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Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest's condition ma Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest's condition may be genuine, Cal determines to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds. But Cal is not the only one. When Giovanni is kidnapped from his church at dead of night, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret: a secret which a shadowy nationalist organization is desperate to control. Teaming up with Giovanni's sister Irene, Cal must unravel the mystery and track down Giovanni in a perilous race against the clock ... before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed.


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Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest's condition ma Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest's condition may be genuine, Cal determines to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds. But Cal is not the only one. When Giovanni is kidnapped from his church at dead of night, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret: a secret which a shadowy nationalist organization is desperate to control. Teaming up with Giovanni's sister Irene, Cal must unravel the mystery and track down Giovanni in a perilous race against the clock ... before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed.

30 review for Sign of the Cross

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    Sign Of The Cross by Glenn Cooper is a thriller that had me hooked from the first page. I could not put this book down and read it in two days. The story in set in two timelines, during World War Two when there was plunder of religious artefacts by the Nazi's and in present day Italy. A young priest has show signs of developing the stigmata . The Pope has asked Cal Donovan an American professor of religion to look into this matter to see if the claims are true. A neo-Nazi group in Germany see this Sign Of The Cross by Glenn Cooper is a thriller that had me hooked from the first page. I could not put this book down and read it in two days. The story in set in two timelines, during World War Two when there was plunder of religious artefacts by the Nazi's and in present day Italy. A young priest has show signs of developing the stigmata . The Pope has asked Cal Donovan an American professor of religion to look into this matter to see if the claims are true. A neo-Nazi group in Germany see this as a way to use the young priest for their own agenda. There were some really great characters in this book and the tension was building from chapter to chapter. This is the first book I have read by this author and I will certainly look out for more of his work. I can't wait for the second book in this trilogy to be released. Thank you to NetGalley and Black Thorn Books for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    N.N. Light

    Brilliant! Perfect for fans of Dan Brown. My Rating: 5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    This book hit all the right spots in my reading soul which craved an adventure thriller, one of my favorite genre. A young priest Giovanni developed the stigmata of Christ's crucifixion on both his wrists. Cal Donovan was asked by the Pope to check his authenticity. On the other hand, the pro Nazi group had been searching and collecting the relics of Christ's crucifixion, the crown of thorns, the nails, and the lance. And connecting all of them was this young priest. Getting them all together who This book hit all the right spots in my reading soul which craved an adventure thriller, one of my favorite genre. A young priest Giovanni developed the stigmata of Christ's crucifixion on both his wrists. Cal Donovan was asked by the Pope to check his authenticity. On the other hand, the pro Nazi group had been searching and collecting the relics of Christ's crucifixion, the crown of thorns, the nails, and the lance. And connecting all of them was this young priest. Getting them all together who lead to a massive explosive reveal. Hence they kidnapped him, and it was up to Cal to save him. My first book by Glenn Cooper, saw me enthralled on the edge of my seat, rooting for Cal to find Giovanni before he was killed by the obsessive Nazi group. There was an urgency which came across in the writing, and nothing could have stopped me from finishing the book at one go. The single thought dominated my mind while reading this book - what would happen if this priest and the relics were brought together? Would the world as we know it cease to exist? The book kept the pitch of excitement from the beginning to the end, barring some parts. I felt the prose could have been sharper with increased tension, and the main character better defined. The book was an easy read, the author knew how to keep me engrossed in the tale. The secrets of Christ's relics and the miracles kept me turning the pages of my kindle faster. A good race against time, I could finish this book in 2 hours flat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna Maria

    Glenn Cooper is one of my favourite authors, I love reading his thrillers and even this one was a page turner. This is the first book in a new series of religious conspiracy thrillers introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan. I highly recommend this Cal Donovan novel to those who love religious thrillers with plenty of action and adventure, as for me I will surely read the other two books of the series as I was totally intrigued in this first novel which was full of suspense and rich in history Glenn Cooper is one of my favourite authors, I love reading his thrillers and even this one was a page turner. This is the first book in a new series of religious conspiracy thrillers introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan. I highly recommend this Cal Donovan novel to those who love religious thrillers with plenty of action and adventure, as for me I will surely read the other two books of the series as I was totally intrigued in this first novel which was full of suspense and rich in history. I absolutely loved every page of this book

