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The First Apostle (Chris Bronson, #1)
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The First Apostle (Chris Bronson #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  2,423 Ratings  ·  161 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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Fabiano As someone who read both books, I must admit there are similarities.
For me, "The First Apostle" was better that "The Da Vinci Code", though.
The story…more
As someone who read both books, I must admit there are similarities.
For me, "The First Apostle" was better that "The Da Vinci Code", though.
The story is more interesting, the characters are more appealing, and the personal relationships are more believable. I got much more invested in it than in Dan Brown's book, which I thought was slow and boring.

EDIT: I hope, if you decide to read this book, you'll have such a great experience as I had had.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 30, 2012 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
Jul 10, 2012 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
Aug 07, 2012 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
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.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, and best, of the Chris Bronson series. I was rooting for Chris from the start.
Any Length
Aug 05, 2012 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
Rodrigo Tello
Me gustó. es una novela que, sin ser la gran cosa, mantiene el interés hasta el final y no defrauda. El tema religioso, sí, está algo difuso, como que no termina de cerrar y no se sabe bien dónde quiere llegar el autor con las teorías que expone. En fin, una lectura para las vacaciones o para un fin de semana, no esperen más que eso.
Dec 28, 2010 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 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.
Sep 25, 2009 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.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Freilich ein interessantes Setting. Aber mal ganz ehrlich: die Mafia, die den Vatikan unterstützt um eines seiner Geheimnisse zu schützen? Gut, das könnte im Licht so mancher Enthüllung der Vergangenheit ja noch gehen. Aber die Mafia hat die Kontrolle über alle Suchmaschinen, die einen Schrei ausstoßen, wenn jemand nach der Phrase "Hic vanidici latitant" sucht? Und aufgrund dessen wissen sie gleich was zu tun ist? Bei jemandem einbrechen und dort die Restaurierungsarbeiten ungeschehen machen? Be ...more
Luis Flores
Este libro lo obtuve en un intercambio de libros de mi universidad. Puedo decir que tuve mucha suerte.
Es libro es muy bueno, tiene toques excelentes de acción y suspenso. La idea de describir un secreto de hace miles de años mantiene al lector con la atención a tope. Sin embargo, tuve algunos conflictos con la lectura: en ocasiones eran pesado leer, debido a que eran puros datos e información relativamente difícil de comprender (al menos para mí), y no me emocionaba el hecho de leer cómo a los p
Ches Torrants
The historical prologue is relevant to the story, but I only understood it in retrospect when I re-read it.
In modern times, we start with a young woman murdered during a break-in at her home in Italy. Then we meet Chris Bronson, a young detective and friend of the victim's husband. Chris speaks Italian. Soon they are in Italy, investigating the intrusion that was concerned more with history than burglary. Conveniently, Chris's ex-wife works in the field of antiquities.
In Rome, a cardinal confers
Amaka Azie
I found this book in the garage while tidying up. It was probably left there by the previous owner of our house because I don't recall buying it. The cover looked engaging so I decided to read it.
It started out very interesting, and the first few characters were captivating, but it soon became unrealistic and started to fall flat. I mean, the fact that Angela a museum worker and Branson a copper was able to decipher historical puzzles that had eluded scholars for centuries with minimal help wa
Megan Schiffour
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly love books that exploit the sordid and corrupt past of the Catholic religion. There is so much history and intrigue that it almost doesn't need to be fiction to be entertaining; but that being said this is one awesome fictional ride.

Chris Bronson and his ex-wife Angela are swept into a deadly "treasure" hunt that by all accounts will rock the religious world with its discovery. Enter corrupt Catholic cardinals, the Mafia clean up crew, corruption and lies, and a new take on history that
Geoff Battle
For those who have read 'Sign of the Cross' by Chris Kuzneski I would suggest skipping this religious thriller, for the plots are almost identical. The story weaves it's chase action in a different way from most of the books in this genre, which is refreshing, however, the characters are rather lacklustre and the action is rather simplistic. Overall, The First Apostle is a poor entry in this crowded scene, adding nothing new in content, and although it's an easy read there are better options out ...more
A great idea & a good basis for a story & though I thoroughly enjoyed it, it is hard to take seriously -well, Chris achieves in a few days what the Catholic Church has been unable to solve in over 1500 years! Chris, with the help of Angela (who just happens to work at the British Museum as an expert in ceramics...though she seems to know about lots of other stuff too!) moves from clue to clue with the utmost of ease - with the help of the internet & all his lucky assumptions turn out ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a good thriller, set at a nice pace and with interesting details, told in a non boring manner. not as an exciting read as a dan brown or guillaume musso.novel, but good overall. curious about the next books in the series
Good read.
Raza Mustafa
There's religion, conspiracy, murders, maps, and a hunt for a secret ala Dan Brown style. Not very captivating. Wish it were more gripping.
Michael Blackwell
Paint by numbers, lots of plot holes, improbable ending. But you gets what yous pays for. Easy afternoon read without too much mental stress.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
And the Catholic Church lived happily ever after. Or did it?
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
Alex Murphy
After the Da Vinci Code, the amount of religious conspiracy adventure books that came around was massive. I think the First Apostle was one of these books.
The plot starts with a break in, at an English couple holiday retreat in Italy, that ends with the death of the young wife. The thieves weren’t after money, but a 2000-year-old Latin inscription hidden in the house saying ‘Here lie the liars.’ The husband contacts his best friend Chris Bronson, a top cop in the Met, who doesn’t play by the rul
John Marsh
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
Apr 19, 2013 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
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
Pandu Nugroho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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.
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“My name’s Christopher Bronson, and I’m a detective sergeant. You can call me Chris. You can call me DS Bronson, or you can just call me Bronson. But, you fat, ugly bastard, you can’t call me “Death Wish”.” 1 likes
“Whether or not huge numbers of people believe something has no bearing whatsoever on its truth or validity. In the past, millions believed that the earth was flat, and that the sun and the stars revolved around it.” 1 likes
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