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The Psalter

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  796 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
A medieval prayer book, an Irish saint's prophecy of the last pope, and a forgery that changed the church—forever.

Father Romano has run afoul of the modern inquisitors before. This time, it leads to a manuscript and murder. Was it an ordinary theft gone wrong or something more? The police would like to know.

Michael Romano is an American priest working in the Vatican’s Secr
Paperback, 392 pages
Published October 31st 2012 by Watson
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Wow! this is a provocative story. Pillars of the Earth meet Ted Dekker’s Black with shades of Martin Luther thrown in to sweeten the pot. It’s an open question waiting for us to find the answers.

SEEK! and Ye shall find. ASK! and ye shall receive. And don’t stop until you get an answer.

This is a difficult review to write because the questions raised by this book may not be complex on the surface turn out to involve a fairly complex set of players, actions and circumstances while making obviou
Cindy Lyle
Jan 15, 2013 Cindy Lyle rated it really liked it
I was given a copy of this novel, for an honest review, thank you.

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed this novel, but it does require an open mind. There are many religious and political views covered throughout this story that not everyone will agree with. However with that said, this is a work of fiction and the author did an excellent job incorporating all these different views respectfully and for me it was very educational and entertaining.

The main focus of the story centers ar
Paula Howard
Feb 03, 2013 Paula Howard rated it it was amazing
The Psalter by Galen Watson - WOW. As much as I tried to read this book slowly and savor the story, I zoomed through it. It is one of those novels that consumes the reader even when not physically reading the book.

Psalters were prayer books containing the Psalms that were used by wealthy women nobility beginning in and around the 9th Century. The Church used manuscripts that had been deemed heretical to create the Psalters. This was done by "erasing" the heretical text with lye. The Psalms were
Lee Harmon
Jan 23, 2013 Lee Harmon rated it it was amazing
Hey, this is a fun one!

Let’s start with the basics. A psalter doesn’t psing psongs door-to-door, nor does it dispense psalt and pepper. A psalter is a devotional book of psalms.

This particular psalter is over 1,000 years old. Nay, nearly 2,000 years old, for in in the ninth century, it was written over the words of a first-century heretical gospel … a copy of the Book of Thomas the Contender from the Ebionites … as a means of secretly preserving the words of an original apostle. The story takes
Jan 15, 2013 Patricia rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite sorts of books. Mr. Watson has written an exciting thriller set in the modern Vatican, with a colorful parallel story running in the past. He touches on several subjects that I find fascinating. I won't spoil the suspense by telling you what they are.

The book is well written and edited. I only spotted a few glitches. Local color is good. The characters are well thought out. His style might be a bit more fluid in spots. Overall, a very entertaining book.

It might deserv
Mar 01, 2013 Ctgt rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ctgt by: Action/Adventure Aficionados author group read
The overall plot of this story reminds me of The Da Vinci Code from several years ago. You have a set of writings that are alternately being sought after and protected by secret groups and it revolves around the Catholic Church, but this is where the similarities end.

We meet Father Mike Romano, a Vice-Prefect for the Vatican Archives. His close friend and confidante Father Mackey, Secretary to the Pope is killed in a hit and run accident while removing an ancient text from Vatican property. Thi
Pam (E.P. Scott)
A very enjoyable book. The author told two stories here and even though it took till about 83% to finally get the connection, it was a great 83%. The historical story took us back to the eighth century, or therabouts, and ran concurrent to the present day story. Both sets of characters are searching for the hidden truths written beneath current scriptures (Psalters).

I learned a few things along the way; some surprising revelations about the church, and some not so surprising. What is required to
David Schwan
Jan 25, 2013 David Schwan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read. This is written in the style of a Steve Berry or Dan Brown novel. The main character Father Romano carries a gritty past. He is an expert at analyzing writing found in old manuscripts. He teams up with a most improbable pair Pascal and Isabella in Paris. Pascal is an expert in Aramaic and Isabella at finding hidden writing in old manuscripts. They are up against a secret group with a secret agenda.

