The Fifth Gospel

  • by Ian Caldwell
  • Narrated by Jack Davenport
  • 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Ian Caldwell's masterful follow-up to his international sensation The Rule of Four, a lost Gospel, a contentious relic, and a dying pope's final wish converge to send two brothers--both Vatican priests--on an intellectual quest to untangle Christianity's greatest historical mystery.
Now, after a decade of painstaking primary research, Ian Caldwell returns with a new intellectual thriller that confirms his place among the most ambitious popular storytellers working today.
In 2004, as Pope John Paul II's reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. The same night a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator's research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex, desperate to keep his family safe, undertakes his own investigation. To find the killer he must reconstruct the dead curator's secret: what the four Christian Gospels-- and a little-known, true-to-life fifth Gospel known as the Diatessaron--reveal about the Church's most controversial holy relic. But just as he begins to understand the truth about his friend's death and its consequences for the future of the world's two largest Christian Churches, Father Alex finds himself hunted down by someone with vested stakes in the exhibit--someone he must outwit to survive.
At once a riveting literary thriller, a feast of biblical history and scholarship, and a moving family drama, The Fifth Gospel is a novel about the depths of sacrifice and the power of forgiveness. Rich, authentic, erudite, and emotionally searing, it satisfies on every level.


What the Critics Say

"Davenport offers a nuanced narration whether delivering Simon's secretive manner or Alex's pragmatic one.... Caldwell's uncluttered, thoughtful writing and Davenport's performance make worthwhile listening." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Yes, but, "Been There; Done That"

Ian Caldwell is definitely a better writer than Dan Brown. He creates here a Vatican that breathes reality, and a Church that is rich in its beliefs and in its complexity. The characters have sincerity and could inhabit such a rarefied atmosphere. Church officials are especially well drawn and there are moments of great feeling.

Also, this is one of those books that takes you immediately to reviews of the work, details of the author's research, and wikipedia - loved being introduced to ancient manuscripts, unfamiliar branches of the Catholic Church, and new "evidence" about controversies like that surrounding the Shroud of Turin.

But there's no denying that there is much of the "deja vu" feeling about "The Fifth Gospel." Intriguing and thoughtful it may be, but it has been done before.

So a recommendation here is tricky. If you like religious and literary mysteries (with or without the conspiracy theories), then I'm pretty sure you'll like this. I went along quite willingly with the story and with the really wonderful narration of Jack Davenport.
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- C. Telfair "Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!"

Wow. Just wow.

"The Fifth Gospel" is intricate, breathtaking and tightly woven with well developed characters. This is the book Dan Brown could only dream of writing. It has all the depth with none of the cheap thrills.
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- Pamela

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-03-2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio