The Turin Shroud Secret by Sam Christer

The Turin Shroud Secret by Sam Christer

It is the most controversial religious icon in the world. No one knows where it came from. No one knows when it was made. But now, the greatest mystery in religious history holds the key to a present-day serial killer who devises savage, bizarre deaths for his victims. And only two American cops, following a trail that stretches from California to the Vatican, can expose the secret of the Shroud. From internationally bestselling author Sam Christer, published in 35 languages around the world, comes a thriller packed with relentless action, shocking twists and astounding research – the most suspenseful and intelligent novel of its kind since The Da Vinci Code.

I’ve just spent the better part of two days reading Sam Christer’s second novel – The Turin Shroud Secret – and I have to say it was two well spent days and just the tonic to cure my flu! This is another one of those books you pick up, read the blurb on the back cover and prey that what lies within is a thriller worthy of the genre. I absolutely adore religious conspiracy thrillers and although I don’t read as many as I would like this is right up there with the best of them. Obvious comparisons will surface comparing the book to Dan Brown’s thrillers but for me, Christer is a better and more believable writer – plus the fact he’s British earns him a few extra Brucie points!

I remember reading The Da Vinci Code (illustrated version) a number of years ago and was completely mesmerised by the illustrated story and Christer has done something similar with The Turin Shroud Secret albeit on a slightly less grandiose scale – in terms of illustrations and colours I hasten to add – surely there’s a call to release a hardcover version in future publications? I’m a sucker for this combination but the illustrations – my own personal preference of course – add another level and although included sparingly in black and white in this paperback edition I’m being greedy and asking for more!

There are two main themes – running concurrently – to this story, one where a team of detectives are hunting a serial killer called the creeper, a killer who has evaded capture for a very long time and with the body count increasing he leaves his victims wrapped in a shroud with very little to go on. On the flip side a murder of a well-known Hollywood screen writer leads protagonists Mitzi Fallon and Nic Karakandez to concentrate efforts in Turin Italy, a trail that increasingly leads Nic to question the provenance of the shroud.

The serial killer is a nasty bit of work, a religious fanatic who is clearly unhinged – it all makes for breath-taking passages – and there were a number of occasions I sat back and could feel my heart beating just a little faster. There were a couple of depraved scenes that really had me going and although a little squeamish there was something rather compelling about them that kept me wanting more! They certainly aren’t for the fainthearted that’s for sure.

By far the most exciting part of the book for me was the Shroud investigation and the efforts to confirm its provenance and legitimacy. The author blends historical fact and fiction effortlessly and makes the subject matter come to life with a veritable bang. This really is gripping stuff and I couldn’t get enough of the manic chase that takes in Italy, France and Switzerland. It’s all done well and a taut narrative cements everything together and what you end up with is a slick, multi layered storyline that oozes quality. If I was to be hyper critical at all I would have preferred the author concentrate on the Turin Shroud aspect rather than the serial killer, I just couldn’t get enough of the Shroud history and not totally convinced the Serial killer demanded that much attention. I’m probably being a little picky but it will be interesting to see what other readers think.

The final chapters are gripping to say the least, a page turner if ever there was one, and with a number of twists and turns along the way I was never quite certain how it would all play out. I held my breath at one point and thought – what?- no that can’t happen. I couldn’t turn the page fast enough, I guess as a reader you can’t ask for more than that!

A terrific thriller, gripping from start to finish Sam Christer certainly weaves his magic with this title.

Published by Sphere, The Turin Shroud Secret is available in Paperback & Kindle format.

502 Pages ·  ISBN-10: 075154714X ·  ISBN-13: 978-0751547146

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2 Responses to “The Turin Shroud Secret by Sam Christer – Book Review”

  1. Nikki-ann says:

    502 pages read in 2 days?! It must be good! Another to add to my list :)

  2. Chris few says:

    Brilliant, totally hooked and couldnt put it down. Once it was finished spent a long time on the internet learning even more about the shroud. Really interesting.

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