In 1425 the great dome of Florence cathedral is still unfinished, but reaching a critical point as its shell move inexorably upwards and inwards. An irascible genius, Filippo Brunelleschi, is in charge of the dome’s construction, watched over by his patron, the powerful banker Cosimo de’ Medici.
Young Assistant Building Supervisor Luca da Posara can’t think of anywhere else in the world that he’d rather be: it’s the birth of the Renaissance and the very air seems alive with fresh ideas, in science and philosophy, art and architecture.
But then he finds the body of a visiting mathematician, brutally murdered. Papers on the corpse allege that Filippo Brunelleschi stole his ideas. Who had him murdered? Filippo or Cosimo? Or the hot-headed sculptor Donatello, Filippo’s close friend and former apprentice? Or was it one of their bitter artistic or political rivals, in a plot to destroy Filippo and discredit Cosimo?
In Renaissance Florence, passion, conflict and intrigue lead to plot and counter-plot and nothing is quite as it seems. After a second killing, of a master mason who plunges to his death from the top of the incomplete dome, Luca feels compelled to turn amateur detective – and discovers it’s all a matter of perspective.
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