The A `Kempis Connection
by Michael A. Kelly
Xlibris AU

"…if this information was to become available and recklessly brought forward, all I can repeat is Lord knows what ramifications it may well present for all of Christianity—and that’s no joke."

History, religion, facts, faith, truth, consequences—they all weave a mosaic of intrigue in this international thriller that careens from America to Italy, Germany, Ireland, and even Tasmania. Jack is an ex-military man and a highly ranked scholar in the fields of theology and ancient languages. Though he’s frequently at odds with many of the Catholic Church’s teachings, he accepts an invitation by the Vatican to examine ancient texts that may or may not provide important information about the New Devotion, a secret society that has long fascinated him. Soon, he and Zoe, his brilliant and gorgeous assistant, are brain-deep in dusty research, murder attempts, torture, and more. Hidden agendas proliferate as do potentially lethal interlopers such as the CIA, an American Senator’s henchmen, brutal Moslem terrorists, and even the Mafia.

If all of this sounds slightly Dan Brownish, there is certainly a literary kinship to The Da Vinci Code and other religious thrillers that have come before. However, author Kelly attempts to one-up his predecessors with both shocking surprises and style. Kelly’s story is a compelling blend of recorded history and rich imagination. His prose style employs third-person omnipotence and a formidable vocabulary to intricately dissect and probe every conceivable thought, gesture, and behavior of his major and minor players. Such introspection occasionally impedes the narrative, yet it also provides a platform for examination of multi-layered motivations. His dialogue leans more toward extended soliloquies than rapid-fire conversation. However, his depictions of violence and action detonate with cinematic impact. If you’re into thrillers that stimulate the mind as well as the adrenal glands, chances are you’ll get a charge out of this novel.

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