The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

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The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Andy Heath
Reviewed by Andy Heath
Summary: The Fifth Gospel is a rare beast, an intelligent conspiracy thriller and genuine page-turner. It sets itself apart by the depth of the research and the quality of the plotting.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: April 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
ISBN: 978-1-4711-1104-4

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Conspiracy thrillers are many and varied. They often promise a lot but leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed. The Fifth Gospel is the rare exception. In a genre filled with mediocrity it soars above the competition. The care and quality that Ian Caldwell brings to his writing is exceptional and his storytelling is gifted. Set in the heart of the Vatican, he weaves a tale around the discovery of a missing gospel. The religious and political intrigues, handled with great subtlety, are twisted into a complex narrative full of intimate details.

As you read, you feel safe in the author's hands. Unlike many that enter the secretive world of the Catholic Church, here is a writer who really knows his subject. The quality and depth of the research is astounding. He brings details to the plot that open directions and options that keep the reader hooked from the first page to the last. His descriptions of places and practices put flesh on the bones and bring this largely unknown world to life. It is a novel full of contrasts, many brought into sharp relief and used with great skill to highlight the real differences within the belief systems and family structure that shape the human condition and bring the world to life. The master storyteller identifies these differences, opens them, and then touches the raw nerve.

Exceptional thriller writers have the ability to create a world that is not black and white, but multi layered with varying shades of grey. Within this world, their characters have added dimension as they explore their own personal motivations. A gifted writer creates a world that is not good or bad, right or wrong, but a subtle one based on viewpoint. It is what makes their work powerful and compelling. Although, many have the aspiration only a very few have the ability to reach these heights. With The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell has truly reached the summit. It is a book that will be compared with the Da Vinci Code. This would be truly unfair. Ultimately, both novels are different but on a personal level, I think Caldwell's is better.

If you enjoy The Fifth Gospel, you may also enjoy The Last Testament by Sam Bourne and CODEX by Adrian Dawson.

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Buy The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell at


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