Editorial Review: Deadline Rome: The Vatican Kylix by Sari Gilbert

Editorial Review: Deadline Rome: The Vatican Kylix by Sari Gilbert

Clare Philips, foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, finds herself at odds with the mafia and the Vatican after making a gruesome discovery in an Etruscan tomb. 

Deadline Rome: The Vatican Kylix is a thrilling tale set in 1980s Rome and centered around a valuable antique Greek wine cup causing quite a stir. However, the story begins with Clare Philips, a young British freelance journalist for the Washington Post, embarking on a picnic with her friend, Daniel, a priest studying in Rome. The picnic takes a dark turn when the duo makes a gruesome discovery in an Etruscan tomb, which immediately sets Clare's journalistic instincts in motion. With some help from Daniel, Clare investigates the matter, which puts her in the crosshairs of some very unscrupulous people. At the same time, she learns that the Vactican's Etruscan Museum is planning a major exhibit for a valuable antique Greek wine cup. The world-famous Euprhonius painted this Kylix, and since Clare has an archeological background, she is drawn to the story. Clare is eager to make a name for herself, but she didn't expect that her discovery in the Etruscan tomb had some connections to the Kylix. However, her continued investigation could put her life in grave danger. 

Although most of the story is viewed from Clare's perspective, the author also doesn't shy away from providing alternate viewpoints. From Daniel, Clare's conflicted priest friend, to a shady archbishop, greedy French diplomat, kidnapped teen, and more. The sections featuring these characters do a great job rounding out the story and letting readers in on information Clare doesn't know about. Another thing that sets Deadline Rome apart from other thrillers in The Eternal City is that the author has spent many years living there and worked as a reporter and foreign correspondent. This insider knowledge has allowed her to write about the people and locations with a degree of authenticity often lacking in books set in "exotic" destinations. The result is a story that feels like a snapshot of Rome during the eighties, complete with the added tension of investigations being limited by the era's technology. There are no cellphones, laptops, or any of the modern conveniences that would have made Clare's job easier but less thrilling.   

Clare herself is a fascinating character who lives quite an eventful life despite her job taking up most of her time. She is beautiful as well as resourceful, and her ambitions often blind her to the danger she is exposing herself to. In addition, she has some personal issues to deal with, which complicates matters and leads to a few interesting plot developments. Although dogged in her pursuit of her story, Clare still takes the time to appreciate the sights and foods of Rome and the attractive locals who frequently cross her path.  

 Overall, Deadline Rome: The Vatican Kylix is a thrilling read filled with everything from organized crime and secretive plots to more personal matters that Clare grapples with. Seeing things from the perspective of some of the villainous characters in the tale also makes the story more immersive. Clare is the story's true star, and hopefully, her adventures will continue beyond this book.