CRUCIFIED Reviews

CRUCIFIED Reviews

Postby Slade » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:20 pm

From THE GLOBE AND MAIL, founded in 1844:

If you want a series of mysteries better than the junk that made up the puzzles in THE DA VINCI CODE, CRUCIFIED is your book. Vancouver horror-meister Slade has all the hot buttons punched. There is gore to the armpits (no flail-slinging albino monks, but some fine lunatics just the same), a touch of heresy, a fiendish religious cabal that will stop at nothing to keep the world from discovering that the New Testament may just be hogwash.

If this all sounds just a wee bit like dear old Robert Ludlum in his prime, there are some similarities, but Slade has a style all his own. This is his 13th book, and he has perfected the formula.

His investigators, lawyer and historian Wyatt Rook and his gal pal Liz Hannah, are up on all the latest tricks of the trade.

From KIRKUS REVIEWS, founded in 1933:

A downed World War II bomber is unearthed, launching a competitive search for a biblical secret that pits science against faith and threatens to bring down the Catholic Church.

In a time-hopping adventure that’s part INDIANA JONES and part DA VINCI CODE, this latest supernatural mystery from Slade pits a sinister papal representative, the Legionary of Christ, against lawyer-historian-and-bestselling author Wyatt Rook and his new partner Liz Hannah, the sexy granddaughter of that lost bomber’s pilot. The goal is to solve the mystery of why the British bomber was sent on a strange mission at the height of the war, and why that same bomber was hunted down over Berlin. At stake are the clues that will unravel the mystery of Judas, a hidden Nazi traitor, and possibly the future of mankind. But while the quest is far-fetched, Slade handles the balancing act well, drawing us first into the character of that bomber crew and then of Rook and Hannah, with believable dialogue and lots of bloody action.

As far as historical, Vatican-connected occult thrillers go, this is a fun one, with the various timelines balanced to play off each other with verve.

From QUILL & QUIRE, founded in 1935:

CRUCIFIED is a worthy successor to THE DA VINCI CODE. The novel unfolds with effortless readability, despite the fact it ranges over two millennia and incorporates aspects of the Crusades, Satanism, the witch hunts, and the routine lives of airmen.

As one might expect with a Slade novel, there are twists aplenty, scenes of gruesome torture and murder (with Inquisition tools, of course), and a series of small mysteries leading up to the larger mystery at the centre of the book.

It’s refreshing to see Slade working with a new cast of characters. With the secrets of his past, one can imagine Wyatt Rook anchoring a new series of novels in his own right.

CRUCIFIED leaves one wanting more.

From the CTV Television Network, launched in 1961:

A smoking hot read. The surf, sun and sandy beach just got hotter. Grab your beach chair and prepare to be entertained.

For his 13th thriller, author Michael Slade conjures up a Christian's worst nightmare: Unravelling how Jesus Christ escaped from his ancient tomb.

Referred to over the centuries as the Judas puzzle - the Achilles heel of the New Testament - Slade's slick whodunit about this historical mystery is full of twists and turns reminiscent of THE DA VINCI CODE.

Starting in present-day Germany, the trouble begins when a construction site bulldozer uncovers the remains of a Second World War bomber that vanished on a secret mission. Liz Hannah, the pilot's granddaughter, hires New York lawyer Wyatt Rook to investigate. Rook's inquiries, however, soon lead the pair into a shadowy world of religious secrecy that involves Christ's crucifixion at Golgotha, the Inquisition and Satanism.

With nothing but a painting and a map as clues, Rook and Hannah embark on a perilous quest to solve three puzzles locked away in a bomber, a U-boat and in history itself. But blocking them at every turn is the Legionary of Christ, a modern Crusader who will stop at nothing to silence the sleuths and keep the Bible's biggest religious riddle safe.

From FANGORIA, founded in 1979:

BOOK OF THE MONTH.

