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The Rosario Peter Sissons cover image
The Rosario book front cover misty river luxury yacht castle silhouettes two birds in foreground

... it's far better than Dan Brown and the premise is extremely intriguing. Expertly written and absolutely mesmerising stuff - Book Monthly

PETER SISSONS

Peter Sissons The Rosario a mystery thriller novel

Front cover of The Rosario novel showing a misty river, a luxury yacht and a medieval church and castle.

A Snapshot of The Rosario by Peter Sissons

Imagine being flown to an isolated luxury estate belonging to a fabulously wealthy but obnoxious Englishman, high in the Catalonian mountains, for a highly paid job. This man’s obsessions, his mania and his total domination of his estate are hard to handle, but he is paying you handsomely for your services, and you tolerate his rudeness and demands. Then you discover that he is downright dangerous… and he knows… you know… and now you are trapped.
 

What would you do next?
This is the crisis facing Max, an architect, and Katie, an expert on 16th-century Tudor and Spanish history, in this hard-to-put-down story of intrigue and adventure. Packed with murder, robbery, romance, hidden documents and life-changing discoveries, Max and Katie are plunged into a race against time across Europe as a long-held secret that spans centuries is revealed.
 
Knowledge can be dangerous, but when wealth and power – and the ability to rewrite history – fall into the wrong hands, the total domination of a criminal mastermind becomes an ever-more frightening reality in this addictive, fast-paced mystery thriller. Building to a shocking and unforeseen conclusion in the Catalonian mountains, The Rosario will grip you until the very end.

Time and Places

The majority of The Rosario's story takes place in the present, with, as the Bookviral review described it, "... a blending of historical reference neatly blurring the lines between fact and fiction to create an overwhelming sense of authenticity and uncertainty as we hurtle towards a superb and rewarding denouement".

Throughout the powerful and entertaining chapters, the reader is whisked around Europe: from the isolation of
Spain's majestic Catalonian Mountains and the bustling cities of Barcelona and Madrid, to the City of London and the sunny, rolling countryside of England's Devonshire towns and villages. Taking a deep breath from their luxury executive jet travels, the reader visits the major port of Hamburg in Northern Germany and the small town of Glücksburg, near the Danish border.  

The Rosario's intertwining of fascinating, intriguing, emotional and heart-stopping happenings in each country, combine to give the reader a novel experience they will thoroughly enjoy and never forget.

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A map of Europe with two blue, red and pink dots to show where things happened in story.
THE 'HOOK' AND THE AUTHOR

What inspired me to begin writing The Rosario? The story began because of two 16th-century doors.

I have always been fascinated by a pair of them hanging in an old Devon property. Both doors have six relief panels, not depicting the plain English carved "Linen Fold" design, but one originating from Flanders - a more detailed and stylised pattern.

I believe it is not commonly known that in the 16th century, Flanders (present day north-east France, Belgium and Holland) was governed by the Spanish. It is quite possible that the two door panels were carved in Flanders and exported to Spain by Spanish merchants. Being of the finest quality, the panels would have been chosen as suitable carved door decoration for an admiral's cabin belonging to the Spanish navy.

In 1588, the ill-fated Spanish Armada set sail from Portugal heading for the English Channel, trying to reach Calais in France. There, the King of Spain's navy had planned to meet up with a large army to overthrow the English protestants, using invasion barges, carrying troops and equipment.

One of the largest Spanish naos or galleons of the Armada, was badly damaged and crippled in two collisions, causing the Armada's leader to leave the stricken ship to drift - that ship was the Nuestra Senora del Rosario - similar to the Spanish nao or galleon above right.

Timber 16th-century door with Flemish carved panels taken from the Spanish galleon the Rosario.

The Rosario was relieved of its considerable wealth (and other objects in The Rosario) by the famous English sailor, Sir Francis Drake, who, as usual, kept the majority of the spoils, but left enough for his queen - Elizabeth I.

In 1588 the Rosario was moved by the English navy into Torquay harbour in Devon, then towed up the river Dart, passing the mediaeval Dartmouth castle and St.Petrox church. It was finally anchored at a quayside belonging to a long-gone Tudor manor house.

 

On that site, and not far from this beautiful rolling Devon countryside seen below, is the imposing house of the famous crime writer, Agatha Christie.

Spanish 16th-century model galleon showing full sails.
Devon sea and landscape image
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