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The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Da Vinci Code, in all its many incarnations, has a lot to answer for. This latest entry in the religious suspense sweepstakes is by a bestselling Spanish novelist, who stirs up the pot by mixing fact and fiction to tell what happened to the legendary Shroud of Turin, supposedly Jesus' burial garment. Several centuries of sturm und drang—including perhaps one severed tongue too many—whiz by, lightened only by the odd liturgical chant, as reader Langton uses his best Masterpiece Theater British accent to hit the high points. Of course there's a modern detective who develops some new leads. But unless you positively can't live without your daily dose of anti-Vatican paranoia, this is probably one to skip.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This internationally best-selling first novel takes place in modern-day Italy and across the ages. A fire at the Turin cathedral, where Jesus' shroud is about to be displayed, leads to the discovery of a secret group that is after the holy relic. Descended from a disciple of Jesus who obtained the original shroud, those sent to reclaim the cloth cut out their tongues so they will not disclose their mission. Out to foil their plans are modern-day Knights Templar, who believe they are the true guardians of the shroud. Navarro's story flips back and forth, covering the Italian police's investigation into the fire and following the shroud's journey from the first century CE. Plenty of action and a cast of well-drawn characters will satisfyThe Da Vinci Code fans, though, as in Dan Brown's book, the biblical history is not always accurate. But fans of the genre will find much to like here, and Navarro even provides an explanation as to how the Shroud of Turin can be a true relic even though the cloth has been carbon-dated to the Middle Ages. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing; 1st edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780440243021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440243021
  • ASIN: 0440243025
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Janet Rose on January 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Absorbing mix of fact and fiction, The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud is a history lesson within a mystery. Julia Navarro's journalistic instincts are evident in this fascinating re-telling of the origin of the Holy Shroud of Turin. The story is so rich in detail, with historical characters so vividly portrayed, that the reader can forget these events happened centuries ago. Skillfully relating crimes in present-day Turin, Italy with the ancient storyline connects a scheme that deals with secret societies, hidden relics and ancient intrigue to resist the passage of time. This thriller should not be missed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Few relics associated with Jesus have inspired such curiosity as the Shroud of Turin, and certainly none has been subjected to as much scrutiny, speculation and scientific analysis. The shroud, purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus, bears the image of a man's face, but despite countless tests --- on the very rare occasions when scientists were allowed access to the highly venerated piece of linen --- modern science is at a loss to explain how the image was transferred to the cloth. And even many skeptics who have viewed the cloth in person, myself included, admit to feeling they have been in the presence of something holy and supernatural.

What better relic to write a novel about? Dan Brown focused on the Holy Grail, something no one today has actually seen unless you believe that the unknown descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene qualify. But hundreds of thousands of people have seen the shroud, and to build a mystery around efforts to destroy, steal or preserve it is genius. The premise is entirely plausible, and author Julia Navarro pulls off dual storylines with seeming ease: that of the legendary history of the shroud through the 14th century and a contemporary criminal investigation into a string of arsons and break-ins at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, where the shroud is permanently housed.

The book opens by setting up the backstory of how the shroud came to leave first-century Jerusalem and quickly shifts to the aftermath of the most recent fire at the cathedral.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Olson VINE VOICE on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Navarro's work of biblical historical fiction is NOT your everyday Da Vinciesque knockoff. She strives for and obtains a more interesting look at one of the great modern day biblical mysteries: What really is the Shroud of Turin? In the process she weaves a tight story of intrigue, historical facts, and possible interesting conclusions with excellent character development and story telling. Actually, The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud is two storied wrapped into one: A modern day mystery coupled with an age old history of a simple piece of burial cloth. Ms. Navarro does an excellent job of joining the two time-lines in a dramatic way to make her premise concerning the Holy Shroud an interesting possibility. Excellent use of historical fact to keep the reader involved. Good use of both time-lines to keep the story moving. The only weakness was a tendency at times to overwrite the story but due to the complex nature of events that can be forgiven. Just use the dates at the beginning of "historical" chapters to keep things in perspective.

Although the plot of the Shroud of Turin seemed simplistic in the beginning, the dramatic turn of events approximately half way through is in itself worth the read. Excellent use of twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed in the story.

Character development was excellent although keeping track of the characters at time can be a little daunting. Again good use of historical fact.

Highly recommended especially if you are a devotee of the Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood Holy Grail genre. I am looking forward to Ms. Navarro's next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Potter on January 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an "international thriller" about events surrounding the fabled Shroud of Turin, the cloth with an image purported to be the image of Christ. Focussing mainly on the Italian Art Crimes division, the investigation of a fire in the cathedral takes on major international and historical dimensions the further the detectives delve. With two (or was it three?) groups opperating in opposition to each other, the art crimes people, and a free-lance journalist all thrown into the mix, this is a book that has some serious potential for action.

And there is quite a bit of good stuff in this book. All the conflicting arguments about the provenance of the Shroud are brought forward and discussed, which was interesting. And the secret societies, standard fare in this sort of book, are done fairly well.

But the style is plodding in many places. This may be an artifact of the translation of the work from Spanish, but it didn't help. The characters never really reached out to me, seeming to be pre-formed to fit certain expectations as opposed to being real people. The modern action is inturrupted by flashbacks of the Shroud's history. These interludes were interesting, but did little to advance the plot except to presage discoveries that the characters are going to make later on anyway. And the conclusion, while exciting, proved a disappointment to me in several ways.

A decent book, but not a great read. The history and debates about the Shroud were well done, but the characters and overall plot were a bit stale.
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