The Medusa Amulet

Robert Masello, Author
Robert Masello, Bantam, $26 (464p) ISBN 978-0-553-80779-0
Reviewed on: 03/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
In this less than successful thriller with supernatural trimmings from Masello (Blood and Ice), Dante expert David Franco, whose beloved sister, Sarah, has advanced breast cancer, unexpectedly gets an offer that could enable him to save her life. Kathryn Van Owen, a major donor to the Chicago academic library where he works, asks him to track down a mirror bearing an image of the legendary Medusa, which she claims was crafted by Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini. Success would lead not only to a promotion but to a $1 million reward that could be applied to Sarah's treatment. The trail takes Franco to Florence and Paris, where he's pursued by the usual assortment of shadowy assassins and aided by Olivia Levi, an attractive Italian tour guide and scholar with her own offbeat theories. The burgeoning romance and frequent brushes with death all follow formula, while the conceit that the mirror holds the secret of eternal life fails to convince. (May)