The book contained some nice surprises in the story one coming within pages o
John Hanscom
Feb 08, 2013 John Hanscom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a little less, but an exciting story, with two threads, one historical and one in the present. It is sort of "Dan Brown-ish," though much better. However, there is a conceit in all these similar books - granted, the process of getting the present Biblical canon and the statements in the Creeds was pretty messy, but that does not mean it was a conspiracy. It could have been, of course, but it could have been Spirit inspired. Finally, in this book, the author's belief about what would rock t ...more
May 07, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
if you liked the DA Vinci code you will love this.
some great learning,if you have ever been to Rome you will understand the descriptions if you have never been then this book will make you yearn for a travel trip.
Jul 01, 2013 followbooks rated it really liked it
Thought this was a great book! See our full review here:
Mar 01, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing
Awesome book ... stayed up until 5am to finish it.
Peter Boysen
Mar 21, 2014 Peter Boysen rated it really liked it
If you enjoy historical fiction, thrillers about hidden secrets, all mixed in with individual drama, then Galen Watson's "The Psalter" is a fun, fun read. The story switches back and forth between a present-day intrigue that is set in what may well be the last days of the papacy, depending on which prophecy you believe, and an intriguing period of time just before the advent of the Dark Ages, when what would become the modern Church was still very much a fragile institution clinging for all its ...more
Feb 16, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I would never have expected to be so enthralled by a story that involved a modern mystery of 1st Century heretical texts, with a second plot line about 9th Century Papal history, but I was heart and soul into this book all week! There were a couple of places I was afraid the cars were going to fly off the track, but it was more than worth it to have held on to the end of the ride. If you liked Dan Brown's thrillers, and Ken Follet's historical series, I think it a sure bet you'd enjoy "The Psalt ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Magiccats rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This a really enjoyable read. Very intriguing and thought provoking . I like the blend of the historical story around the Psalter to explain the history behind it and tie it into the present day mystery. I actually cried when Sergius was dying and he said " I just wanted to make music, but they wouldn't let me". Considering he was a weak not so likable character, I was surprised to find tears running down my face. I am thoroughly enjoying this novel. 5 stars so far.
Anthea Harms
Feb 13, 2014 Anthea Harms rated it it was amazing
Maybe not everyone will enjoy this book but if you enjoy history, especially that of the Roman Catholic Church then this is for you. Very much in the vein of Dan Brown's Da Vinci code.

It has a huge amount of historical (correct - I researched some of it) facts about early Rome and the description of places is very good, but it slows down reading. I think its worth it though. I enjoyed reafing this book and some of the twists and turns I never saw coming!

It has the usual e-books editing errors bu
Deb Novack
Jul 21, 2013 Deb Novack rated it really liked it
This was a historical/religious fiction. The author made this a duel storyline with political and religious aspects from the time of the appearance of the Psalter to modern day. Some of the characters could have been developed more but with his research and great mind it ended up being a wonderful book.

If you like religious/political books and have an open mind please read this book.
Jun 19, 2013 Chrissy rated it it was ok
I'm very confused by this book. I'm not exactly sure what the heck just happened. It starts off as one thing, and then all of a sudden I'm reading a completely different book. The text switches back and forth between time periods, but that's not the confusing part. I seems like the author wanted to do his version of The DaVinci Code, but ended up with....I don't even KNOW what.
Feb 16, 2014 Kristjan rated it it was ok
An interesting read. The author obviously put in a significant amount of research to ensure characters and events were at least nominally historical (or appear in historical folk tales). I spent a fair amount of time on google discovering a lot of new information about the early Catholic Church. All that said, the author shows a remarkable level of ignorance on how the actual canon was formed, frequently ascribing nefarious motivations and rationale to the process that are not supportable with w ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Robert Langdon, you'll like this book. It went back and forth between medieval times and modern times and you weren't too sure how they would mesh.

The Psalter is stolen in modern times which leads to murder. Father Romano is trying to find it so it can be returned to the Church.

A thousand years ago, a prophecy is made. Father Johannes and Anastasis are in charge of the library and are using old skins for new writings. Johannes is trying to decide which ones should be erased and writ
Nov 29, 2014 Jody rated it really liked it
This was two books in one. There were two stories being told and it wasn't until the end that they joined together. Most of the time when something like that happens you finish the book feeling confused and cheated. Not this time. This book was great! The characters were really interesting and the fact and fiction were so well written that many people will take this book to be the gospel truth (pun intended.) If you are easily challenged in your faith you will probably leave this book feeling th ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
!!!!! !!!!!Under Construction!!! !!!!

