A forbidden secret...
The Church’s fate in the balance…
Will a pair of amateur sleuths expose a truth that could upend the Christian world?
Jesus’ resurrection is a cornerstone of Christian faith. But when a clue surfaces that hints at an alternate account, the ramifications stand to change Christianity forever.
Jesuit priest Michael Dominic’s assignment to the Vatican’s legendary Secret Archives results in his discovery of a hidden papyrus: the unpublished writings of Mary Magdalene — a lost record buried in Rome’s deepest recesses. The forgotten relic’s heretical revelation threatens the Vatican’s very legitimacy, and pits Michael against ruthless and powerful enemies.
Desperate, he reaches out to Hana Sinclair, an investigative reporter with a record of tackling contentious subjects. Together they defy the Church elite, and embark on a search through the shadows of history to unearth the truth. As the pressure builds to silence the pair, will the Vatican resort to the unthinkable in order to safeguard its wealth and power?
Based on historical facts, this international thriller takes readers on a white-knuckle race through the holy sites of Europe. Get your copy of this award-winning tale and discover why Gary McAvoy’s devoted fans say, “I didn’t want this book to end!”
Separately, Hana and Michael’s stories are balanced and intriguing. Together, a forced romantic subplot derails and disengages the reader. The two only share fleeting moments of genuine interaction. The inclusion of Swiss Guard Karl Dengler and Brother Calvino Mendoza’s attraction to Michael mainly serve to show him as desirable while setting up the real romantic subplot. The insertion of a well-intentioned coming-out scene appears unearned in a friendship that hasn’t matured enough to warrant such a display of trust.
Welcome historical context is sprinkled throughout the novel, which includes vivid descriptions of real-world celebrations, history-inspired prophecy, ancient texts, Wikipedia articles, sections of epic poems, and newspaper clippings. Every detail has been carefully curated to immerse the reader in the story, and McAvoy makes sure to leave breathing room for readers to absorb each new piece of information. The rich settings, elegantly described through architecture and antiques, anchor the reader in time and place. Consistent pacing complements the narrative. Only the awkward personal relationships undermine the tension. This story brims with intrigue, danger, and the fight for a religion’s soul.
Takeaway: Steeped in Vatican and WWII intrigue, this history-rich thriller will appeal to readers eager to unravel conspiracies and explore the past.
Great for fans of Raymond Khoury’s The Last Templar; Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln’s Holy Blood, Holy Grail; Ian Caldwell’s The Fifth Gospel; Dan Brown.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: C
“Gary McAvoy’s steady, Vatican-set thriller, The Magdalene Deception is an impassioned thriller that’s directed by Church mysteries. Packed with details on the nature of archival work, it’s also a crystalline portrait of persistence.”
"Exquisitely written and highly entertaining, The Magdalene Deception is an investigative mystery in a very similar vein to The DaVinci Code…The real quality to this book is the author himself – the writing is superb. There is an outstanding attention to detail in McAvoy, and the setpieces he weaves are vivid, colourful and authentic; this author treats his audience as intelligent and attentive, and this is always hugely beneficial to any writer. As well as being an evidently well-educated historian, McAvoy also knows his stuff in terms of modern-day information networking and the technology in present day use alongside ancient practices and customs…"
"A great thriller that weaves numerous storylines together effectively. Recommended to those who love a good thriller with historical implications, as well as the reader who enjoys Vatican and Catholic politics… McAvoy creates a wonderful story that never stops building throughout… [He] captures the secrecy and deep-rooted history of the Vatican and its politics throughout this piece, with a strong story and plot that moves in many directions. McAvoy pulls the reader in and keeps them guessing, while also refusing to place a damper on the action. Juggling modern and ancient Church issues, McAvoy does not lose his reader at any point, as his writing is so clear that the attentive reader will likely want more."
"McAvoy’s novel is fast paced and well-plotted. [With an] alluring setting and appealing premise… McAvoy’s prose is clear, direct, and propels the novel along quickly. It shines when describing the novel’s locations, including the atmosphere inside the Vatican…. The Magdalene Deception is an entertaining and original Vatican thriller with an engaging hero, vivid setting, and suspenseful circumstances."