A scroll is discovered, buried among the ancient papyri of the Dead Sea. Although fragile and crumbling, the scroll is mostly intact, the faded lines of Koine script still legible. When Father Leo Newman, a priest from Rome, is called to Jerusalem to help decipher the scroll's meaning, he soon discovers that the text appears to be a fifth gospel. If the scroll is authentic - and if the radical, incendiary story it tells is true - all of Christianity itself will be open to a complete reinterpretation. Leo is poised on the brink of an abyss, for, while he unravels the mysteries of the scroll, he is also fighting an impossible attraction to a married woman. Leo's whole life has been held together by the strength of his faith and his intellect, but now the testimony of the Judas scroll and the desires that make him human threaten to throw his entire vocation into question. With vivid evocations of Vatican Rome and the holy city of Jerusalem, and including fascinating details of papyrus science, Simon Mawer expertly weaves together a dramatic narrative that spans 2,000 years across Europe and the Middle East in poetic, illuminating prose.More
"A gripping, utterly compelling story." (The London Times)
"[Mawer's] greatest strength is in crafting probing, puzzlelike narratives..." (The Atlantic Monthly)
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Promised much, delivered little
- Novie E. Lee