When her grandmother is killed by a senseless bombing, Serena Charter inherits the family secret. The secret was the reason her grandmother had become a recluse and why she ultimately died. But Serena didn't know there was a secret until after she contacted the lawyer about the estate. In her grandmother's safe deposit box there are old illuminated manuscript pages - about 1,000 years old. The women of the family had passed down a book of magic to the oldest daughter in each generation. These few pages are part of that heritage. Serena is now the only person left in the family. All she knows for certain is that she has a few pages and that her grandmother left her a warning of dire danger. She was to keep moving and trust no man.
Erik North is a leading expert on ancient manuscripts. He also can duplicate them. He is a part-time consultant for Rarities, Inc., a business that deals with exclusive art, gold, jewelry, and antiquities. He is contacted by Serena to appraise the pages. She also contacts a large company that resells art like Sotheby's, the House of Warwick. They tell her she has forgeries. When he sees them, he is certain they are real.
They are also part of a book that has entered his dreams for years. The Book of the Learned was written by his namesake. The original Erik had loved unwisely, and the only page Erik had seen was one of loss. But more of the old story keeps coming into his head. Then when he meets Serena, the old legend comes to life. When he looks at her, he sees both her and a woman about 1,000 years earlier.
Serena experiences the same with Erik. But she doesn't have much time to explore it. Only a few pages from this special book have surfaced over the years. Erik and his contacts at Rarities discover that those owners have all died in unusual "accidents" over the past year or so. Serena is now a target.
This is the second "Rarities" novel I have read. I found this one fascinating for a similar reason that I did in Running Scared. In Moving Target, Lowell introduces the reader to the history and fascination of old manuscripts when they were hand written on velum - cows' hides. We not only have the supernatural aspect she gives to the Book of Magic, but the historical aspect on how these books were made, preserved, reused, the techniques, the paints, etc. Lowell weaves the history into an enjoyable novel with a fast paced mystery and romance.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong sexual content
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