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The Magdalene Deception

(The Magdalene Chronicles #1)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  586 ratings  ·  107 reviews
A forbidden secret . . . The Church's fate in the balance . . . Will a pair of amateur sleuths expose a truth that could upend the Christian world? 

Jesus’ resurrection is a cornerstone of Christian faith. But when a clue surfaces that hints at an alternate account, the ramifications stand to change Christianity forever.

Jesuit priest Michael Dominic’s assignment to the Vati
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published July 1st 2020 by Literati Editions
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  586 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it

Father Michael Dominic is a recently ordained Catholic priest assigned to work in the Vatican Library's Secret Archives, which aren't so much secret as reserved for elite scholars.

Dominic is a classical medievalist whose rapid rise in the church was engineered by his mentor, Cardinal Enrico Petrini, who's known Michael since he was a boy.

One of Dominic's jobs is to help digitalize the Vatican archives, so researchers around the world can have access to the documents housed there. Michael, who's
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reedsy-arc
First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Gary McAvoy for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always a fan of novels with Catholic and/or historical twists, this book by Gary McAvoy caught my eye as soon as I found it. Michael Dominic grew up in United States, without a father but under the watchful eye of one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church. Having finished his seminary studies and been ordained
Carolyn Walsh
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a Vatican thriller with a believable storyline. The plot builds very slowly with intense action scenes near its conclusion. It is rich or dense (depending on the readers' reaction) with historic facts and speculations, making the story highly credible. Frequently pausing in my reading, I often consulted Wikipedia and Google which caused me to highly admire the author's scholarly knowledge and historical research. It was well-written but could have used some more lighter moments.

Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Magdalene Deception is an interesting read along the lines of Dan Brown novels. Dominic is a priest new to the Vatican who uncovers an interesting document that could lead to the downfall of the church. He pairs up with a French journalist, on her own quest, to unearth this potentially damaging find.

I really enjoyed the book (a 3.5 rounded up to 4). While it held my interest the downgrade for me was the unlikely coincidences and the abrupt end.
Thank you Book Sirens, Literati Editions and the author for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.

Ever since the the publication of The DaVinci Code, I have had a fascination with the area around Rennes-le-Chateau/Carcassonne in southwestern France. As an adjunct to the area itself, I found the story of the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade against them to be very interesting. Over the last decade, I have read several books, fiction and nonfiction, about the area and the people. In 2011, I eve
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
McAvoy has done a good job of weaving a fictional story into historical events. The descriptions of locations are detailed, allowing readers to get a very good sense of the setting. The characters are well developed, providing an essential aspect to an engaging novel. Unfortunately, the egalley I read did not have an author's note indicating which parts of the novel were, in fact, based on history and which were the author's imagination.

Readers who like speculative plots based on possible ancie
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to BookSirens and Literati Editions for the opportunity to read The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy for free in exchange for an honest review. Choosing this book would come as a surprise to all that know me, since I'm an atheist and don't believe in anything that deals with god, the bible or religious beliefs. However I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and a true lover of history. One can't be a lover of history without knowing how religion has shaped the outcome of so much and so ...more
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really surprised me, in a pleasant way. It has such a plausible story and is truly believable. It goes into great detail/background and provides a lot of historical information in an interesting way that ties into the story. Thanks to NetGalley and Gary McAvoy for the ARC
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, thriller
Oh my, that gave me flashback to Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series!!! It was a slow burner in the beginning unlike Dan Brown's books. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed reading about Father Michael's "journey" to the Vatican. It was definitely a believable storyline and kept me drawn in the entire time. it was a great take on the history of Christianity and the "what ifs" and the consequences of said "what ifs." I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! ...more
Jeanne Jabour
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a novel that was so intriguing, fascinating, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat exciting, and historically accurate and informative in a very long time. The main protagonists are Michael Dominic, a priest transferred to the Vatican to work in their Secret Archives due to his expertise in medieval paleography and codicology, and ancient documents and texts; and, Hana Sinclair, a journalist and cousin to one of the Vatican Guards Michael befriends. In the course of h
Michelle Whitham (curled_up_with_a_good_book)
This is a fantastic novel full of conspiracy, suspense and fantastic characters.

