19th-century Istanbul: a conspiracy to steal an ancient reliquary; a secret which could change the world
The Ottoman Empire is plagued by thefts of antiquities from mosques and churches that, within days, appear for sale in Europe. Among them is a reliquary, presumed lost for four hundred years and around which an elaborate and mysterious sect has grown.
In Istanbul, magistrate Kamil Pasha is under pressure to break the smuggling ring amid rising tensions between Christians and Muslims. He confronts a mysterious adversary who will stop at nothing to get the reliquary first. With the Balkans aflame and Kamil's personal life in upheaval, the search into the old neighbourhoods where Istanbul's crime rings reside may cost Kamil not only his position but also his life.
Jenny White is a tenured professor of anthropology at Boston University, specializing in Turkish studies. She's written monographs on 20th-century politics and has been studying the Islamic party that recently won the elections in Turkey. Her book on that party became required reading in the State Department.