LABYRINTH By Kate Mosse

PUBLISHED: 10:49 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

KATE MOSSE, a literary writer (co-founder of the Orange prize) who turned her hand to commercial fiction in Labyrinth, has certainly hit the jackpot with her subject. Although she started her mammoth work long before Dan Brown published his sensational hi

KATE MOSSE, a literary writer (co-founder of the Orange prize) who turned her hand to commercial fiction in Labyrinth, has certainly hit the jackpot with her subject.

Although she started her mammoth work long before Dan Brown published his sensational hit The Da Vinci Code, Mosse has chosen a related theme in her medieval and modern adventure tale about the search for the Holy Grail.

In 1209 Alais, who lives in Carcassone, France, is given a secret book that could provide a key to the Grail. Centuries later Alice, a modern archaeologist, stumbles on two skeletons, a secret ring and a mysterious underground labyrinth.

The lives of the two women intertwine and mesh as they set about their related quests, hampered at every turn by the forces of evil and thrust into a complex world of betrayal, desire, love, duty and faith.

Labyrinth lacks the instant punch of The Da Vinci Code but it is a far more complex and subtle book that will reward anyone who thinks it too slow to start. Keep with it, you'll be grateful soon. Thanks to Ottakar's of Stevenage. 4/5

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