The Fifth Gospel: A Novel
by Ian Caldwell
Hardcover- $14.27

Instant New York Times Bestseller

“Masterful...The Fifth Gospel is that rare story: erudite and a page-turner, literary but compulsively ...

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  "THE FIFTH GOSPEL by Ian Caldwell" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/03/15

What a great book! The writer gives you a feast for the intellect while presenting a spell binding murder mystery. It might help if you have a bit of Biblical or Christian knowledge, but if you don’t, it will be liberally supplied without preaching. The schism between the Eastern (Orthodox) Church and the Roman Church is a major part of the plot. The schism plays out in the family that is the center of THE FIFTH GOSPEL. One brother is a Roman Priest, the other an Eastern Christian priest. The victim is a lay person who is investigating the provenance of the Shroud of Turin with the help of both brothers.
The writing is clear and fluid. The characters are well rounded and interesting personalities. The plot is slowly revealed through the machinations and hierarchy of the Country that is Vatican City. You will be drawn into the plot, the family, the Vatican and the Church as the tale unfolds.
Book groups will discover many avenues to discuss – family, faith, church, power, crime, punishment, divorce, suicide, among them.
5 of 5 stars

 
  "character-driven mystery" by ebach (see profile) 11/02/16

Although Ian Caldwell is non-Catholic, THE FIFTH GOSPEL is full of details about the Vatican and the priesthood. This is a literary mystery--who killed a religious scholar and why, is the Diatessaron really the fifth gospel and where is it, and is the Shroud of Turin really what is claimed and who does it belong to?

What fine character development in this novel! In particular, two priests, brothers, one Roman Catholic, the other Greek Catholic, are the main focus. Told from the point of view of one of them, Alex, this story is his investigation of these mysteries after Ugo, the religious scholar, is found dead, apparently murdered. Ugo had been studying the Diatessaron and found allusion there to the Shroud of Turin. Is this the reason he was murdered?

Catholic readers will appreciate all the research Caldwell did on the Vatican and the priests and bishops there. I'm not sure, however. if a non-Catholic would. I think THE FIFTH GOSPEL might have bored me if I were not a Catholic.

Or maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe the reader will appreciate this novel for its character-driven mystery when so many mysteries/thrillers are simply plot driven.

 
  "" by lucydog (see profile) 02/10/17

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