When Michael finds the document that starts everything off, he definitely wasn’t prepared for what was to come! A fantastic character, I love that he’s a little rebellious and does things he shouldn’t, even if it does get him into some situations! At times I really felt for him as it’s clear that he has an internal battle on his hands – especially when there is clearly an attraction to Hanna! Also, with everything he
Matt McAvoy
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Exquisitely written and highly entertaining, The Magdalene Deception is an investigative mystery in a very similar vein to The DaVinci Code, as a young, ambitious priest from New York starts a dream job as a Vatican digital archivist. In the course of his work he finds an ancient artefact which threatens the entire Catholic Church and sends him on an ominous quest, along with a feisty journalist investigating the Vatican’s corrupt complicity in the possession of Nazi gold, cruelly looted and lau ...more
Ruthie Jones
“What we have here is the classic riddle, wrapped in a mystery, and literally hidden inside an enigma.”

The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy is a thrilling caper that turns the long-standing belief of Jesus’ resurrection on its head. Father Michael Dominic is assigned as an archivist at the Vatican, and Hana Sinclair is a reporter on the hunt for evidence on gold stolen from Jews during WWII. When Father Dominic accidentally discovers a document allegedly written by Mary Magdalene herself, the
Santino Decaro
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Secret Vatican manuscripts, what could be better?

If like me you find the concept of secret, mysterious Vatican archives and a long tumultuous religious history, mixed with strong characters and moral dilemmas interesting than this books is for you!!

This book focuses on father Michael Dominic, an American priest, who is an expert in middle age writings and his new posting as an archivist in the Vatican archives. The book spends a lot of time building on Dominic’s character, which I have to say I
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Received this book thru the Giveaways for an honest review.
The story revolves around a young priest, Michael Dominic, who is working at the Vatican as a digital archivist and he discovers an old document that could shake the church to his foundations. This is in the same genre as the DaVinci Code and I really enjoyed it.
Father Dominic was brought up in the Catholic church as his single mother was the housekeeper for a priest who became his mentor. His mentor is now a high ranking
Sarah Crawford
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is a religious mystery story which has some basis in fact. It is about Pope Pius XII who was the Pope during the Nazi takeover in Europe, and just what, if any, connection he had with them since he didn't really speak out against them during the war.

It also is about the Nazi's killing Jews and others and taking any gold (or other precious items) from them and how, in the story, some of that gold ends up in the Vatican.

It's also about a priest named Bérenger Saunière who was a real Cat
Gregory R.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A mythic legend, Jesus’ resurrection, Holocaust Jewish gold, the French resistance, Nazis, Vatican palace intrigue, smoldering nascent romance, high tech and action — what more could you ask for in a novel?

This is one of those books you starting reading in the evening and decide to skip work the next day so you can read all night. This a masterful blend of real history and what-if present day. I found myself several times putting down the book so I could do an online search just to confirm what
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
An absorbing thriller, The Magdalene Deception enjoys the subtle touch of a consummate storyteller. As Father Michael Dominic and Hana Sinclair, an investigative reporter for Le Monde, search for secret documents relating to Vatican blackmail payments, they confront challenges from within the Vatican.

Gary McAvoy writes a complicated story with complex characters and authentic relationships. He weaves comprehensive research throughout the story to keep information about the secret’s importance an
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mary Magdalene.
The Vatican.
An Ancient Manuscript.
Hidden papyrus.
The Ustaša.
Historical Controversies.
Swiss Guards.
The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy is a book I listened to recently. You could say, I stumbled upon it and luckily so. It is a religious thriller which I must confess I quite enjoyed.
It all starts when Jesuit priest Michael Dominics finds a hidden papyrus in the Vatican’s Secret Archives which could alter the cornerstone of Christian faith. This curious but important discover
Christy  Martin
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The plots are better than most of the conspiracy theory books and the characters more believable and well developed. Yes, there were 2 plots and the author did a great job of intertwining them into one outstanding story.

The first plot of course explores the Magdalene and Rennes le Chateau. The second plot explores the Vatican involvement in the escape of Nazi war criminals and the long kept gold and money that the Vatican stored for the Nazi government. Much of the story as t
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Religion and Politics May Not Make Polite Conversation, But They're Great Topics For Thrillers

Lovers of ancient mystery-themed thrillers like Dan Brown's will love this book!

