Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: Book of Judas

Summary: From hard-hitting New York Daily News columnist Linda Stasi comes Book of Judas, a riveting religious thriller featuring beloved protagonist Alessandra Russo.

When her infant son is placed in mortal danger, New York City reporter Alessandra Russo is forced to save him by tracking down the missing pages of the Gospel of Judas, a heretical manuscript that was unearthed in Al-Minya, Egypt, in the 1970s. The manuscript declares that Judas was the beloved, not the betrayer, of Jesus.

The Gospel disappeared for decades before being rediscovered, rotted beyond repair, in a safety deposit box. Rumors insist that the most important pages had been stolen—pages that Alessandra now must find, if they even exist.

Do the lost pages contain a secret that will challenge Christianity's core beliefs about the creation of life, or that might hold the power to unleash Armageddon? What if such explosive documents fell into the hands of modern-day terrorists, dictators, or religious fanatics?

Alessandra plunges into a dark world of murder, conspiracy, and sexual depravity...and most importantly, a race against the clock to save her own child.

In this exciting follow-up to The Sixth Station, award-winning journalist Linda Stasi brings her formidable investigative skills, big city street smarts, and fast-flying pen to a thriller that will leave readers breathless. -- Forge

I read a variety of series, but somehow I missed the first book in the Alessandro Russo series by Linda Stasi. I figure it's better late than never, so when I read the description for BOOK OF JUDAS, the second novel in the series, I jumped at the chance to read it. This novel is an action-packed thriller, starring a female protagonist; and it will definitely appeal to fans of THE DAVINCI CODE and similar novels.

BOOK OF JUDAS has at its backdrop the Gospel of Judas, and specifically the missing pages from the manuscript with some controversial assertions. This document states that Judas was not actually the betrayer of Jesus. Rather, he was the beloved and the one whom Jesus entrusted to set up the events for his crucifixion. Talk about turning Christianity and churches' doctrine upside-down! However, it was also rumored that this manuscript might have the power to unleash Armageddon... and what would happen if it ended up in the wrong hands?

The Gospel was discovered in Egypt in the 1970s, but then it disappeared before being rediscovered in a safety deposit box in New Jersey. The manager of the bank where it was found just happened to be Alessandro's childhood friend's father. So when this man dies, his son ends up with the valuable documents and he asks Alessandro, an investigative journalist, for help.

Alessandro, a new mother, is anxious to chase this story and prove that she's still got it -- that she hasn't lost her intensity as a newspaper writer. However, when her friend is considered a person of interest in his father's death, she feels an urgency to sell the artifact for his legal fees. Alessandro decides to leave her infant son with her friendly (but odd) neighbors and head to Egypt to meet with a mysterious priest and sell the documents.

When she arrives in Egypt, she is terrified to learn that her son is in danger. The action at this point in the novel escalates, and Alessandro finds herself in mortal danger too. Fortunately, a blast from the past appears to help her; and together, they try to save the world... and get home in time to save Alessandro's son!

I enjoyed the fast-paced story in BOOK OF JUDAS, and I even enjoyed the background story on the Gospel of Judas. It was a quick read, with plenty of action as well as a historical angle, that made the story quite entertaining. However, it did have a slight supernatural slant that I didn't exactly appreciate. I wouldn't say this genre is one of my favorites as far as thrillers go, but I do think it's an overall good book with interesting characters.

As far as the mystery goes, it was a pretty good one. I wouldn't say that I was surprised by any part of this novel -- I felt as if I pretty much knew what was coming before it was revealed in the novel. But I would say that it's still exciting enough to appeal to a variety of thriller fans. I actually think BOOK OF JUDAS would make a great movie!

Ms. Stasi is an award winning journalist who writes for The New York Daily News and previously at The New York Post. I think she has made the transition to thriller author very well. She has created some interesting characters, and she does a good job with the pacing of the novel. In addition, she provided enough historical information (both factual and embellished) to make the mystery intriguing. All in all, BOOK OF JUDAS was an entertaining read.

I mentioned earlier that BOOK OF JUDAS is the second book in the series... and I don't always like starting in the middle of a series. Rest assured, this book works very well as a stand-alone. The author does a terrific job of catching up the reader to some pertinent events, and I had a feel for the characters from the get-go. I will admit that I'm tempted to read the earlier novel THE SIXTH STATION because the premise for that one sounds good too!

Overall, I think BOOK OF JUDAS is an entertaining read and will definitely appeal to fans of this suspense genre.

I received a copy of this novel from Get Red PR.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Sometimes I need a fast paced book like that. This sounds exciting!