11 September 1683, Rome. Rome is a city on a knife-edge. The citizens wait anxiously for news of the outcome of the Battle of Vienna, as the Islamic forces of the Ottoman Empire lay siege to the defenders of Catholic Europe. Meanwhile a suspected outbreak of plague causes a famous Roman tavern to be placed under quarantine. Among this detained in the Locanda Donzello is the mysterious Atto Melani, a spy in the service of the French king. With the help of the young serving boy, he discovers a secret passage leading to a network of tunnels under the city.Their nocturnal journeys into the Roman underworld lead them to some startling discoveries about the deadly enmity between Pope Innocent XI and Louis XIV, and a plot to unleash a weapon of mass destruction in the battle between Islam and the West. Meticulously researched and brilliantly conceived, "Imprimatur" contains startling revelations that have been concealed for centuries. It is a captivating thriller that sheds new light on the power struggles of 17th-century Europe, the repercussions of which are still felt today.
First published to great controversy in Italy in 2002, "Imprimatur" was boycotted by the Italian press and publishing world. Despite this, the novel has become a European bestseller; it has been translated into 20 languages with editions published in 45 countries. Over 1 million copies have been sold to date.
Rita Monaldi was born in 1966 and is an expert in the history of religions. Her husband Francesco Sorti was born in 1964 and has a background in musicology. Both Rita and Francesco have worked as journalists, but in recent years they have collaborated on several historical novels including Imprimatur and its sequels Secretum and Veritas. They live with their two young children in Vienna and Rome.