I really enjoyed reading The Magdalene Deception, the first work I've read by this author. He's an excellent writer and his well-researched fluency with the history, science, and procedures supporting many facets of the story made it an intellectually stimulating read as well as an immensely satisfying suspense thriller.

Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, arcs
A friend recommended this book to me because both of us really enjoy Dan Brown and James Rollins.

The main character, Father Michael, is relatively new to the Vatican. He stumbles across some old letters in the archives that contain a secret so scandalous that, if exposed, could destroy the very foundation of the Catholic church and the faith of many.

In his quest to validate the claims someone higher up in the Vatican finds out about Father Michael’s discovery and is intent on stopping the inform
Lisa Chan
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
With this book I felt there was a LOT of build up, a lot of backstory, and a lot of intricate information that may or may not have been pertinent to the story. Once you got into the meat of the story, however, it pulls you in a bit more.

I really enjoyed getting to “visit” the Vatican and learn a little more about what life is like there. The descriptions were vivid and I could feel the heat and humidity outside, and the cool temperature of the archives within the stone walls.

What I didn’t enjo
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it

A young American Jesuit priest, Michael Dominick, is assigned to the Vatican’s Secret Archives. While there, quite literally stumbles into one of the church’s greatest secrets. Eager to find out exactly what his discovery means, he turns to Hana Sinclair, a French investigative journalist and member of an extremely wealthy and well connected family. Hana is looking into money that was taken from the Jews During WWII - a topic which may hit close to home. Their investigations lead them to discove
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgally
The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy
Narrated by Will Damron
Publisher: Literati Editions
Genre: Historical Fiction | Mystery & Thrillers | Religion & Spirituality
Release Date: October 29, 2020

The Magdalene Deception is the first book in the new The Magdalene Chronicles series by Gary McAvoy. The Magdalene Deception is a captivating thriller seeking to uncover a possible conspiracy affecting the Catholic Church and all of Christianity, as we know it.

The narration by Will Damron is engaging and e
Caroline Price
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this thriller, it had everything I most enjoy about this type of book...dark secrets at the Vatican, great stuff. The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy is perfect for fans of The Da Vinci Code although, in my opinion, it's better written.

An ancient document is found hidden in the archives of the Vatican and copied by the priest who found it. Assisted by the beautiful journalist who has befriended him, pursued by fascist Interpol detectives and protected by his friend in the Sw
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who doesn't love a Papal conspiracy? Well I certainly do, and I loved this one. I loved the characters and the fast paced exciting plot. It is very much along the lines of the Da Vinci code in it's style, but that doesn't matter, as the novel is a good one.

I loved father Dominic, the suave good looking priest, and I certainly hope that we hear more from him. I could see this book being made into a film or TV series, it would really work well with it adventure and action content, and it's cast of
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy was an exciting read along the lines of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demon’s. A lot of intense build up as the two main characters, priest Michael Dominic and friend, Hanna Sinclair, an investigative reporter, investigate and uncover an old relic long buried and extremely important to the Christian church. This find can change the course of Christianity forever. Set, in part, in the Vatican library, this novel was suspenseful and intriguing as it leads you throug ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
First of all, thanks to the author and BookSirens for providing me with a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. I’m not sure what it is about the combination of religion and deception, but it grabs my attention every time. This is the story of an ancient document that could blow the Catholic religion apart. If you’ve enjoyed Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ and Kate Mosse’s ‘Labyrinth’ series, you’ll certainly enjoy this one. A very believable story with all the loose ends tied up an ...more
Janet Martin
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When medieval scholar Father Michael Dominic is assigned to the Vatican archives, he's plunged into a political jungle. While trying to just do his job protecting and cataloging the treasures of the collections, he discovers a hidden document that sends him off to southern France, shadowed by a very bad actor doing the will of a Vatican rival. A rare and valuable document is at stake, along with the lives of Father Dominic and his journalist companion. Those who enjoy conspiracy adventure fictio ...more
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Gary McAvoy is a veteran technology executive, entrepreneur, and author of several books including his bestselling thriller series The Magdalene Chronicles, comprising "The Magdalene Deception," “The Magdalene Reliquary,” and “The Magdalene Veil.” His nonfiction work “And Every Word Is True,” has been praised as a sequel to Truman Capote's landmark nonfiction novel "In Cold Blood." Gary is also a ...more

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