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The Fifth Gospel:  A Novel
Author: Caldwell, Ian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age: Adult  LC: PS3603.A 
ISBN-10: 1451694148  ISBN-13: 9781451694147  Brodart No: 109850335 
Language: English 
Demand: Moderate  Print Run: 200000 
Pub Date: 03/03/2015
Availability: Available
List: $25.99
Physical Description: 431 pages ; 25 cm LCCN: 2014041909 
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Blockbuster List
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Adult
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles
Bibliographies: Fiction Core Collection, 18th ed.
Los Angeles Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers: Adult Fiction
Publishers Weekly Bestsellers
Starred Reviews: Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Library Journal
Publishers Weekly
Awards: Booklist Starred Reviews 
Kirkus Books of Special Note 
Library Journal Starred Reviews 
Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews 
Thriller Award Winners 
TIPS Subjects: Suspense/Thriller
Mystery/Detective Fiction
SEARS Subjects: Clergy, Fiction
Mystery fiction
Psychological fiction
LC Subjects: Clergy, Fiction
FICTION / Literary
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
FICTION / Thrillers
Mystery fiction
Suspense fiction
Reading Programs:
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles | 12/01/2014
As a strange new exhibit appears at the Vatican Museums in 2004, a curator's murder, a secret meeting, and a violent break-in send Father Alex Andreou in search of answers as he vows to protect his family. Father Alex's search soon reveals someone who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. Only the rare fifth gospel could hold the key to the holy relic the whole Church has long found controversial. 448pp., 200K, Auth res: Vienna, VA, Maps
 Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 01/01/2015
The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church are the largest branches of the Christian-religion tree. Almost unknown are Eastern Catholics, who follow Eastern traditions but proclaim their loyalty to the pope. Brothers Simon and Alex are priests, though Simon is climbing the Vatican ladder, while Alex has followed his father into the Eastern Catholic priesthood. Allowed to marry before ordination, Alex has a young son, Peter, which makes him even more of an oddity in Vatican City, where he lives. His life takes a dangerous turn when a friend, the curator of a Shroud of Turin exhibit, is murdered on the eve of the show's opening. There are secrets here, slowly revealed, that could change the face of Christianity if the truth about the shroud and an ancient fifth gospel--one that tries to reconcile the synoptic gospels with the gospel of John--comes to light. Caldwell, coauthor of the international bestseller, The Rule of Four (2000), has invaded Da Vinci Code territory here, but his version has more in common with high-end literary-historical thrillers like those by Iain Pears than it does with Dan Brown. Here motives are nuanced shadows that are as hard to grasp for Alex as they are for readers. It is this very elusiveness, juxtaposed against a strong sense of place, that intrigues, making this the best kind of page-turner, one about which you also have to think. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Caldwell's publisher smells Big Book with this one and plans to make it as easy as possible for readers to pick up the scent. Cooper, Ilene. 448pg. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.
Kirkus Reviews | 01/15/2015
Caldwell (The Rule of Four, 2004) makes intriguing literature from complex theology, weaving in a text lost to history, the Shroud of Turin and Vatican duplicity. "I can't remember a time when I didn't live in the Vatican," says Father Alex Andreou, an Eastern Catholic theology instructor. Alex, as permitted by his Eastern faith, married Mona, but in the throes of postpartum depression, she abandoned him, leaving him to raise Peter. Alex's brother, Simon, chose Roman rather than Eastern Catholicism. He's now a Holy See Secretary of State, a priest-diplomat. Like their deceased father, the brothers yearn for an Eastern-Roman reconciliation, an achievement they first think possible because of Ugo Nogara's scholarly work. Nogara rediscovered the long-forgotten Diatessaron, "a fusion of the four existing gospels into a single document." Now Ugo's dead, and Simon, who found his body, faces canonical trial for his murder. Ugo believed the Shroud was brought to Byzantine's Edessa after the Crucifixion, around A.D. 33, then stolen by "Crusaders who brought home the Shroud and Diatessaron." Too late, Alex finds that Ugo's discoveries will damage Pope John Paul's tentative steps to heal the Roman-Orthodox schism. Beyond the extraordinarily erudite plot and the details of daily life in Vatican City, Caldwell's characterizations fascinate: Simon, "who can still shed the world in a heartbeat"; the anti-reconciliationist Cardinal Boia, "like standing in the path of a streamroller"; and even John Paul, paralyzed, nearly mute, eyes "[a] hypnotic Mediterranean color, a pelagic blue. They swim with life." While exploring Ugo's death and dissecting theological infighting, Caldwell weaves together the Shroud's passage from Edessa to France to Turin, the Gospels' historical and theological truths, and Rome's clumsy effort to assuage the bloody events of "1204...the darkest year in the history between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches." In homage to the Christian message, sin and salvation, forgiveness and redemption, love and sacrifice are chronicled from the personal to the universal. A brilliant work. 448pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2015.
