When you read Gary McAvoy, you are reading
quality. This incredibly conscientious fiction
author clearly has a passion for theology, and every page – almost every line –
seems a showcase for the sheer amount of hard work and research he has put into
his writing. I don’t know the cultural or
historical accuracy of what he writes, but I am absolutely going to take his every
word for it. Whether it is geo-politics,
theology, military organizations or papal administration, McAvoy presents as an
expert in the subject and, if we’re being frank, this factual minutiae is
always the real star of his work, more so even than the mystery stories he weaves
– which are themselves pretty impressive.
McAvoy has a formula: present the artefact,
introduce the antagonists, tangle together a mystery then throw his beloved protagonists
into intrigue and danger – and the danger is perhaps greater in this book than
any other in the series to date, as our heroes look as close to breaking point as
they have ever been. There is, to some
degree, a slightly darker aspect to The Jerusalem Scrolls, as Father Michael
Dominic and his friends are pushed to their breaking point, facing brutality previously
reserved for more peripheral characters.
Whilst the artefact – ancient silver scrolls containing a phenomenal
legacy, as well as a well-hidden religious secret – is more valuable than ever
before, the book is perhaps not the best in the series. But, as always with my namesake, it is pretty
damn good. McAvoy weaves mystery and
intellect like few other authors; if you like Dan Brown, you’ll love this. And he is certainly no lesser quality as an
author; his attention to detail and writing proficiency are as good as it gets.
I highly recommend the entire series, to be
honest, if rousing, action-packed mystery suspense thrillers are your cup of
tea, and, whilst not essentially important, they are best read in order. Whilst this isn’t the most gung-ho, it is as
worthy an entry into the series as any others.
And, as for Gary, he just gets more and more hands-on, as if trying to
outdo and better his own work ethic and knowledge with every instalment. Perhaps it has reached the point where the occasional
tweak in t the formula would be welcomed, and maybe even kill off a major
character or two in a major series shock, for I feel that he has plenty of these
globetrotting, swashbuckling, academic-based stories left in him; indeed, as
many as there are priceless artefacts in the world.
In : Book Reviews