A mysterious coded manuscript, a violent Ivy League murder, and the
secrets of a Renaissance prince collide in a labyrinth of betrayal, madness,
and genius…The Rule of Four.
Princeton: Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two students
are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia
Poliphili. Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the
five-hundred-year-old Hypnerotomachia may finally reveal its secrets to
Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with the book, and Paul Harris, whose
future depends on it. As the deadline looms, research has stalled—until an
ancient diary surfaces. What Tom and Paul discover inside shocks even them:
proof that the location of a hidden crypt has been ciphered within the pages of
the obscure Renaissance text.
Armed with this final clue, the two friends delve into the bizarre
world of the Hypnerotomachia—a world of forgotten erudition, strange
sexual appetites, and terrible violence. But just as they begin to realize the
magnitude of their discovery, Princeton’s snowy campus is rocked: a longtime
student of the book is murdered, shot dead in the hushed halls of the history
A tale of timeless
intrigue, dazzling scholarship, and great imaginative power, The Rule of
Four is the story of a young man divided between the future’s promise and
the past’s allure, guided only by friendship and love.
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