As a young woman in Florence, Diana Savrano's life is a privileged one of elegant balls, handsome suitors and frivolity. But the sudden death of her mother leaves her adrift and abandoned. As she sobs over her mother's casket, another member of the procession reveals the awful truth. Before her last days, Diana's mother had joined a Luciferian cult. Despite knowing little beyond her pampered world, Diana determines to unmask those responsible for her mother's death. But someone does not want such secrets revealed, and they are willing to send assassins to keep her silent. Paranoia and loneliness set in as even her closest friends reveal hidden agendas. Worst of all, the further she follows the intertwined threads, the closer they appear to lead to her own father.
God had taken her mother, stolen her. Her death had come during the bitterest days of winter and the cold had taken away her life. Now she was gone. The thought of it still came as a shock. It could not be possible, still so beautiful, now dead. Marsh fever had been the cause. The disease had come on quickly, progressed fast and ended in these unimaginable consequences. Diana could not fathom that her mother died so, taken in the prime of her life by the natural and loving hand of God.
She wiped her eyes. Her breath trembled as she inhaled. Without her mother she felt lost.
A presence loomed behind her, a dark shadow. Diana ignored it. Nothing anyone could want from her would be enough to pull her from this deepest moment of despair. Let them speak with her father, whatever they needed. A moment passed. The figure remained, felt more than seen. Diana remained turned away, forehead against the marble.
A hand gently brushed her shoulder and she tensed. Still she didn’t turn to look. Perhaps they’d leave if she didn’t respond. Instead, fingers brushed her long hair aside from her right ear. She felt breath, warm and moist against her throat. Diana’s fingers gripped the lid of the sarcophagus in surprise. Otherwise she froze, unable to move, unable to turn. She behaved like a child hiding under covers in hopes not to be seen by some imaginary witch. The person, whoever it was, seemed to hesitate. A heartbeat passed. At last came the fateful words, whispered in Diana’s ear.
“Your mother was murdered.”