The Griffin in the Valley by Paul Young

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" Australian journalist Leo Castella receives word that his father is in a coma after an assault on the streets of Palermo, and promptly boards a flight to Italy. The emblem of a griffin has been left as a warning and becomes a recurring theme.

In Sicily he meets a cousin who is a Cistercian monk belonging to a group who've found remarkable ancient Greek artifacts, inscribed with advanced scientific formulae. He is taken to Agrigento and introduced to other project workers who show him the mysterious carvings.

He falls in love with one of the team, Rosie, a beautiful young antique dealer. After touring the Valley of the Temples, they narrowly avoid injury from an explosion in an ambush. Treacherous behaviour is afoot in the race to interpret the archaic messages, and suspects include the monks, the Vatican, the Mafia and academics from the local university.

A long lost relative shows up with information about a subterranean chamber in the Valley of the Temples, and an ancient sage who had built a device to harness cosmic rays. Only Leo learns the secret of activating the apparatus. A siege leads to a kidnapping, ending in a rescue operation by undercover police who have been observing proceedings with interest. Back in Palermo, the old man emerges from his coma. The traitor is identified as part of an organization they had least suspected, and is caught with the help of government agents after a boat chase leading to the island of Ustica.

The characters grapple with moral issues of power and financial gain, ownership and the possible misuse of the newfound cosmic energy in the wrong hands. At the last minute, new information is uncovered which suggests that their unique source of power has far greater potential than they had ever imagined."

About Paul Young

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Paul Young is a frequent contributor to L.A. periodicals including Los Angeles, and a former art and culture editor at Buzz. He is the co-author of Buzzwords: L.A. Fresh Speak (with Anna Scotti). He lives in Los Angeles.
Published December 1, 2004 by Trafford. 290 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction

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