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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: Judas the Apostle by Van Mayhall Jr.

This is an engaging biblical thriller.
Judas the Apostle
by Van Mayhall Jr.
  • File Size: 813 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475931557
  • Publisher: iUniverse (August 22, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2013
  • ASIN: B00EWF24D0
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Ancient language expert Dr. Clotile Lejeune is happily living a quiet life in Seattle when her world is profoundly shaken. After she learns that her estranged father has been murdered, Cloe must travel with her soldier son, J. E., back to her Louisiana hometown to unlock the mysteries of a two-thousand-year-old oil jar her father has left her—a jar inscribed with the name Judas Iscariot. Anxious to find her father’s killer and dispel her own personal demons, Cloe has no idea that what she is about to uncover has the potential to set the international religious community on fire.

With the help of a mysterious cleric, her son, and a letter from her father, Cloe soon realizes the African oil jar her father unearthed during the war may be the most important relic discovered in centuries. But it is only the beginning. Across the globe, a billionaire arms merchant is leaving a trail of bodies in his wake in his pursuit of the jar and its contents.

In this biblical thriller, the race for answers takes a language professor on a dangerous quest across three continents in order to discover the identity of Judas Iscariot. Now only time will tell if Cloe can find out what the past is reaching out to tell her—before it is too late.

Cloe was estranged from her father since her unwed pregnancy. She worked hard and earned a respected position as an Ancient Language expert. Her son, J.E., is a intelligence soldier on furlough when she is advised her father has been murdered. They travel from Seattle to Louisiana for the funeral and reading of the Will. Cloe inherits an African oil jar that was her father’s treasure for special reasons. It soon becomes clear that the jar, believed to bear the name of Judas Iscariot, has some historical significance especially with Monsignor Roques, a representative from the Vatican, stepping in to help study the artifact.

The Vatican isn’t the only person interested in the jar. There is a cold-hearted, cutthroat antiquities collector who wants the jar -- at whatever cost. Cloe, J.E. and the monsignor have to dodge killers as they gather data and search out clues. They face betrayal, danger and twists along their journey. Ultimately the protagonists meet up with the villain and there is surprising intervention.

There are early snippets of suspense that help maintain movement through the slow beginning of the story. The action picks up mid way and the danger and excitement continue to the end. I enjoyed the clean, direct writing style and the sharing of fun regional foods. I found the theological arguments, offering various views of Judas' actions, thought provoking. I had some initial qualms about Cloe’s personality but I appreciated that she was able to recognize errors and return to some important truths in her life.

Readers should be prepared for theology discussion which is pretty obvious by the title and central subject. There is good suspense and action too. I recommend this to readers who enjoy archaeological elements, mystery and suspense.

I selected this through NetGalley and it qualifies for my NetGalley challenge.

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