Fiction. Short Stories. Historical Fiction. HTML:The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud is the explosive international bestseller that mixes fact and fiction to tell the riveting story of one of the worldâ??s most controversial relicsâ??the Holy Shroud of Turinâ??and the desperate race to save it from those who will stop at nothing to possess its legendary power.... A fire at the Turin cathedral and the discovery of a mutilated corpse are the latest in a disturbing series of events surrounding the mysterious cloth millions believe to be the authentic burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Those who dare to investigate will be caught in the cross fire of an ancient conflict forged by mortal sacrifice, assassination, and secret societies tied to the shadowy Knights Templar. Spanning centuries and continents, from the storm-rent skies over Calvary, through the intrigue and treachery of Byzantium and the Crusades, to the modern-day citadels of Istanbul, New York, London, Paris, and Rome, The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud races to a chilling climax in the labyrinths beneath Turin, where astounding truths will be exposed: about the history of a faith, the passions of man, and proof of the most powerful miracle o
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relics, and archaeological finds.
The Brotherhood the Holy Shroud follows the history of the Shroud of Turin. The story moves back and forth through time periods giving you pieces of the puzzle at a time. It was the medival
There are several threads to the story. The main one is the detective effort of Marc Valoni and his Police Art Theft group in Italy to solve the mystery of the fire in the Torino Cathedral. The second is the hitorical provenance of the Shroud following its early arrival in Edessa (now Urfa) into the mixed period of the Middle Ages now in France and then Italy. The third narrative stream is that of Urfa Christians who believe the shroud was improperly taken from them and would like it back. The fourth stream is that of its protectors and their possible Knights Templar association. It is noteworthy that the author, Julia Navarro, attempts to get into the psychology of the participants in the first three groups, but lets the fourth group of actors play out from a distance. Perhaps the Catholic church itself is a fifth stratum.
We do get to see a fair amount of questinable ehtics by some of the players in the novel, but do not fully get inside the religous feeling that promotes people to do many questionable acts on the Shroud's behalf.
And yes I had some problems with it, not with the alternating story , that was interesting but with the cast of characters, they didn't come across as distinct enough some of the time and I found myself wondering who it was that I was dealing with at that time. Still it kept me up and guessing what was going on.
I do want to read more by this author I think it's an interesting idea and much better written than the Da Vinci Code.
It turns out that two competing groups are after the Sindone, and the investigative team ends up in the middle of an ancient conflict, with disastrous results.
I enjoyed the historical parts and thought they formed a nice background to the investigation. The investigation itself also keeps you on the edge of your seat. I did guess the involvement of the different parties at quite an early stage in the book, but I still enjoyed following the investigation.
One thing I found annoying is that Navarro feels a need to give lengthy explanations in a way that breaks up the story. Often she lets the investigators tell parts of the history to each other, even if the characters both know the story already - this gives the strange effect that obviously the characters are only having that conversation for the sake of the reader. It feels very awkward and also slows the story down.
I also found the ending somewhat annoying - nothing gets resolved, and there is no real 'wrapping up'. It seems like nothing has changed and the conflict will simply go on forever, with all the investigative work having been useless. I guess that is how it works sometimes, but it left me dissatisfied.
The descriptions of the settings were excellent and I thought the characters were fleshed out well. The quality of the writing helped me overlook some of parts where I got
Definitely worth reading if you enjoy the real history of the Templars blended with good fiction.