By Patrice Chaplin
E-Book, 234 pages Published by: The Heretic Publishing, 2012 Order online at: I find myself reading very little fiction these days. It seems over the years I’ve done a good job of convincing myself that I’ve slowly graduated from fantasy to reality. However, sometimes I come across a novel that seems more real than non-fiction. Such is the case with Patrice Chaplin’s latest in her series that began with City of Secrets, then Vicky becomes obsessed to The Portal, and now Mr. Lazarus. reconnect with a renowned young I expected her to continRomanian-born violinist and comue with her revelations about poser who she first thinks is Italian Rennes-le-Chateau and Béringer when she encounters him leaving the Saunière, and I was not disappointstage door of London’s Albert Hall. ed. But I also found myself treated Her journeys across Europe are to a sparkling, fast moving narrative more like “trips” in the intoxicatin which I often could not separate ing sense as she interacts with her myself from what is fiction and what friends, co-workers, and newly is not fiction. discovered strangers With this mode of who care about her storytelling, Chaplin well-being and her continues to tempt sanity in her attempt us with ever increasto find the famous ing bits of knowlLuciano Raffi. edge that we know Among other must be true. I even things, in her path suspect there is more stand unclear but inautobiographical creasingly important information about connections to the herself in this “ficKnights Templar, the tional” interpretation Holy Grail, Kabbalistic than even she admits ritual, the Hapsburg to. Dynasty, Salvador Victoria Graham Dali, psychically is working for British transforming music, television and radio and the ever-present media in 1974 when scent of roses. Patrice Chaplin signing a she learns about a In an almost staccopy of City of Secrets mysterious story cato kind of alternat(Photo Credit: Andrew Gough involving the city & Lisette Gagne) ing dialogue between of Perpignan in the the characters, we south of France. We get the sense that not only is Vicky find that since childhood she’s been attempting to produce a piece for haunted by a vision of a “portal” the entertainment media, but that in space and time, and the plot Patrice, herself, is giving us the basis explores her revelations over the for a most tantalising motion picture remainder of her adult life concernscript. Again, one wonders how much ing the existence of such a portal of Vicky actually is Patrice. on the peak of Mr. Canigou in the While I don’t want to give away Pyrenees Mountains between France the numerous revelations that and Spain. blasted my head open as I read this

book, I will divulge one quote that left me dumbfounded as to the possible authenticity of its subject. Rosa, the Kabbalist, tells Vicky’s long-time friend, Jay Landis, that the real secret is not at Rennes-le-Chateau but in a cave near Mr. Canigou. “They call it the Tomb of God. A man from here opened it up and found the burial cloth of Jesus and three long nails. They’ve been carbon dated. Two thousand years old. And containers for oil and herbs, and wood from Jerusalem. Wood from a cross.” You can begin to understand why I could not put this book down! It doesn’t hurt that Chaplin has produced some of the most skilfully crafted prose I’ve read in a long time. Jolting, to say the least. And, of course, there’s the naughty part of me that enjoyed the details of the love story. Whether that was real to Vicky or imagined makes no difference. Full of both flashbacks and leaps ahead in time, the outcome as the story builds is an unexpected twist that ties it all together. Captivating to say the least. Chaplin has again connected us with something not of this world. One has to “experience” this book. The transformation it induced continued long after I put it down. Perhaps this is a strange comparison, but I found it reminiscent of the feeling I had when I first read E.J. Gold’s American Book of the Dead – elated, but weak like a damp, wet rag that’s been twisted and squeezed. Chaplin’s book is a portal in itself. I was in another place, certainly not sitting on the couch in my reading room. For those who are not familiar with the first two books in this series, I recommend you at least begin by carefully reading the interview with Patrice Chaplin by Ani Williams from 2008 that’s available at before you open Mr. Lazarus. That background is very helpful. However, I warn you: you still will not be able to separate truth from myth. But, then, in the spirit of Joseph Campbell, as our civilisation moves forward and we discover more about our past, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the difference. – Alan Glassman


July-August 2012

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