Library Journal | 11/01/2014
Ten years ago Caldwell's The Rule of Four, coauthored with Dustin Thomason, dominated the best sellers lists. With his second novel, Caldwell claims a legitimate position among the notables of this artifact-adventure genre. Set within the walls of the Vatican (circa 2004), this thriller treats us to a captivating and compelling look at the history, politics, and pageantry of the Holy See against the backdrop of a Vatican Museum exhibit. Bolstered by a copy of the Diatessaron, a single narrative aggregate of the four Gospels, exhibit curator Ugo seeks to reestablish the Shroud of Turin's relic status. This fifth gospel is the linchpin of his exhibit. While helping Ugo, Father Alex Andreaou, a Greek Catholic priest, and his brother Simon become entangled in something more complex than the exhibit. When Ugo is found dead, everything the brothers have worked for is in jeopardy. VERDICT Fascinating, clever, and plausible, this thriller is, at its heart, a story of sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption. Peppered with references to real-life people, places, and events, the narrative rings true, taking the reader on an emotional journey nearly 2,000 years in the making. [See Prepub Alert, 9/15/14.]. Laura Cifelli, Fort Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL. 448p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.
Publishers Weekly | 01/12/2015
Caldwell follows 2004's The Rule of Four (cowritten with Dustin Thomason) with another superior religious thriller, notable for its existential and spiritual profundity. Set in 2004 in and around the Vatican, the story revolves around two brothers: Alex Andreou, a married Greek Catholic priest who's estranged from his wife and lives with his five-year-old son; and Simon Andreou, a Roman Catholic priest who works as a diplomat. Both brothers are involved with a controversial museum exhibit involving the Shroud of Turin. Dr. Ugolino Nogara claims that he has proven that the carbon tests dating the shroud to the medieval period are wrong, and that it is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. When the exhibit's curator is found murdered and Simon is arrested, Alex sets out to find the truth--and becomes entangled in a grand-scale conspiracy that could resurrect a "poisonous ancient hatred." An intelligent and deeply contemplative writing style, along with more than a few bombshell plot twists, set this one above the pack, but it's the insightful character development that makes this redemptive story so moving. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM. (Mar.). 448p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2015.
 Journal Reviews
BookPage | 03/01/2015
Ten years ago, Ian Caldwell and his co-author, Dustin Thomason, struck gold with The Rule of Four, a page-turning academic mystery with emotional depth. Now, after a decade of research, writing and rewriting, Caldwell is back with a solo effort, a new novel that promises to live up to The Rule of Four. And The Fifth Gospel delivers, with compelling characters, impeccable pacing and a central enigma that is as intellectually satisfying as it is emotionally harrowing. The year is 2004, and Pope John Paul II is nearing the end of his time leading the Roman Catholic Church while still working to fulfill a few final wishes. The Vatican is rocked, though, when a curator turns up murdered in Rome just a week before he was set to unveil a powerful new exhibit in the Vatican Museums. When police can't find a suspect, Greek Catholic priest Alex Andreou--a friend of the curator and expert on the Gospels--takes it upon himself to unravel the mystery, one that concerns a mysterious fifth Gospel manuscript, a legendary relic and a secret that could shake the church to its core. Caldwell constructs the novel's central puzzle masterfully, weaving between past and present, danger and intrigue, codes and obfuscations at a blistering pace that makes the more than 400-page novel breeze by. But the key to The Fifth Gospel's effectiveness is Alex's emotional, intense point of view. Caldwell has woven a tale that's as much about brotherhood, faith, the sins of the past and what it means to atone as it is about the central mystery and its faith-shattering secrets. The Fifth Gospel is rooted in a powerful, very human emotional core. Matthew Jackson. 448p. BOOKPAGE, c2015.
Library Journal Prepub Alert | 09/15/2014
Written with Dustin Thomason, Caldwell's The Rule of Four spent nearly a year on the New York Times best sellers list. It's been a ten-year wait for the follow-up, but here it is. In 2004, the curator of a forthcoming under-wraps exhibit at the Vatican Museums is murdered even as his research partner, Greek Catholic priest Father Alex Andreou, suffers a break-in at the Vatican home he shares with his young son. Launching his own investigation, Father Alex begins to see what the curator saw: a link between the Gospels (including a real-life fifth gospel known as the Diatessaron) and a controversial holy relic. With an eight-city tour to Boston, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, DC. Barbara Hoffert. 448p. LJ Prepub Alert Online Review. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.