THE EXPECTED ONE by KATHLEEN McGOWAN.
Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the rocky wilds of the French Pyrenees, scrolls that contained her own version of the events and characters of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could only be uncovered by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of The Expected One.
When journalist Maureen Pascal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so secret, so revolutionary, that thousands of people have killed and died for it. As she becomes more deeply immersed in the secret cultures of Southwest France, a long-buried family secret comes to light, and it begins to appear as if the eerie prophecy of The Expected One may indeed be fulfilled.
Maureen's extraordinary journey takes her from the dusty streets of Jerusalem to the cathedrals of Paris, and ultimately to the scrolls themselves. She must unravel clues that link history's great artistic masters including Botticelli and Jean Cocteau; the Medici, Bourbon, and Borgia dynasties; and great scientific minds like Leonardo Da Vinci and Issac Newton. Ultimately, she, and the reader, come face to face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome in the pages of a deeply moving and powerful new gospel, the life of Jesus told by Mary Magdalene.
... From the inner front cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: There wasn't much time left.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: The Roman procurator was a complex man, filled with doubt, fear, and ambition. The tragedy of Pontius Pilate would come when all of these things outweighed whatever he had once possessed in love, strength, or gratitude.
If like me you'd enjoyed Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code then you will find this a fascinating read that, to me, is every bit as good, nay, better than Brown's offering.
Without as many chases, thrills and spills as The Da Vinci Code, I found The Expected One to be far less fantastical, more insightful and a much more intelligent read with equally good characters but a far stronger plot which, in a nut shell, deals with a long lost gospel written by Mary Magdalene herself.
Perhaps not a read for those who were offended by the thought of Jesus being both a married man AND a father, this novel also portrays him as spouse to Mary Magdalene as well as looking at the Sinclair connection and art work imagery.
Set in both modern and biblical times, this partly retells the story of Jesus and his disciples (including both Marys) suggesting that certain elements were not as they now appeared but perhaps been changed/covered up over the centuries due to religious and political reasons. Not wanting to give too much away, I think it is safe to say that I was intrigued to think of the story of John the Baptist and Salome, she who we are told danced for her step-father in exchange for John's head, in a whole new light.
Not a religious person, I was not offended or upset by the story BUT instead found myself discussing certain things with Husband dearest and various friends who pointed out several other aspects to the book that I perhaps had not picked up on leaving me wanting to explore more - all the signs of a story well told in my opinion.
The Expected One was an ex-library stock read.