An ancient document discovered in the Vatican that could destroy the Church and faith of Christians everywhere.
A desperate race across the world to find the truth.
A shocking secret concealed for centuries, revealed at last.
THE SURVIVOR by John Rester Zodrow (80,000 words approx.)
When FATHER BOBBY POWELL, a young American priest discovers the earth-shattering truth that Jesus may have survived the crucifixion, it sends shock waves through the Vatican. If Jesus lived, then there was no Resurrection, no Redemption of man's sins. The core of the Church's teaching will be seen as a fraud. And all Catholics-and Christians--could suffer a devastating assault on their faith and belief. In response, The Hand of Christ, a super-conservative protective arm outside the Church, sends an assassin. The young priest is murdered in New Delhi, his death made to look like a suicide.
His twin brother, BURT, with a deadly, secret stealth war background and a reputation of being a violence-prone cop in small town Ebbetsburg, Kansas, learns that Bobby has committed suicide so he cannot be buried in sacred ground. Determined to prove that his brother is innocent and find his killer, he flies to Italy and there, meets up with several of Bobby's closest priest friends, and LOLA, a, pretty University grad student who has a terrible private secret she must hide in order to survive.
Pursued by a deadly, and relentless assassin, Lola, Burt and FATHER URRUTIA follow Father Bobby's trail, from Rome, Italy to Tarsus, Turkey where they discover that the Vatican's entire superstructure and belief system was stolen by St. Paul from an ancient pagan religion and used Jesus as a knock off of its god.
The pace is hectic and suspenseful as Urrutia is killed and Burt and Lola continue to elude the assassin and discover more secrets about the Church's dark and violent beginnings it has kept carefully hidden for over 2000 years.
At last they find the Tomb of Jesus which actually exists in war-torn Kashmir. But it is empty, the bones gone. Still, they learn that Jesus (known as Issa) lived with his mother, Mary and his wife Mary Magdalen (whose Jewish tribe still exists there) until his death at an old age. ("The Tomb Of Jesus in India" website has received over 170 million hits since September 2007 alone. This is a very hot topic among all faiths, making this an extremely commercial story.)
Recovering the bones of Jesus, Lola safely hides them inside the Statue of Liberty.
And in the final suspenseful chapters of The Survivor, Burt, after seeing the Pope assassinated by the Hand of Christ because he was going to disband them, turns the tables from being hunted and becomes the hunter. Learning they are plotting to kill Bobby's friends, Burt does the unthinkable. He knocks off the assassins and even a Cardinal and Monsignor responsible for killing his brother, Bobby, bringing mayhem and carnage to the Hand of Christ.
"A taught, finely polished Vatican thriller with the highest possible stakes." -Best Thrillers
"Fast-paced gripping entertainment." -Marie McDonald, The American Writer
"An intelligent and intriguing thriller." -Book Viral
"The Survivor is Zodrow doing what he does best and delivering a high octane, vivid and entertaining read." -Kirkus Reviews