Slade is unleashing his most serpentine - and perhaps most dangerous - literary beast, the Satanic shocker CRUCIFIED. It takes dead aim at one of the most shadowy, blood-baptized religions in human history: the Catholic Church.

A walloping murder mystery that cuts throats and shows no quarter, CRUCIFIED is filled with all the elements that make Slade's tales so addictive: a multitiered puzzle steeped in well-researched history; flawed heroes who get involved in situations outside their comfort zones; healthy doses of sexual perversion; and liberally ladled spatterings of squirmy gore.

Telling the tale of professional muckraking non-fiction scribe Wyatt Rook and his globetrotting quest to uncover the secret behind a Nazi conspiracy and Catholic Church cover-up, CRUCIFIED is typically steeped in Slade's taste for well-researched history and highbrow literary references, but also thankfully doesn't skimp on his trademark, elaborately gory murder setpieces.

Something of a rogue, history buff, and mystery lover, Slade's anti-hero, Wyatt Rook, sinks in over his skull when a sexually irresistible woman woos him into solving the mystery of the Ace of Clubs, a WWII bomber that went down behind enemy lines and might hold the key to not only Hitler's mysterious "Judas" agent, but also to the ultimate "locked room" enigma: Who exactly let Jesus Christ out of his sealed tomb? As Rook gets closer to the truth, others involved in the shadowy conspiracy end up dead…or worse.

The novel offers plenty of potentially controversial material in the persona of its chief villain, a drooling-mad, possibly satanically possessed priest dispatched by the Church itself. The author is never exploitive and draws many of his more blasphemous passages from actual Catholic fact; check out the three-page bibliography in the back pages. His graphic imagery is as good as it has ever been, perhaps better, and his grip on claustrophobic, clammy suspense sequences is masterful.

CRUCIFED is an ambitiously dark, sophisticated and complex shocker. Enjoy.

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, founded in 1872:

The discovery more than sixty years later of the wreckage of a British bomber that crashed in Germany in 1944 triggers a hunt for connections to Christ’s crucifixion, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.

Wyatt Rook, an American writer who specializes in books and TV documentaries that dig up dirt about recent history, agrees to help a sexy young British researcher, Liz Hannah, look into the case of the crashed plane (of which her grandfather was a crew member).

The complicated trail takes the pair from England to Germany, where a plot involving Churchill and a Nazi traitor called Judas began, and then to Golgotha. Meanwhile, the Vatican’s “Art Historian” is worried: “If the resurrected bomber yields a map to the Judas package, Christendom might be rocked to its two-thousand-year-old foundations.”

Those with an insatiable appetite for DA VINCI CODE-type conspiracy thrillers will be most rewarded.

From RUE MORGUE, founded in 1997:

For his 13th novel, Michael Slade employs three locked room puzzles - crimes committed under seemingly impossible circumstances in locations that no intruder could have entered or exited - to concoct an entertaining thriller of biblical proportions.

When a World War II bomber is discovered in present-day Germany - half a century after it disappeared on a secret mission - the pilot's granddaughter hires Wyatt Rook to put together the pieces. As the puzzle takes shape, Rook realizes that he has more than just one mystery on his hands, and they're shrouded in a veil of religious secrecy encompassing the crucifixion at Golgotha, the Crusades, the Inquisition, a submerged U-boat, witchcraft and Satanism.

On his trail is a possessed priest known only as the Legionary, who's quickly racking up a gruesome death toll of people related to the bomber's crew. Using medieval tortures to silence informers, the Legionary is intent on stopping Rook from solving the Judas puzzle, the one fatal weakness of the Christian New Testament. Eventually, tracing it all back to Jerusalem 33 A.D., Rook slowly picks away at the scab until he's solved all three conundrums in a suspenseful globe-trotting pressure cooker of historical intrigue.

Fans of Dan Brown's ANGELS & DEMONS and THE DA VINCI CODE will undoubtedly find this a comparable page-turner. As a quick, head-scratching distraction, it will do more for your brain than a crossword puzzle.
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