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American thriller writer takes on the theft of the Righteous Judges

Bestselling author Steve Berry has been inspired by the theft of a panel from the Ghent Altarpiece to write his latest thriller ‘The Omega Factor’ now translated in Dutch as “Het geheim van Gent” (The Secret of Ghent) published by De Fontein.  The tome is set in Ghent where the panel “The Righteous Judges”, part of the Ghent Altarpiece, was famously stolen from and is still to be recovered.

Steve Berry’s works are often compared to those of famous writers like Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame.  His latest thriller has now been translated into Dutch.

“His books are bestsellers worldwide” says Christine Van Steertegem of De Fontein Publishers.  “He’s sold 25 million books in 52 countries”.

Berry is interested in history and subjects linked to locations across the globe. For his latest book he visited Ghent and the Ghent Altarpiece.  “He does pretty thorough research for each book” says Christine “consulting up to 300 sources”.

The thriller mentions Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, the Groentenmarkt and the canals of Ghent.  Tierenteyn mustard too gets a look-in.  “The book is great promotion for the city” says the publisher.  “It will certainly attract a lot of visitors this summer”.

Don’t expect to learn where “The Righteous Judges” really ended up.  The book tells a story, but it’s fiction, though there’s some 90% accuracy when it comes to the historic facts.

In the book researcher Nick Lee travels to Ghent to visit a female restorer.  A panel the woman is restoring is stolen.  The story then moves from Ghent to Carcassonne in France.  Nuns from the St Michael’s Convent, who master martial arts, get a look-in. For more detail you’ll have to read the book.

Fortunately, Steve Berry also provides his readers with a special explanatory note setting out what is historic fact and what is not.

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