Book Review – The Second Messiah
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: Glenn Meade
Format: Kindle, Paperback
After unearthing an ancient scroll in the Qumran region near the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an archeologist team speeds across the desert to share their find. En route, their vehicle crashes into a military transport and is immediately engulfed in flames. First on the scene are a couple of Catholic priests who are able to help save two teenagers from the crash; the remaining archeology team is killed and the scroll is lost. Years later, Jack Cane, son of the original archeologist who perished in the fire, discovers a similar scroll – this one makes reference to Jesus the Messiah, the only such direct and documented evidence of Jesus from that time. The scroll is truly of historical and biblical significance. But like its predecessor years earlier, it too is lost and a professor is found murdered. Jack suddenly finds himself accused of the murder. His life and credibility on the line, the young archeologist races to find the scroll and uncover its secrets. Only the scroll, a newly elected pope, and a truth that could shake the very foundations of the Catholic faith can save him.
Glenn Meade’s “The Second Messiah” echoes a number of themes found in Dan Brown’s work – centuries old secrets held by the Vatican and questionable foundations of the faith. One can surmise from the title what the controversy involves but this in no way detracts from the intrigue, pace, and theological questions the book raises.
I will admit the beginning did not grip me as much as say The DaVinci Code, and it wasn’t until a few chapters in that things started to move along rapidly. Once started, though, the pace is quick and events unfold over just a few days.
Meade takes the reader into the Vatican, its archives, secrets, politics, and history as well as into the city buried under modern day Rome which were my favorite elements of the novel. I don’t think “The Second Messiah” packs quite the punch to the Catholic faith as say the DaVinci Code did. However, it certainly takes on the Church’s bureaucracy, wealth, politics, and practices contrasting them with those of Jesus and the life he lived. Would Jesus approve of the modern church and live a life of wealth in the Vatican surrounding by priceless works of art, hoarding secrets in a centuries old archive, and wear the robes of a king having those who greet him kiss his ring? All are good questions this book asks the reader and the church to reflect on them.
Note: A complementary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.