The Master's Book - kindle ebook by Philip Coleman

This story has been described by some as "Da Vinci Code for younger readers". It is set mainly in Brussels, but also in the neighbouring towns of Bruges and Ghent. Although the setting is contemporary, the story has roots going back to Medieval times, but with elements from the two World Wars for good measure. Sean Byrne, who narrates the story, is an Irish teenager, coping with the stresses of a move to a new country. He is befriended, however, by Stephanie Clarke, a pretty and pugnacious new classmate of mixed Congolese and English parentage. Together they discover a near-priceless work of art in the basement of Sean's house, a house whose previous owner has been murdered. Their curiosity, initially, but ultimately their courage and tenacity, lead to the discovery of the perpetrator of that murder and others, as well as uncovering a network of art thieves. As the plot develops, Sean wonders whether Stephanie's friendship is based solely on her shared desire to get to the bottom of the mystery or whether he can hope for something more than just friendship.

I hope the story captures some of the angst of adolescence, espeically for someone who is uprooted from his familiar environment. I also tried to show what it feels like to live in a city that is very modern in so many ways but yet where the past is never very far away.