OPUS DEI COUNTER-REVOLUTION CONSPIRACY. Richard Rees’s “The Reikel Conspiracy” tells of a plot to restore the Church of Rome, disestablished by Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel, with the Pope a ‘house-prisoner’ in The Vatican, the outcome of which hinges on a clash between opposing factions including Mafia, in a deserted castle on the promontory of Portofino. Rees also rebuts taking its ‘Opus Dei’ theme from the ‘Da Vinci Code’. His novel again came first.

On December 4, in the year 1872, the American brigantine Mary Celeste, bound from New York to Genoa, was found abandoned but completely seaworthy, some 600 miles off the Spanish coast, with no sign of captain or crew. What happened has remained unsolved for over 145 years, but after a year of exhaustive research, the answer to the world’s most famous sea mystery is now told in “factional” form through the eyes of New York detective Michael Callaghan, and his estranged wife Colleen.

Investigating two brutal murders committed in New York’s teeming Lower East Side, and also pursuing their own vendettas across the Atlantic against one of America’s greatest fraudsters – “Brains” Sweeny, mastermind of the notorious “Tweed Ring”, who has fled New York with $200,000,000 of its money, converted into diamonds – Callaghan and Colleen uncover a web of intrigue and deceit, involving not only a Sicilian organization called the “Mafia”, previously unknown to the world outside the island.

A counter-revolutionary plot codenamed “Opus Dei’, conceived by Pierre Beckx, Father-General of the Jesuits, to restore the Church of Rome, disestablished in Germany by Count von Bismarck, and in Italy by King Victor Emmanuel, with the Pope a “house-prisoner” in the Vatican.

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