05 March 2015

Review: The Fifth Gospel

The Fifth GospelThe Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Fifth Gospel, by Ian Caldwell, is a page turner. It grabbed my interest from the opening Historical Note on a literary and a religious level. The novel follows two brothers. One is a Roman Catholic priest. The other is a Greek Catholic priest with a son. Both are intelligent. They grew up and live in Vatican City.

It is set in 2004 at a time when Pope John Paul tried to bring the Catholic Church and the Orthodox back in Communion with each other. A curator, who both brothers knew and had recently helped with an upcoming exhibit, was murdered. One of the brothers is accused. Church secrets, and lesser known facts, are about to be disclosed.

Having grown up Roman Catholic and now Ukrainian Orthodox, the text drew me in. The discussions of the Shroud of Turin, the Diatessaron, the curator’s theory of Jesus and Thomas were most interesting. The “who done it” aspect had me surprised at the outcome. I did figure it out before being told, but not by much.

It left me wanting to go read Caldwell’s previous book The Rule of Four and also feeling the desire to catch up on some religious readings.


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