An exuberant and discursive historical novel, crammed with fascinating detail.' The Independent It's 11 September 1683, Rome. The citizens of the city wait anxiously for the outcome of the battle for Vienna as Ottoman forces lay siege to the defenders of Catholic Europe. Meanwhile, a suspected outbreak of plague causes a famous Roman tavern to be placed under quarantine. One of its detainees, the mysterious Atto Melani, a spy in the service of France, discovers a secret passage leading deep into the Roman underworld. A plot to assassinate the pope and plans to use the plague as a weapon of mass destruction in the battle between Islam and the West are discovered. Meticulously researched and brilliantly conceived, “Imprimatur” contains startling revelations that have been concealed for centuries, drawing on original papers discovered in the Vatican archives. A thriller in the vein of Umberto Eco's “The Name of the Rose”, this novel sheds new light on the power struggles of 17th-century Europe, the repercussions of which are still felt today. First published to great controversy in Italy in 2002, “Imprimatur” was boycotted by the Italian press and publishing world. Despite this, the novel has gained European bestseller status; it has been translated into 20 languages with editions published in 45 countries. Over 1 million copies have been sold to date.