No Greater Sacrifice by John C. Stipa

No Greater Sacrifice by John C. Stipa: Independently wealthy archaeologist Renee and troubled history professor David are summoned to a small village in France to hear the reading of a will. Though ostensibly strangers, it turns out the pair met a couple years before while vacationing (separately) in Rome, and their pasts intertwine even more. Their romance blooms in fits and starts, which didn’t really interest me all that much but luckily was not a huge chunk of the story. Rather, the plot focuses on a strange artifact, broken into pieces and scattered throughout Europe. Finding and reassembling them becomes an obsession for Renee and David. The flavor is distinctly reminiscent of Dan Brown, except with far superior writing and less exasperating characters.

I think my favorite part was how our heroes pursue the secret of their inheritance purely out of personal interest and thirst for adventure. Yes, they’re being chased by bad guys, but that’s external drama and does not drive their quest. They could have simply forgotten about it and gone home, but of course then we wouldn’t have had a story. Luckily, Renee and David let their curiosity get the better of them, and have some grand adventures in the process. Parts were clearly written with a camera lens in mind, but that actually made the action easier to visualize. Though I was still slightly confused as to what the Big Secret ended up being in the end, I had no problem keeping track of the myriad of players. All in all, a good first novel.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. It does sound like a Dan Brown type book. I haven’t heard of it before, I’ll have to keep my out for it. Happy Reading!

    • If you’re a member of, keep an eye on the forum – I’ll be starting an int’l bookray in about a month.

  2. Thanks for participating in the Saturday Review at Semicolon.

    If you’re a poetry lover, I’d like to invite you (and your readers) to participate in the poetry survey that I’m doing. I’m looking for your ten favorite classic poems. Read more about it here.

    • I’m not a poetry person, but I passed this along to some of my book-loving buddies. I hope you get a lot of replies.

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