This book is a thriller and it is two thrillers in one. There are two stories going on. On the one hand an antiquarian book dealer is hired to translate a manuscript that dates from the sixteenth century and is written in a kind of shorthand from that time. The man who hired him is murdered soon thereafter and the book seller finds himself being offered huge amounts of money for the manuscript and when he declines he finds himself facing violence. Then there is the other story. It is the story of the man who wrote the manuscript and it takes place in 1585. That story could be called an historical thriller. It involves murder, secret missions, sea travel and conflicts with the natives of North America in 1585. For most of the book I enjoyed that historical story more than the main story that takes place in modern times. However, as the novel approaches its climax that story gets a lot better and is filled with tension as the three protagonists are threatened with imminent death. They also find themselves in possession of a two thousand year old artifact that is of extreme importance to history. It is important enough that it is valued at about forty million dollars.