An ivy league murder, a mysterious coded manuscript, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide - a brilliant work of fiction that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery. Princeton. Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two students are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance text that has baffled scholars for centuries.
Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the book may finally reveal its secrets - to Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with it, and Paul Harris, whose future depends on it - when an ancient diary surfaces. Armed with the final clue, the two friends delve into a world of forgotten erudition, strange sexual appetites, and terrible violence. But just as they begin to realize the magnitude of their discovery, the campus is rocked: a longtime student of the book has been murdered.
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