Home > Books > A Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2015: About the Shroud of Turin

A Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2015: About the Shroud of Turin

February 4, 2015

It isn’t available until the middle of March

imagePublishers Weekly has picked a fiction book about the Shroud of Turin as one of The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2015The book is The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell by Ian Caldwell.

It is available in Hardcover, Various EBook Formats, including Kindle, and as an Audiobook. 

Here is what some of the journals have to say:

  • “A superior religious thriller, notable for its existential and spiritual profundity . . . 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.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Captivating . . . 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 two thousand years in the making.”Library Journal (starred review)
  • “A brilliant work . . . Extraordinarily erudite . . . Caldwell makes intriguing literature from complex theology.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “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.”Booklist(starred review)

And some famous authors:

  • “It’s been ten years since Ian Caldwell co-wrote The Rule of Four. The Fifth Gospel was more than worth the wait. For those who might compare it to The Da Vinci Code, don’t. This marvelous book stands alone and will become the very high standard for any novel in this genre. Masterfully plotted and extraordinarily researched, and written in a voice that never rings false, The Fifth Gospel is that rare story: erudite and a page-turner, literary but compulsively readable. It will change the way you look at organized religion, humanity, and perhaps yourself.” —David Baldacci
  • The Fifth Gospel is nothing short of groundbreaking—a literary feast wrapped around an intriguing murder mystery. Caldwell writes with precision and passion as he takes us on an emotional journey deep into the workings of the Vatican and deeper into the hearts and souls of the men and women who have devoted their lives to the Church. The Fifth Gospel is a cathedral where skeptics and believers alike may enter and all will leave transformed.” —Nelson DeMille

The storyline extracted from Publishers Weekly:

. . .  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 . . .

Okay. I pre-ordered it. It isn’t available from Simon and Schuster until the middle of March. I ordered the audiobook and the synchronized Kindle version which lets me read some, listen some while I walk the dog, read for awhile . . . you get the idea.  When it is released it will suddenly appear, as though by magic, on my iPhone and my Kindle reader.  

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  1. February 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Glad it is getting good press. I am surprised they used the title of an earlier book on the Shroud by the same title in 1974 by Thomas Humber. It was republished in 1978 as Sacred Shroud. It should actually be called the First Gospel!

  2. February 4, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Personally. I’d rather author a one-off work of fiction, instantly memorable or forgettable (whatever), at least with the possibility of film rights, than have to deliver the same old lecture-circuit presentation mixing fact and fiction, one that requires talking to the same set of slides, again and again and again…

    I’d charge more than $5 per head to inflict that on myself. I can’t speak for the audience naturally…

  3. Hugh Farey
    February 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Whenever I get the feeling that Shroudology is a rather obscure science of interest only to a tiny group of obsessives such as myself, I turn to Amazon surprised to find that a new Shroud based fiction is published about once a month, and a non-fiction book about once every two months. And that’s just in English. Most of them have highly predictable plots and some are barely literate, but others have a reasonable pedigree, usually in the Crime, Thrillers and Mystery category. The most recent seems to be Donald Churchwell’s “Sequencing Faith”, which came out in December. Has anybody read it?

  4. Piero
    February 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I beg your pardon. But I would like (for a moment) back to reality …
    In fact the reality is (perhaps) more imaginative than the novels …

    Two days ago I have found an interesting study about:
    Adhesion properties and phase transformations of Uric Acid crystals…

    In that paper:
    Adhesion properties and phase transformations of Uric Acid crystals
    I have found a bibliographic reference:

    Thio, B. J. R.; Meredith, J. C.,
    “Measurement of polyamide and polystyrene with coated tip
    atomic force microscopy.”
    J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2007, 314, 52-62.

    Do you remember the past discussion about the Jospice Imprint
    (…and my past remarks about cold dyeing of Polyamide 6)?
    Well…
    I think is possible to work with CFM analyses on Polyamide/Polyurethane
    in order to detect the truth…
    Chemical force microscopy (CFM) is a variation of atomic force microscopy and
    is used to measure the adhesion properties of surfaces…

    Some details:
    Chemisorption of the thiol (S-H) head groups onto a gold surface can form
    a self-assembled monolayer (= SAM).
    Interactions between the specific functional groups at the far end
    of the thiol and the sample are used to discern the adhesion properties
    of the surface…

  5. Charles Freeman
    February 4, 2015 at 11:27 am

    It looks as if he is better off writing on his own. The jointly written Rule of Four has more one star reviews on Amazon.com than the total of four and five star reviews together- some kind of record, I think. Now that he is writing on his own he has got forty four and five star reviews and only one star review and this is six weeks before the book is even published.

    P. S. None of my publicists have ever told me how to get five star Amazon reviews before my books are released to the public. I have still a lot to learn.

    • John Green
      February 4, 2015 at 11:45 am

      If you do a lot of reviews and they are helpful to customers Amazon will send you books (and products) for review before they are released to the public.

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/vine/help

      • February 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm

        Thanks, John. I used to review on Amazon but I gave up when I realised how many of them had been arranged by the author. I was one even approached myself to ask whether I would provide a five star review for a book I had never read and did not even have a copy of. it was actually specified they were only looking for five stars! I refused and dropped out altogether from Amazon reviewing. There are other ways of finding out whether a book is any good or not. Goodreads is somewhat better.

        • John Green
          February 5, 2015 at 8:11 am

          Yeah Charles that is a big problem. In a sense Amazon is paying these reviewers with free stuff.
          I have also noticed that most times the first 5 reviewers are all 4 and 5 stars.
          If I read the author before and I like his/her work I may order a book just based on that without any reviews. If not I wait until it gets 1 and 2 star reviews before I read any of them.

  6. Joe Marino
    February 4, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Following up on Hugh’s comment, I am amazed at how often these Shroud-based novels come out. I did read Sequencing Faith but really can’t remember much about it. My main complaint about the fiction novels is that there usually are only 2 main themes: Jesus being cloned from the blood on the Shroud (a scientific impossibility, at least in our day) or the Shroud gets stolen. I see where Caldwell spent 10 years researching for this. It would be interesting to ask all of the authors of these fiction novels if they believe the Shroud is authentic or if that really even matters to them.

  7. piero
    February 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

    First of all I beg your pardon about the previous concrete example of
    “obscure science of interest only to a tiny group” (..only microscopists?)…
    — — —
    I admit: in the past I have bought the famous book by Caldwell:
    “The Rule of Four” and now I am curious to read what is the story
    developed in that new book…
    — — —
    Do you know Francesco Colonna?

    Here the book :
    “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, ubi humana
    omnia non nisi somnium esse docet. Atque
    obiter plurima scitu sane quam digna commemorat”

    http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/c/colonna/hypnerotomachia_poliphili_etc/pdf/hypner_p.pdf

    … before dying, Colonna wrote the Hypnerotomachia, a book of codes on his efforts to uplift humanism despite religious dogmas. He disguised its contents in a seemingly innocent piece of Renaissance romantic literature, concerning the love between Poliphilo and Polia. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili itself meant “Poliphilo’s Struggle of Love in a Dream”.

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