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The First Apostle (Chris Bronson #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,847 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
An Englishwoman is found dead in a house near Rome.

Her distraught husband enlists the help of his closest friend, Chris Bronson, who discovers an ancient inscription on a slab of stone above their fireplace. It translates as 'Here Lie the Liars.'

But who are the liars? And what is it they are lying to protect?

Pursued across Europe, Bronson uncovers a trail of clues that lea
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Bantam (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 30, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I’m giving this book a so-so score because I never got over the “it’s okay, but…” feeling while reading it. I know others may feel it is a stronger, better book, but for me it is one of the weaker historical-secret/knowledge-race-to-the-truth stories. I don’t fault the author’s research or basic idea about the first apostle, but the plot was too improbable for me.

That may sound a bit harsh when dealing with fiction, but this book and others like it purport to take a few facts either from our own
Mary Corbal
La primera parte del libro es muy interesante y se merece cinco estrellas, pero entonces, en mi opinión, la trama pierde fuerza. Me hubiese gustado más si la acción se hubiese desarrollado por entero en Italia, porque al cambiar de escenario y de personajes, la historia es menos interesante.
Jul 12, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I always enjoy a good religious thriller and James Becker did not disappoint. A book that forces the reader to examine what they (may) believe, leaving more questions than answers, is one that I will always praise, as long as it is written in a convincing manner. Becker uses some historical event (accurate or not, he narrates it as though it could happen) and places a great murder mystery atop it, all in the hopes of luring the reader to keep their focus on the end result.

Becker's examination of
Any Length
Sep 13, 2012 Any Length rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had potential which never came to anything. The writing was terrible. All characters sounded like their words sprung from the same brain. It's not enough to describe people differently, they then have to have different ways of talking, using different phrases. Although most of the characters were italian, they spoke in a stereotypical english gentlemen's fashion, with a stiff upper lip and no emotions showing. Hello, is this how the italians talk? I don't believe so.
The plot, although
Aug 08, 2012 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, hist-fiction
This book is based around the race to discover proof of the origins of christianity, and has a pretty good plot line on the face of it. Much of the information comes in the form of long rather bizarre explanations from one or other of lie main characters which is a let down, and frankly chris bronson makes some of the most outlandish deductive leaps I have ever come across, and despite having no apparent background knowledge of the early church fathers or the first century Roman Empire these lea ...more
Pat Stearman
Well, for a Reading Group book it was certainly an easy read. Plot full of holes, very sub Dan Brown with echoes of Kate Mosse.... but readable and OK if you like that kind of thing.
Notes during reading: Our hero comes to the initial conclusion as to why friends were killed etc, far too quickly with no clues.
The inscription would have been in Italian if it was only 600 years old,(ie not 2000) rather than in Latin? Haven't checked this out but I very much doubt it - Latin was universal langua
Dec 28, 2010 Zyberk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first glance, I told myself "aah, another Da Vinci Code plot". Its true. But somehow, after a few pages, the book draws me in. I find myself having difficulties in putting this book down. I will surely go and pick up the sequel - Moses Stone.

Read it guys, you wont be disappointed.
May 12, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! A much better version of the Da Vinci code that is lighter than Angels and Demons. A nice adventure/thriller read, you can't put it down. I expected some bull about Christianity stuff but this book is actually worth reading.
May 08, 2016 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Even for someone who rarely reads I can say this wasn't written brilliantly. I got right into the book at the start and it had the makings of a good story so needing to know what it was all about kept me reading till the end. The way in which the characters guessed the next steps rather than working it out but getting it spot on every time was a bit tiresome, nothing like Robert Langdon and the clever ways he would interpret things. Thought the ending was ok but the book probably could've done w ...more
Vicki Elia
Audiobook Review

This book got a rough start out of the gate. I was dissinterested and unengaged, so I stopped reading. I decided to pick it back up later. After a few audio hours of meandering by the characters, an actual plot seems to evolve. Chris Bronson's best friend's wife dies, and a story of murder, mayhem, and mystery unfolds. Eventually, this becomes and interesting story woven with intriguing historical facts, sufficient to hold the reader's belief.

Becker would have gotten 4 stars fro
May 06, 2014 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book with its roots firmly in the past, although this is a new author to me. For once the principal character is not some secret agent or based in a large city. His name is Chris Bronson and he is an English Policeman working from Tonbridge Wells of all places. The characters have been as well thought out as the plot, and as you can guess from the title the plot does involve estalished religion. It all starts innocently enough with an English couple who have recently brought a property i ...more
May 15, 2013 Dugger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will give James Becker another go. Enjoyed this one. Along the lines of Paul Christopher and Chris Kuzneski.
Bob Rodkin
I debated a 3.5 or even 4 rating but decided the end of book disappointment I felt warranted a 3. Even then I think I sort of "carried" it based on my higher than average interest level in the subject matter, time period and geographical setting. The first 3/4 of the novel was quite good, although parts were a bit wordy and I found myself thinking, "okay, get on with it." Then the last 1/4 seemed like the author was pushing up against a word count deadline or something and rushed through what I ...more
Nicolas Shump
James Becker's The First Apostle is a work of mystery fiction in the vein of Dan Brown's work. Though I enjoyed this book, I would have to admit that I find Brown's work to be more compelling to read. They both suffer from the tendency to make characters, especially villains, one dimensional or caricatures. Once again, the villain is the Catholic Church, who is in league with La Cosa Nostra in this particular tale. Like Brown, Becker attempts to give his work a veneer of historical accuracy, but ...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2013 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a couple buy an old farmhouse in rural Italy and set about renovating it. Whilst clearing off the old plaster and preparing for alterations they find a strange inscription above the fireplace. Trying to translate the inscription from Latin to English they stumble into a net cast across the web looking for the combinations of words they are trying to translate. A certain Italian organisation comes visiting but not to help them, to try to take what they have found. But all they have found is the i ...more
Pandu Nugroho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susie G
This book was not as good as I had hoped it would be, but it wasn't awful. "It was OK" describes my rating, although two stars (the "It was OK" rating) seemed a bit low so I have rated it three stars. The book didn't really start to pick up until about halfway through (First it had to be explained how a policeman/former military dude whose ex-wife just happened to work at a museum specializing in ancient history ended up in the Italian villa where the inscription was found, and why he wanted to ...more
Jan 19, 2016 RumBelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I really enjoy James Becker's books. They are thought provoking and action packed all in one nice package. This one dealt with early Christianity, it's roots and foundation. I don't want to give too much away, but it proffered a theory that was quite revolutionary, and made for really fun reading. Chris Bronson and his ex-wife Angela are really well drawn characters, who behave believably, and are just really entertaining. The mix of history, art, religion and archaeology will interest fans of a ...more
Jun 30, 2013 Dipanjan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The First Apostle" started off pretty well. It did have pace and a promise. But somewhere down the line, the author lost the grip on the plot, completely. In the end it rounded off as a very wannabe Dan Brown. Let's look at what disappointed me one by one:

