The Eight, Katherine Neville, Ballantine Books, 1989, 598 pp
This was a fairly entertaining story but it seemed to go on too long. A chess set originally belonging to Charlemagne is the center of a big chase and mystery, spanning hundreds of years across many countries and involving key world figures. There is supposedly some kind of power involved with the chess set and naturally most people want to rule the world.
Neville moves back and forth in history, includes interesting tidbits about the game of chess and covers various love stories. The 20th century part of the story is set in the 1970s during the "energy crisis" and the beginnings of OPEC. In the midst of the War on Terror, that all seems so quaint.
The Eight got a big push this fall because Neville released a sequel called The Fire just a few weeks ago. I won't be reading it.