The Psalter appeals to many readers and thus deserves to be reviewed on several levels. Is the reader looking for thriller action with a mystery full of twists and turns? If so this book is a good choice. It is also a good choice for the intellectual reader seeking new questions to explore and willing to have his or her boundaries challenged. Finally, as with all writing it is necessary to evaluate the craft on its own merit. The Psalter provides enough mate
Sally Malkowski
Feb 06, 2014 Sally Malkowski rated it it was amazing
Like to settle down with a good, but complicated, novel of a spiritual nature? The Psalter is not your ordinary Catholic read. It delves deep into the archives of Biblical history and imagination for its basis - the protection of an ancient “prayer book”. In the process, the reader travels back (and forth) in time to discover why the secrets of the Psalter must be retained at all cost. Sound boring? Hardly! Written with wit, likable characters, and one or two unexpected surprises, it is not to b ...more
Karen Azinger
This book started strong, it started as a four star read with interesting characters and interesting plots, but half way through the plot lines got totally muddled and the story deteriorated to two stars, so I averaged it to give the book 3 stars. The worst part was that the book just came to a sudden stop, without any real ending. Given the engaging start, this book turned out to be a disappointment.
MaryJane Rings
Feb 18, 2014 MaryJane Rings rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in regards to the scriptures and what is truly historical and how many books of the bible were included in the gospels and how stories are often changed or ignored to fit the trends and culture of the times. The story switches between the 9th century and the present but basically asks the same questions about biblical history and the religious politics of both time periods. It keeps the reader guessing until the last page and holds several surprises that I didn' ...more
Jim McIntosh
Feb 23, 2014 Jim McIntosh rated it did not like it
I started off thinking "Everybody wants to be Robert Langdon," but the book never gets that good. The factual errors are just too much. For example, our priest has apparently never studied the gnostic heresy or even heard of the gnostic gospels. Despite all evidence that it was Pope Paul V (d. 1572), a Dominican friar, who started the tradition of the popes wearing only white (as is the Dominican habit), the pope in this novel wears white in the 800s. The apparently notion that only priests work ...more
K.C. Hawke
Jul 26, 2013 K.C. Hawke rated it really liked it
The Psalter by Galen Watson was recommended to me on Goodreads and I'm very pleased I listened to the recommendation. I found this book interesting, well written and full of surprises.

I was drawn in immediately to the characters and found the story and mystery behind the Psalter really well done. I found the relationship between Father Romano and Isabelle and her father very entertaining and while some books jump back to the past and I can't wait until they jump back into the present, Watson's c
Donna Jo Pallini
May 27, 2015 Donna Jo Pallini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good mix of mystery, intrigue, and interesting theology all wrapped up together. I enjoyed interaction of the characters and how the author interwove their lives. Also some very surprising twists.
Jun 02, 2015 Courtney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be a little...slow. I rushed through most of it because I was bored, and as a result I think I didn't make the connections between the characters and events that I was supposed to. That left me confused at the end.

I am giving this book two stars (I would have given it 2.5 if I could) because of the boredom, and because I think the story fell short of what it could have been. It is a fun retelling of history and legend; that part was good. But a lot is made of what the psalte
Matt Kelland
Aug 03, 2015 Matt Kelland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This is definitely a book of two halves. The contemporary section (priest finds lost religious manuscripts that threaten everything the Catholic Church stands for, so the evil Cardinal in the Inquisition will stop at nothing to cover it all up) is pretty run of the mill. It's more or less the same old story we've all read many times ever since The Da Vinci Code.

However, the old part, where it tells the story of how the manuscript came about, is far more interesting. It plays fast and loose with
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I read the 300 Spartans by John Burke when I was in grade school and decided that I loved historical fiction. When I was a teenager, I read The Egyptian by Mika Waltari, and was fascinated with how he adeptly wove historical events into a fiction, filled with mystery, adventure, political intrigue and philosophical reflections.

History fascinates me, particularly historical events that shape who we
More about Galen Watson...

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“Women have eyes in their hearts that see what men cannot.” 2 likes
“Ardent believers hide within the safety of their absolutes, for much more courage is needed to abandon their cozy security for the questioning of ones own beliefs.” 2 likes
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