Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Oracle is a modern thriller inspired by an ancient prophecy.
1973. Professor Periklis Harvatis, working alone and late into the night on an important archaeological dig, unearths a magnificent golden vase upon which the enigmatic images of a long-lost second Odyssey are engraved, showing the mystery of Ulysses' final voyage. But in the very same chamber, the Professor sees something so frightening that less than seven hours later he dies . . . but not before he has ensured the safety of the vase.
Ten years later, a series of gruesome deaths connected to the rape and murder during the student protests in Athens of a Greek woman, on the same night as Professor Harvatis's discovery, is perplexing the authorities. Each atrocity is accompanied by a dire quotation from the ancient sources, exposing an ingeniously cruel mind.
Who is behind these murders? How are these two events connected? And what is the significance of the age-old prophecy of the Odyssey?
Valerio Massimo Manfredi is professor of classical archaeology at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan. He has published nine works of fiction, including the 'Alexander' trilogy, which has been translated into 24 languages in 38 countries. He has written and hosted documentaries on the ancient world and has written screenplays for cinema and television.