It is Friday and that means it is time once again for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott at her blog: http://pattinase.blogspot.com/ I selected THE JESUS THIEF by J. R. Lankford that I first reviewed in December of 2003. This book as well as THE CROWNING CIRCLE are both very good books and I hope you will take a look.
Dr. Felix Rossi is a devout Catholic and as this amazing novel opens, about to examine the holy Shroud of Turin. While science has been unable to prove that the ancient burial cloth wrapped his body at death, Dr. Rossi has always believed that it covered the body of Jesus Christ. He has contemplated trying to take a sample from the cloth and using his experience and skills, attempting to clone Jesus Christ. Theoretically it is possible and as he stares at the burial cloth he knows that given the opportunity he would be successful. With the knowledge of a painful family secret having just been revealed to him moments earlier, he makes the impetus move to steal two blood stained threads from the holy cloth.
While he is successful with the theft, he soon discovers that the theft was the easy part. Not only does he have to culture the DNA to the point where he can use it, he also must begin a search for his very own Virgin Mary. At the same time, he must fend off a nosy reporter who suspects the truth from the beginning and deal with powerful forces here and abroad that want to put a stop to his cloning efforts. Along the tumultuous journey, he must also confront his own belief system as well as the repercussion his action set into motion as it shatters those closest to him.
Following up on her novel The Crowning Circle, J. R. Lankford brings another novel where deeply intense character development moves the work forward. This is an intellectual novel which will bore those looking for a quick read. This is an intriguing novel that repeatedly raises questions of faith and humanity while providing suspense and complicated plotting. How does one define God, the point that life begins, cloning, and what it means to be human are just a few of the many questions raised with no easy answers. There are numerous themes and parallel storylines running throughout the work, which leads to a remarkable ending. This is not a simple work and not easily put down or dismissed after reading it.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2003, 2011