Lorenzo’s Assassin 2017-02-23T06:43:06+00:00
Paperback and Kindle versions available on Amazon, including free Kindle sample.

Lorenzo’s Assassin

Murder Lorenzo the Magnificent?

A devout Catholic soldier struggles to obey his Pope even after he has been befriended by Lorenzo.

A beautiful girl loses the love of Lorenzo’s handsome brother and resorts to witchcraft to regain it.

A Greek scholar seeks revenge for the death of his lover twenty-five years earlier.

From the unfinished Sistine Chapel, to the altar beneath Brunelleschi’s dome, to the fire tunnels under the great Theodosian Wall in besieged Constantinople, Lorenzo’s Assassin tells three intertwined stories of love, vengeance and forgiveness.

I was pleased to be named a “Writer to Watch” by the Friends of the San Diego Central Library. Part of this honor was an invitation to give a talk about my latest book, Lorenzo’s Assassin and about writing, which I did on February 18, 2017.

This is an edited video of that talk.


News about Lorenzo’s Assassin

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Kirkus Review of Lorenzo's Assassin

February 9, 2017 9:39 am

 

Kirkus Reviews is a respected book reviewing service used by many publishers and authors. I just received their review of my latest novel, LORENZO’S ASSASSIN, and to my great relief, it’s pretty good.

“Intricate and gripping, the book keeps the reader racing along with Giovan and company all the way to the bloody end. An ambitious and engrossing tale of Renaissance Italy.”

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-van-roekel/lorenzos-assassin/

Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?

When James Comey quoted King Henry II of England, I and many others recognized the reference. Henry was vexed by Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury. Hearing these words, four of his knights promptly assassinated Becket. Afterwards, Henry claimed that he never meant for the archbishop to be killed.

I am not going to make a political point here. Rather, I am struck by the fact that King Henry did not escape punishment. Pope Alexander III forced him to do public penance at Becket’s tomb. Alexander also canonized Becket.

But what happens when it is the Pope himself who expresses a request without giving a direct order? This happened in 1477 when Pope Sixtus IV said of Lorenzo de’ Medici, “I’m telling you: I do not want anyone to die but I do want to change the state [of Florence].” The men who heard this organized what is known today as the Pazzi Conspiracy. The goal was to assassinate Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano.

This is the historical backdrop for my third novel, Lorenzo’s Assassin  Giovan Battista da Montesecco is the Captain of the papal Apostolic Guard and hears Sixtus’s words. The novel follows Giovan and Giuliano’s lovely mistress Fioretta Gorini during the year leading up to the final attack on the Medici brothers in the Duomo of Florence.

So what happened to Sixtus? The plot against the Medici precipitated a war, but it petered out. Sixtus reigned for another seven years and completed what we think of today as his most important legacy: The Sistine Chapel.

And what happened to Giovan and Fioretta? Read Lorenzo’s Assassin to find out.

Lorenzo’s Assassin is available in both paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Lorenzos-Assassin-John-Van-Roekel/dp/0692729178

LORENZO’S ASSASSIN is San Diego Book Awards Finalist

The San Diego Book Awards Association has been recognizing authors and their books for twenty years. I am very pleased that they have selected my latest novel, LORENZO’S ASSASSIN, as a finalist in the historical fiction category. The winners will be announced at the annual ceremony on June 10th.

http://sandiegobookawards.org/2017-finalists/