1. The entire controversy was extremely weak. In fact, it was a force fit.
2. The characters were not built up well. The protagonist had no strong points which makes him stand out. Neither did the other supporting cast.
3. The villains or the "
Mar 07, 2015 Gab rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was OK ... there was something not quite there with the writing though and I can't quite put my finger on it. It wasn't as much of a page turner as I was hoping. An English couple buys an old Italian farmhouse and discover a stone hidden near the fireplace with some writing in Latin on it. The wife's internet search is flagged by the Vatican who calls in the Casa Nostra to assist. The woman is killed and her hubby calls in his best friend (who also happens to be in love with the woman! ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Vivienne rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of conspiracy thrillers for years, long before Dan Brown hit the best seller lists with 'Angels and Demons', so I am always pleased to find a new author in the genre able to weave the historical aspects with the usual traits of the thriller genre.

While this novel is not as fast-paced as some, I rather appreciated this as having characters bouncing about from one dangerous situation to another without taking a breather can be exhausting.

I liked Chris Bronson as a lead as his invo
I enjoyed reading this book, I'm a sucker for these ancient secret, codes and relic discovering books. It's an adventure and often I end up looking up the research that went into fleshing out the book by the author. Often times I learn something new which I much enjoy......I will check out other books by this author....
Dec 05, 2010 Kelley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost put this book down after just a couple of pages. It’s another story of how the Catholic Church is hiding big secrets from the general population and Jesus had nothing to do with Christianity. Of course, there is some sort of document that can prove this and it’s been hidden for a couple thousand years. Where have I heard this before? This time, the Mafia is involved along with a British cop that was in love with his best friends’ girl even though he was married. Oh, and he ends up on th ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Tia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea at the end and the concept of the mystery that's uncovered, and for the most part the reading is easy and enjoyable. I would say that some of the investigative leaps early on are a little far-fetched, to the point of being absurd. Stick with it.
Greg Parrott
Not a bad book, but not the greatest either. the Bronson character just appeared to be too smart... too plugged in to the criminal mind to be believable. However, once I got over that, it was a fast read and the story line was interesting how it all pulled together. I've got two more paperbacks in the series on my shelf. I'll probably continue to read them and if I like them, great. If not, yard sale items.
Een vrouw wordt wakker in Rome en ontdekt dat twee mannen in haar huis boven de open haard aan het hakken zijn. De volgende dag wordt ze dood gevonden.
Chris Bronson, een politieman, steunt de achtergebleven echtgenoot. Al snel ontdekken ze dat het geen toeval is en komt Bronson terecht in een zoektocht met achtervolgers die nergens voor terugdeinzen.

Een **** heeft het zeker van mij. Het boek leest lekker weg en het sleepte me mee. De combinatie van geschiedenis en heden is leuk.

Over de auteu
Apr 27, 2014 Joel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction, crime

A good back story and an interesting thought of what if is probably more turę that we know.

So badly written, some of the conversations are past cringe worthy and love the way everyone just doesn't know but guesses what everyone else is doing and gets it spot on every time. Really makes the story move along a lot faster rather than spending time working it out...
Sep 15, 2014 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A police detective and his ex-wife uncover a conspiracy that involves the Vatican--and the mafia! And this mystery started in the 1st or 2nd century! Would make an excellent movie ala Dan Brown.
Jul 03, 2009 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Book #61 of 2009

This was an OK book. The beginning was a little slow and then it picked up about 1/4 of the way into it. My main problem with it was that the "explanations" such as they were came from long dialogues from one of the main characters. This was alright for some of the background information, but annoyed me when this device was used to explain the ending and the whole "secret" they'd been trying to recover/hide (depending on the character). I mean, three people had read this supposed
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James Becker spent over twenty years in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air arm and served during Falklands War . Throughout his career he has been involved in covert operations in many of the world's hotspots; places like Yemen, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is an accomplished combat pistol shot and has an abiding interest in ancient and medieval history.
More about James Becker...

Other Books in the Series

Chris Bronson (7 books)
  • The Moses Stone (Chris Bronson, #2)
  • The Messiah Secret (Chris Bronson, #3)
  • The Nosferatu Scroll (Chris Bronson, #4)
  • Echo of the Reich (Chris Bronson, #5)
  • The Lost Testament (Chris Bronson, #6)
  • The Templar Heresy (Chris Bronson #7)

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