Book Details

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The Orpheus Descent

A Novel

About the Book

A cerebral literary thriller in the vein of Dan Brown, Matthew Pearl, and Sam Bourne, The Orpheus Descent follows classical philosopher Plato on a mysterious journey to Italy that will ignite a conspiracy that burns into the present.

The greatest thinker in human history, Plato, travels to Italy seeking initiation into the Orphic mysteries: the secret to the Underworld known only to the gods. But the knowledge he discovers is terrifying.

Two millennia later, twelve ancient golden tablets secreted in museums around the world hold sacred information known to only a few—the pathway the dead must follow to the afterlife. And archaeologist Lily Barnes has just found another on a dig in southern Italy. But this tablet is far more valuable—and dangerous—than the rest. It holds the key to hell itself.

Now, Lily is gone and her husband, Jonah, is desperate to find her. He knows she is alive—and in mortal danger—and he’s willing to go to hell itself to find her. But the deeper he descends on this dark and twisting journey, the more Jonah’s fear rises, for not everyone who travels where Lily has gone will find their way back. . . .

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A cracking thriller.” —The Sun (London)

“This is a sort of Platonic ideal of the kind of book Dan Brown attempts to write—a pacy, preposterous Indiana Jones-esque thriller, but with prose that sparkles, jokes that amuse and characters that resemble human beings.” —Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph (London)

“An act of great daring, pulled off to perfection....Thoughtful, thought-provoking and intelligent: mind-blowingly good.” —Manda Scott, author of The Crystal Skull

“Tom Harper has been writing elaborate thrillers that marry ironclad narrative skills with some of the most elegantly understated writing in the field; he’s the thinking person’s Dan Brown. Actually, Harper deserves the latter’s success—and more, as Harper is comfortably the better writer.” —Barry Forshaw, author of The Rough Guide to Crime Writing

“There is food here for mind, sense, and heart. It is exceedingly high-class entertainment.” —N.J. Cooper, author of Vengeance in Mind

“This thought-provoking thriller marks a return to form for the talented Harper. . . .A convincing portrait of Plato’s time.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This exciting, fast-paced thriller boasts some well-drawn characters, an involving plot, and some seriously interesting speculation about the nature of hell. . . . It’s an ambitious book, and fans of the author’s previous, history-based thrillers will have a great time.” —Booklist

“A historical thrill ride. . . . The history and mystery move forward like a bullet out of a gun. . . . The research of ancient Greece is stunning and in-depth, and the marvelous characters, both present day and long ago, are enticing.” —Suspense Magazine

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062305282
  • ISBN 10: 006230528X
  • Imprint: Harper Paperbacks
  • On Sale: 05/27/2014
  • Pages: 464
  • List Price: 19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Thrillers / Historical
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Thrillers / General
  • BISAC3: FICTION / Historical

The Orpheus Descent by Tom Harper

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