The Saint James Conspiracy
by Jessica Murphy
Stratton Press

"When the eastern sky began to pale, still a good hour to sunrise, he quietly walked back to the estate’s brick wall."

In this novel of biblical history and proportions, readers cross spiritual and global roads that lead to the internet's dark depths and into history's darkest crevices. Mackellan Kirby—renowned international scholar, former SAS soldier, and Greek and Latin expert—is one of less than a hundred people worldwide granted access to computer images of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Among these pictures, Kirby makes a discovery that holds the potential to change the religious world and society itself forever.

Kirby navigates the internet's shadowy realms and thwarts mercenary henchman hellbent on destroying not only him but the secrets the images hold. Meanwhile, he finds himself up against The Congregation, an all-controlling American church that does not "embrace change," doesn't want "one word of the Bible altered," and is reputed to be the internet's most powerful user and manipulator. Various historical paths, ranging from Jesus' purpose on Earth to the happenings at a mysterious cathedral known as the Cathedral of Santiago Compostela, intertwine, upending Kirby's studies and mission with the scrolls and sending him and his colleagues on an American-European escapade of deadly proportions.

Bearing the tone of The Last Temptation of Christ and the adventure of a Jack Reacher novel, the narratives weave and linger until ultimately binding forcefully together to form a solid foundation. Kirby—the half-Scottish, half-Irish soldier turned intellectual—is the epitome of the clandestine adventurer, the book's eccentric hero and standout character, a true Indiana Jones. The alternating narrative structure keeps readers guessing because of unpredictable shifts, turns, and switches. The fusion of a modern thriller with the often controversial and highly debated Gnostic beliefs regarding Jesus Christ almost reminds one of Angels and Demons. Readers who enjoy historical fiction with a sprinkle of spiritual enlightening and those who thrive on action thrillers will likely enjoy this book.

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