an tycoon sexually abused as a youth by a priest now a cardinal threatens to unleash a coup against an Italian government in crisis. The conspiracy also unsettles the origins of Christianty based on scrolls found in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. The showdown between the detective and the tycoon leader takes place in a mithraeum under the Baths of Caracalla where the the leader makes a last stand with his inner circle of conspirators.
This novel of fictional conjecture is based on historical facts and research in Rome with an Italian archaeologist and art historian.