Set in a hazy Middle East that seems at once ancient and modern, The Apostle Killer features Gallio, an aging, hardboiled investigator who has one last chance to save his career: He's got to prove Christ's resurrection was a hoax.
To uncover the conspiracy behind the so-called resurrection, Gallio figures all he needs is for one of the apostles to crack. The only problem is that one by one, the apostles keep dying - and in ever more grotesque ways - just before Gallio gets to them.
Racing to save both his case and the witnesses he needs to solve it, Gallio begins to suspect he's become the unwitting pawn in the plot to kill the apostles, but who's behind it? And to what end? As Gallio realizes even his own superiors are not to be trusted, The Apostle Killer transforms from a dazzling literary experiment into a moving, haunting work of art.
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Author Richard Beard spends a lot, and I mean a lot, of time shuttling his protagonist from one apostle to another, after which each apostle dies in turn. It becomes so predictable it's tedious, especially because it's easy to imagine so many other ways the investigation could have progressed.
Even so, The Apostle Killer is a mind-bending story of great imagination, pitting a modern-day Roman investigative team against what is to them the mystery of Jesus Christ's disappearance and subsequent reappearance after his death, and later, the mysteries of who is killing each of Jesus' apostles one by one. That the crucifixion here takes place in the late 20th century, and is captured on video and still cameras, and the investigations are carried out by Roman officers who, for example, meet with suspects in cathedrals named for apostles who aren't even dead yet, much less canonized, is intriguing to say the least.
Someone told Jon Lindstrom to enunciate very carefully because boy, does he! His painstaking drawing out of every word even while he manages to mispronounce "obvious" as "ovvious" is almost comical, but distracting.
It probably will be made into a Netflix movie, but shouldn't be. The premise is too convoluted. It was almost too convoluted for an audio book, and as such required deep concentration.