The Prisoner of Paradise
by Rob Samborn
January 24 - February 18, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
The world's largest oil painting. A 400-year-old murder. A disembodied whisper: "Amore mio." My love.
Nick and Julia O'Connor's dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto's Paradise, a monumental depiction of Heaven. Convinced his delusions are the result of a concussion, Julia insists her husband see a doctor, though Nick is adamant the voice was real.
Blacking out in the museum, Nick flashes back to a life as a 16th century Venetian peasant swordsman. He recalls precisely who the voice belongs to: Isabella Scalfini, a married aristocrat he was tasked to seduce but with whom he instead found true love. A love stolen from them hundreds of years prior.
She implores Nick to liberate her from a powerful order of religious vigilantes who judge and sentence souls to the canvas for eternity. Releasing Isabella also means unleashing thousands of other imprisoned souls, all of which the order claims are evil.
As infatuation with a possible hallucination clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick's past self takes over. Wracked with guilt, he can no longer allow Isabella to remain tormented, despite the consequences. He must right an age-old wrong - destroy the painting and free his soul mate. But the order will eradicate anyone who threatens their ethereal prison and their control over Venice.
Occasionally I have come across fiction stories with so much art history it’s like sitting in an art class, almost academic. That’s not the case in The Prisoner of Paradise. To say this book is about art would not be true. The art in Samborn’s book adds to the description and paints a picture of a setting almost like a stage scene.
Somehow the art in this story is only a centerpiece. A beautiful arrangement woven together to create a story of theft, betrayal, transgressions, even love. A frightening story of long ago judgements hiding behind well-known people of today. Hiding behind masks, as if in a mardi gras.
This book does switch back and forth between centuries. I have been known to complain about this sort of writing construction impairing the reader’s flow of the story. I can’t say there was ever any confusion here. This time, the story was as lucid as could be and each chapter, regardless of the time period, seemed to flow seamlessly.
Rob Samborn looks as if he has extensive screenwriting experience under his belt, but I think this may be his debut fictional series. Hope he’s working on Book 2 of The Paradise series.
Published by: TouchPoint Press
Publication Date: November 30th 2021
Number of Pages: 333
ISBN: 1952816890 (ISBN-13: 9781952816895)
Series: The Paradise Series, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them (including Italy) and studied nine languages. As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.
Catch Up With Rob Samborn:
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Twitter - @RobSamborn
Facebook - @RobSambornAuthor
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