M.J. Rose

The Reincarnationist

"M.J. Rose writes convincingly about both modern day and ancient Rome"


Josh Ryder is caught up in a suicide bomb attack in modern day Rome. Despite surviving physically, he is subsequently plagued by flashbacks to ancient Rome and to a past history that he doesn't fully remember. However, he feels a strong pull to a shadowy woman that he knows by the name of Sabina. His connection to this woman is so strong that he is convinced that their destinies are intertwined.

Rome 386 AD. Julius undertakes a desperate mission to escape with Sabina, a Vestal Virgin who is pregnant with his child. The potential punishment for her misdemeanours is death by being buried alive. Sabina and Julius have concocted a plan which would allow them to escape the city alive - with their baby.

How do these events of 386AD connect with Josh's flashbacks and the discovery of an ancient burial chamber in modern day Rome containing the skeleton of a young woman?

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This is an unusual novel based around the theme of reincarnation. As often happens with books with two separate stories, I rather preferred one to the other. In this book it was the modern-day mystery surrounding Josh's flashbacks. The story set in ancient Rome was interesting but I felt rather less empathy with the characters of Julius and Sabina. However, both stories combine cleverly together towards the end of the book. This novel's strength is in its superb plotting and – as with all the best thrillers - the story does not offer up the ending that the reader might expect. The book made me think about the whole issue of reincarnation and the author has obviously done a huge amount of research around the subject as well as clearly being fascinated by the issue. M.J. Rose writes convincingly about both modern day and ancient Rome. A good read.

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