Once again in its long life, the Book of Hours was in danger. And Alphaios had put it there…
While recreating a resplendent fifteenth century Book of Hours as a gift for the pope, Brother Alphaios and archivist Inaki Arriaga discover shreds of an ancient parchment thrust into its covers. Though warned away by a visibly shaken Prior Bartholomew about the danger it holds, they pursue the few haunting words that remain, only to stumble on a dark secret that could undermine the very foundation of Catholicism. Now they are torn in a battle between the Church, which wants to destroy the parchment or bury it forever, and its owner, real estate mogul Salton Motice, who wants to use it for nefarious purposes.
Meanwhile, the brothers of St. Ambrose learn that Motice intends to buy their midtown cloister and replace it with a skyscraper. The monks will be displaced from their home of nearly two centuries with no certainty at all about their future.
Drawn ever further from the cloister into the chaotic city, Alphaios again encounters some of its most intriguing residents—a strange young woman obsessed with painting enormous replicas of master artworks under one of the city’s great bridges, and a couple who, decades later, are still coping with having to flee from despots in their own country and almost certain death.
Through it all, Brother Alphaios wrestles with allegiance to his religious vows as he searches for a way to protect the document for the terrible truth it tells.