What if there was a second man who also claimed to be Jesus 2000 years ago? Could Jesus have been a victim of identity theft in ancient times? Glenn Meade’s fascinating thriller, The Second Messiah, explores this idea.
Archeologist Jack Cane finds a new Dead Sea Scroll during his dig in Qumran, Israel and with a quick translation of what can be seen from the fragile parchment there is reference to “Jesus the Messiah”. Some other writing that can be made out include puzzling information not associated with Jesus historically. Before further examinations or reports can be made a murder occurs and the scroll is stolen. Jack becomes the prime suspect. With numerous people after the priceless and religion shaking scroll, Jack must risk his life to find it, translate it, and save it from falling into the wrong hands or destruction.
At the same time, Rome’s Conclave of Cardinals has just selected a new Pope. Conflicted about deeds of the past, the charismatic John Becket decides that he will be opening the private vaults of the Catholic Church and make all documents, finances, and history public. There are various secrets and crimes involving the church that many would rather keep private instead of jeopardizing the faith of their followers. How can the new Pope be stopped?
This was a very fun read! Meade sets the story up well with the history of Jack’s parents and flawlessly moves from one location to the next. It was easy to follow the growth of each character and their relationships with one another. And unlike other books that have a lot of characters and locations, Meade kept things simple and there was no confusion on who was doing what or who was important to the plot. I also liked that Meade allows readers to make up their own minds on what he is presenting without degrading religion.
The shorter chapters make for a quick read though the book is over 450 pages. I say it is great for bed time reading or even time on the beach, but be warned -- once the exciting parts start to really pick up it is hard to put the book down. I should note that with all the mystery throughout the book I was able to predict several things that did happen such as identities of certain people and “who dunnit” before the answers actually came.
Overall this was a great book and now I’m interested in other works by this author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255