Man of Masks
by Donald Michael Platt
"No man is closer to a woman than her confessor, not her father, not her brother, not her husband." – Spanish saying
Vicente de Rocamora, the epitome of a young renaissance man in 17th century Spain, questions the goals of the Inquisition and the brutal means used by King Philip IV and the Roman Church to achieve them. Spain vows to eliminate the heretical influences attributed to Jews, Moors, and others who would taint the limpieza de sangre, purity of Spanish blood.
At the insistence of his family, the handsome and charismatic Vicente enters the Dominican Order and is soon thrust into the scheming political hierarchy that rules Spain.
As confessor to the king's sister, the Infanta Doña María, and assistant to Philip's chief minister, Olivares, Vicente ascends through the ranks and before long finds himself poised to attain not only the ambitious dreams of the Rocamora family but also – if named Spain's Inquisitor General – to bring about an end to the atrocities committed in the name of the blood purity laws.
The resourceful young man must survive assassination attempts from a growing list of ruthless foes in both Church and court, solve a centuries-old riddle to quell rumors of his own impurity of blood, and above all, suppress his love for the seemingly unattainable Doña María.
Donald Michael Platt received his B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Army, he went to graduate school at San Jose State where one of his short stories was published in the college’s literary magazine, The Reed, and won the following awards in the annual Senator Phelan Literary Contest: 1st & 2nd in Plays; 1st & 2nd in Essays; 1st & 3rd in Free Verse.
After teaching English and Creative Writing at Los Gatos Union High School, he moved to southern California and began his professional writing career. He sold to the TV series, Mr. Novak, ghosted Your Hair and Your Diet for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse