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The Fifth Gospel

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  8,446 Ratings  ·  1,174 Reviews
A mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. The curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome a week before it opens. That same night, a violent break-in rocks the home of Greek Catholic priest Father Alex Andreou. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex decides that to find the killer he ...more
Hardcover, 431 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Simon Schuster (first published March 13th 2014)
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Bonnie I just read both books, starting with Rule of Four. I loved them both, especially with the author's skillful, well-researched methods. (I love it when…moreI just read both books, starting with Rule of Four. I loved them both, especially with the author's skillful, well-researched methods. (I love it when I can learn historical facts while reading a novel.) Both have strong historical information, so I think the distinction between the two is the people-relationships attached to each. "Rule" is about a young man, and his three friends, who are all about to leave college to find their place in the world, while "Gospel" is about a man's relationships with his son, wife, now-deceased father, and most importantly, his brother. I liked them both, but "Gospel" was my favorite.(less)

Community Reviews

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Sean Gibson
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
3.4 Stars

It’s funny—as I get older, I pick up on things in books that I wouldn’t have if I’d read them earlier in life (not funny ha-ha, mind you, like “a baby seal walks into a club,” but funny hmmm, like “I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to be standing beneath this flock of seagulls after they’ve just eaten spicy burritos”).

Case in point: The Fifth Gospel, where, a few years ago, my primary focus would have been on all of the fascinating religious history and the close reading of the gosp
Diane S ☔
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I went to Catholic schools for many years, went to church every morning forma few of them, had numerous religious classes and yet this book taught me things about Catholicism that I didn't know.

A priest is killed in Vatican City, the mystery consuming two brothers one a Catholic priest and one a Greek Catholic priest, the Eastern Catholic priest is allowed to marry and so has a son. The killed priest was working on an exhibition about the Shroud of Turin. This takes place during the end of John
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received The Fifth Gospel through a Goodreads giveaway.
The reader is given a rare glimpse behind the walls of the Vatican with corruption and mayhem occurring among its members. It’s interesting to note a line taken from book: “Motto here is that a new door opens every time you push another man out a window”. The author writes a tremendous amount on deciphering and understanding the true meaning of the four gospels along with the possibility of a fifth. Meanwhile, there is also a murder to sol
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Caldwell's "The Fifth Gospel" is a murder mystery set within the Vatican. Not the Vatican tourists see, but the the vast labyrinth kept from public view. Likewise, Caldwell's characters are all fashioned after those who actually administer the Vatican. I'm astonished at the amount of research Caldwell has done.

But, this novel isn't a travelog nor is it a Vatican expose. It's a carefully constructed murder mystery that had me guessing until the end.

At the core of this mystery is the Shroud of Tur
Nov 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I needed a bit of fluff, and I'm a sucker for religious controversy. We recently received the galley of this at work, so I gave it a shot - but not without reading the editor's letter of recommendation on the back of the book first.

Note: editor's letters are standard procedure for galleys and often tend toward exaggeration and/or straight-up hyperbole. This particular letter, however, chose to emphasize this trend in the publishing industry right off the bat in order to establish the legi
Sometimes it's impossible not to gush! British actor Davenport's reading of this fine thriller is so seductive--I didn't want to stop listening. It's a great book too set mostly in Vatican City, where protagonist Alex has lived all his life. A Greek Catholic (as opposed to Orthodox) priest and thus allowed to marry before his ordination, as was his father, so he and brother Simon (who became a Roman priest and church diplomat) were raised there, and we see Vatican city in a way I've never imagin ...more
Ray Palen
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's been 10 years since Ian Caldwell's first novel --- THE RULE OF FOUR --- co-written with Dustin Thomason. I may have been one of the only readers who disliked that effort. I found it trite and trying way too hard to be Dan Brown --- and falling well short.

It's taken Ian Caldwell 10 years, but he has made me eat my words. THE FIFTH GOSPEL is one of the best books I read this year (even though it will not be released until March 2015). There is enough historical and theological intrigue to ple
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author says it took him 10 years to finish this novel; it follows The Rule of Four, a book he co-authored with Dustin Thomason that spent 49 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. And now that I've read it, I understand why it took so long. The time it must have taken to ferret out the details that make it so intriguing - from hidden nooks and crannies within Vatican City to nuances in passages from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - boggle my mind (and this from someone who ...more
Depois de ter lido A Regra de Quatro em 2012 era com grande expectativa que aguardava um novo livro do autor Ian Caldwell. O Quinto Evangelho demorou dez anos a ser escrito. Felizmente, como não tinha lido o seu primeiro livro aquando da sua saída, não precisei de esperar tanto tempo para ler a segunda obra.

Tal como no seu anterior livro, Caldwell junta o thriller e o romance histórico, transformando a leitura de O Quinto Evangelho muito atractiva e fascinante.

Através da morte do curador de ar
Tempo de Ler
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"O que o meu irmão está a fazer neste momento é um ato de bondade cristã. (...) Acredita no fundo do seu coração que está a fazer isto para o bem de outra pessoa. Não sei quem. Não sei porquê. Mas sei que tenho de o impedir." - p. 196

Sendo a compreensão da Bíblia ainda imperfeita, o autor de O Quinto Evangelho aponta-nos as discordâncias entre os Evangelhos; compilados décadas depois, os relatos de Mateus e Lucas são versões editadas do Evangelho de Marcos, com acrescentos e supressões. Enquanto
Jason Golomb
“We are a religion of captains hoping to go down with the ship…the truth is that what moves the lifeblood of our faith is a thumping impulse toward self-destruction. “Greater love has no one than this," Jesus says in the gospel of John. “To lay down one’s life for one’s friends.””
- from Ian Caldwell’s “The Fifth Gospel”

This is a very strong (and long-awaited) second offering by the co-author of “The Rule of Four”. I won’t spend much time summarizing the story lines…plenty of those words exist al
Maria Espadinha
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"1 + 2 + 3 +4 = 5"

No género literário "thriller", nutro especial predilecção pelo sub-género histórico.
São obras que nos proporcionam estórias cativantes, capazes de nos manter despertos, além de contribuírem para o nosso enriquecimento cultural.

No caso concreto do "quinto evangelho", não sendo uma leitura ávida (é antes para folhear e saborear), tem intriga, suspense e mistério q.b.
Além do mais, aflora temas que muito provavelmente nos serão pouco ou nada familiares:
Teremos oportunidade de visi
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this book. Although it's a fun "religious thriller" in the tradition of Dan Brown and, as such, full of interesting facts and speculations (and some scriptural education thrown in for good measure), one component rang untrue for me--the character of Father Alex's young son, Peter. The words and understandings that come out of five-year-old Peter's mouth would have been more believable from an eight- or ten-year-old. As it was, I found myself mentally sort of "clucking" when ...more
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I'm a huge fan of bibliomysteries, this seems like a natural choice, a mystery relating to the greatest book of all. Though as it turned out the murder investigation/court drama aspect of the book were actually the least interesting, primarily because the setting has so very much overshadowed all other things. Set in Vatican and presented with the meticulousness of detail one might expect from a book 10 years in the making, this is an absolutely fascinating armchair trip into the world's s ...more
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, own, vine
This is the kind of book you never want to end. It has everything: a religious conspiracy, scriptural interpretations, biblical artifacts, Catholic scholarship. And it is intellectual, engaging, and thought-provoking.

The Shroud of Turin has been a symbol of Christianity for centuries, but it was recently proved to be a fake dating from the Middle Ages. Ugo, curator of a groundbreaking exhibit based on The Shroud, is set to disprove the scientific evidence based on scriptural and and historical d
O Diatesseron, da autoria de Taciano, um dos primeiros cristãos, foi uma paráfrase dos quatro evangelhos tidos como o cânone que deu origem ao Novo Testamento. O documento, datado entre 160 e 175 d.C., tinha como objetivo combinar em apenas uma única narrativa o conteúdo dos quatro evangelhos originais (escritos por Mateus, Marcos, Lucas e João). Este documento reveste-se de fulcral importância no enredo deste livro, uma vez que é com base nele que Ugo Nogara, curador responsável por uma exposiç ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
On the face of it, I’m not the ideal reader for this book: I’m not Catholic, know almost nothing about the shroud of Turin, and have made only short visits to Rome. I never covered the Vatican as a reporter. And I didn’t read The Rule of Four, the best selling prequel.

Having said that, The Fifth Gospel hooked me immediately. The story has more intricate twists and turns than the secret byways at St Peter’s. The characters are smart, fascinating and all too human. The history is riveting, with en
Άννα Σπανογιώργου
Χωρίς να έχω ακούσει κάτι για αυτό το βιβλίο, ένιωσα κάτι να με ιντριγκάρει απο τον τίτλο και το εξώφυλλο. Αγαπημένη μου κατηγορία ιστορίες που εμπλέκουν θεολογιές και δολοφονίες. Κατά βάθος, όμως, το βιβλίο αυτό μας διδάσκει την έννοια της αμόλυντης αγάπης, της ανιδιοτέλειας και της αυτοθυσίας. Στο αντίβαρο ο συγγραφέας έχει τοποθετήσει την απληστία, το συμφέρον και τον απροκάλυπτο τρόπο συγκάλυψης γεγονότων.
Δυο αδέρφια, δύο ιερείς τόσο διαφορετικοί και όμως τόσο ίδιοι. Γιατί, κατα βάθος, το μ
Rob Solomon
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Simplistic story, made overly complicated by detailed Church history, ending devalued the entire investment of time required to wade throug. I remain unclear as to why I finished it, but something held me to wanting to find out "whodunnit".
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
From the “Historical Note” at the beginning of the book …

“Two Thousand Years ago, a pair of brothers set out from the Holy Land to spread the Christian gospel. Saint Peter traveled to Rome, becoming the symbolic founder of Western Christianity. His brother, Saint Andrew, traveled to Greece, becoming a symbolic founder of Eastern Christianity. For centuries, the church they helped create remained a single institution. But one thousand years ago, west and east divided. Western Christians became Ca
Kathy Cunningham
Ian Caldwell’s THE FIFTH GOSPEL is a fascinating, intelligent mystery about faith, love, and Catholic politics. The story revolves around a mysterious “fifth gospel” discovered by a museum curator, a gospel which just might prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin (which was proven a fake through carbon testing in 1988). When the curator is mysteriously murdered, suspicion falls on Catholic priest Father Simon Andreou, who had been working with the curator on a museum exhibit set to reveal ...more
Πάνος Τουρλής
Ας ξεκινήσω με το σύντομο ιστορικό σημείωμα του βιβλίου εν περιλήψει: ο Άγιος Πέτρος και ο Άγιος Ανδρέας ξεκίνησαν από τους Αγίους Τόπους για να διαδώσουν το Ευαγγέλιο. Ο Άγιος Πέτρος έφτασε στη Ρώμη και ίδρυσε τη δυτική χριστιανοσύνη ενώ ο Άγιος Ανδρέας έφτασε στην Ελλάδα και ίδρυσε την ανατολική χριστιανοσύνη. Για αιώνες η Εκκλησία που δημιούργησαν παρέμεινε ενιαίος θεσμός όμως χίλια χρόνια αργότερα οι χριστιανοί της Δύσης έγιναν καθολικοί με επικεφαλής τον διάδοχο του Αγίου Πέτρου, τον Πάπα κ ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell is one of those books that I wanted to like more than I did. The story. The mystery. The attention to detail. Caldwell does a masterful job of telling his tale, only he does it at times at a snail's pace.

"...A long time ago, ' I say. 'our church used to have a fifth gospel. The Diatessaron. Its title is Greek for 'made of four', because that's how it was written. The author wove together the four gospels into one story. And because of that, the Diatessaron has on
Ο κος Caldwell χρειάστηκε 10 χρόνια (ναι, ναι, 10 ολόκληρα χρόνια) για να γράψει το 5ο Ευαγγέλιο, το οποίο το ξεκίνησε λίγο πριν την έκδοση του πρώτου του βιβλίου «Ο κανόνας των Τεσσάρων», μιας και οι εκδοτικοί οίκοι του προσέφεραν σχετικό συμβόλαιο.

Το όλο πόνημα χρήζει συγχαρητηρίων από πλευράς έρευνας, με το οποίο, αν και αγνωστικιστής ο συγγραφέας, σου δείχνει τι και πώς μπορεί να σκέφτεται και να αντιδρά ένας καθολικός ιερέας. Επίσης επιδεικνύει εκπληκτική γνώση τόσο της τοπογραφίας του Βατι
Dale White
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I am a sucker for any book that involves some intrigue surrounding the gospels or the life of Jesus so it wasn't hard for me to pick up The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell. What was hard was finishing it.

That doesn't mean it was a bad book. The plot was interesting enough as a museum curator is killed just before a public exhibit involving the Diatessaron (a 2nd century gospel that tried to harmonize the four gospels) and the Shroud of Turin. So learning about that gospel and the differences betwee
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
A religious thriller set in the Vatican. No matter what the hype says, this is NOT The DaVinci Code. Well written and deeply moving, especially if you are or ever were a practicing Christian.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell through Goodreads First Read.

I am a sucker for conspiracy theories. Add religion to the mix, and I am smitten! Give it enough verifiable proof and I am in love! I have among my collection The Rule of Four and was over the moon for the chance to read this book and add it to my library.

Before reading this book, I did a little research on The Shroud of Turin and The Diatessaron. I remember when the carbon dating came out saying that the cl
Bea  Charmed
Oh the blurb for this book was catnip, pure catnip. I immediately said yes to this request. I should add that I was a religion major at college and looked at becoming a minister, thus why this book was such catnip. I'm also a sucker for Dan Brown's books but this has much better writing.Like Brown, Caldwell sometimes goes into an excess of detail and at times the pace is slow. Calling it a thriller is misleading as there's not a lot of action nor is the pace fast despite the fairly short time sp ...more
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Unraveling Villainy in Vatican
3.51 stars

Set in 2004, just prior to the death of Pope John Paul II, the novel centers on the mysterious murder of the Vatican museum's curator just prior to the opening of an exhibit. One of two brothers, who are both priests living at the Vatican (the protagonist a Greek Catholic [not to be confused with Greek Orthodox], the other a Roman Catholic), rushes to determine who killed his friend, the priest/curator. The mystery centers on a "Fifth Gospel," which is act
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This book reminded me why I loved Angels & Demons so deeply. This book I would classify as an intelligent thriller but I'm not sure if it was really thrilling. There was a definite mystery shadowing over the novel but thats not why I loved the novel.

There is a lot of detailed research that went into this book. Ian Caldwell said it took him 10 years to write. I ended up DNFing Rule of Four because it was so dense and I read it at the height of Dan Brown mania where I loved him and ONLY him. L
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Ian Caldwell is an American novelist. After graduating from Princeton University in 1998, he and his childhood friend Dustin Thomason co-wrote the semi-autobiographical The Rule of Four, which was published in 2004.
Caldwell and Thomason graduated from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1994. Caldwell was a Phi Beta Kappa in history at Princ
More about Ian Caldwell

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“When God became human, He made Himself into an image. By His own incarnation, He shattered the prohibition against art.” 2 likes
“The darkest mistakes can be forgiven, but they can never be undone.” 1 likes
More quotes…