by Joe de Mers
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
406 pages; ISBN: 0525940979
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
In Beaufort, Georgia, Jesus Christ apparently has returned to the earth performing local miracles such as the return from the dead of the daughter of famous evangelist Don Bagley. Through global communications of the modern world and Bagley’s sponsorship, his fame grows rather quickly. However, as Jesus becomes a fixture on TV, he lambastes the modern Catholic Church for its corruption.
The Vatican decides not to check into whether this man is the real article or an incredible con artist. Instead, they hire a hit man to silence Jesus. At the same time as the Vatican puts in motion its assassination plot, Monsignor Harry Chifley engages disbelieving Wisconsin priest turned New York book store employee Brian Sheridan, an expert on the early days of the Church, to investigate this so-called Jesus. Writer Marie Olivier, who he met over a reflexology book in the store, accompanies him. As the two make inquiries into the contemporary Jesus, they are unaware of the threats from the Vatican and locally.
The underlying concept of THE RETURN is brilliantly designed so that the audience must keep reading to determine whether Jesus is walking the twenty-first century earth. However, on the other hand, the myriad of subplots from the hysterical reaction of the Vatican to the romance between Father Brian and Marie take away from the basic theme. Still Joe de Mers has written a powerful action-packed thriller that will receive either praise from religious conspiracy buffs or the Rusdie reaction.
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