One of the most fabulous treasures of the Renaissance, the Borgia Chalice, carries with it a dark aura - for legend has it that the notorious Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, could use this cup to poison his enemies, yet drink from it himself without harm.
Security expert Tim Lacy has no superstitious fear of the chalice's supposed powers, and nor do the six people who drink from it after Lacy buys it for a client. But within the hour, four of those people are dead, all of them art critics who had mercilessly attacked the chalice's late owner, Gregor Santori, as a fraud. Yet Santori's son and daughter, who also drank from the cup, are unaffected.
Is it possible that this is revenge from beyond the grave? Lacy sets out to unearth the truth in Rome, where revelations of sordid Vatican politics have remarkable contemporary echoes. Before long Lacy finds himself racing between the art establishments of two continents in pursuit of a criminal more ruthless than he could ever have known...