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elite Group

    Missing relics were found in the gripping mystery thriller! Cal Donovan, the professor of history and religion at Harvard University, was approached by the Archbishop of Boston and told to go to Rome. The Pope asked Prof Donovan to investigate the stigmata of a young priest, Giovanni, from Abruzzo, Italy. Lambert Schneider was the son of Otto who was the Nazi treasure hunter. He and the group from Germany retrieved the original relics of Christ’s crucifixion, such as Longinus’s spear and thorns fr Missing relics were found in the gripping mystery thriller! Cal Donovan, the professor of history and religion at Harvard University, was approached by the Archbishop of Boston and told to go to Rome. The Pope asked Prof Donovan to investigate the stigmata of a young priest, Giovanni, from Abruzzo, Italy. Lambert Schneider was the son of Otto who was the Nazi treasure hunter. He and the group from Germany retrieved the original relics of Christ’s crucifixion, such as Longinus’s spear and thorns from His crown, from the hidden place in Antarctica. He made a plan for the new Reich while searching for the final relics. Irene, Giovanni’s sister, and Donovan searched for the source of causing the stigmata because the Vatican thought that the new “Padre Gio” might fake the miracle. Then Giovanni was kidnapped! I enjoyed the new novel series featuring Cal Donovan. I still love reading Glenn Cooper’s religious thriller and adventure novels as he is on par with Dan Brown. Caesar 13 Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    Religious conspiracy thrillers have never interested me before but something about this book's blurb caught my attention and I requested permission to read an advanced copy. I should have followed my instincts and left the sub-category alone. Not that this is a bad book by any means, unless you just aren't interested in reading about speculation of Nazi theft and hiding of religious relics during World War II. The story moves through various time lines to show the thefts, the recovery of some of Religious conspiracy thrillers have never interested me before but something about this book's blurb caught my attention and I requested permission to read an advanced copy. I should have followed my instincts and left the sub-category alone. Not that this is a bad book by any means, unless you just aren't interested in reading about speculation of Nazi theft and hiding of religious relics during World War II. The story moves through various time lines to show the thefts, the recovery of some of the items and the present day linking up of religious relics and ideas such as stigmata presentations. This is the first book in a new series featuring Cal Donovan as the investigator used by the Catholic Church in Rome to get to the truth of the stigmata claims because of his expert knowledge in that subject. While carrying out his investigations Cal becomes more and more aware of a shadowy group working to collect the relics of Christ for their personal ownership. Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for a digital galley of this novel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Sign of the Cross is a tense religious actioner that is perfect for fans of the DaVinci Code. Cal Donovan, a Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, is called by the Pope to investigate an Italian priest’s stigmata. The stigmata is bleeding at the points where the nails entered Jesus to crucify him. Another group is also looking for the priest hoping to make a horrible weapon that promises to start the apocalypse. It is hard not to compare Sign of the Cross to the Dan Brown books. The hero, Sign of the Cross is a tense religious actioner that is perfect for fans of the DaVinci Code. Cal Donovan, a Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, is called by the Pope to investigate an Italian priest’s stigmata. The stigmata is bleeding at the points where the nails entered Jesus to crucify him. Another group is also looking for the priest hoping to make a horrible weapon that promises to start the apocalypse. It is hard not to compare Sign of the Cross to the Dan Brown books. The hero, Cal, has the same job. The reason for the task is religious. However, the DaVinci Code’s quest is both more complex and more interesting. But I’ve already read the DaVinci Code multiple times and I wasn’t very thrilled with the later books from Dan Brown. To be fair, this is a good book. The hero, the priest, the Nazis and neo-Nazis villains are mostly believable. The prose and pacing are fine. I would totally read another book by this author. However, this one was a bit too derivative for me. 3 stars! Thanks to Black Thorn Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    5 stars I read the Kindle edition. This story is told from several time lines. Religious Studies and Archeology Professor Cal Donovan is contacted by a local cardinal at his office at Harvard University. The Pope wants him to investigate a young priest named Giovanni Berardino who apparently has stigmata. Is he for real, or is he a hoax? Traveling to Italy, Cal begins his search for the truth. Through all this – Cal’s search for the truth and the media frenzy – is Giovanni’s story. Giovanni is the 5 stars I read the Kindle edition. This story is told from several time lines. Religious Studies and Archeology Professor Cal Donovan is contacted by a local cardinal at his office at Harvard University. The Pope wants him to investigate a young priest named Giovanni Berardino who apparently has stigmata. Is he for real, or is he a hoax? Traveling to Italy, Cal begins his search for the truth. Through all this – Cal’s search for the truth and the media frenzy – is Giovanni’s story. Giovanni is the young priest who is afflicted with the condition. He is suffering, not only physically but emotionally as well. It is a heavy burden to carry. He doesn’t care if some think he is an imposter, he knows the truth. He doesn’t know why he has been chosen to carry this “cross,” so to speak. Cal interviews his fellow priests, friends and family. Giovanni’s sister Irene is hostile to Cal’s questioning her and her mother. Also going on in the early 70’s we have a group of Nazi’s seeking the Reich’s hidden treasures. The catcher is that they are supposed to be hidden in Antarctica. When they find what they seek, they return. The story then skips back to 1935 and the Nazi search for Christian treasures, such as the Holy Grail, thorns from the Crown of Thorns, the Shroud of Turin and so on. People start getting killed and an attempt is made on Cal’s life. The game is getting very serious. When it’s time to report to the Pope, Cal gets shuffled off to Cardinal Lauriat. The Cardinal requests that he give a verbal report that is different than the one Cal prepared for the Pope. He then goes home to Harvard to recuperate. Before long both Cal and Irene have visions of Father Giovanni being in trouble…being kidnapped. Cal contacts the Cardinal to whom he reported and Cardinal Lauriat seems less than cooperative. So Cal flies to Italy to see what he can do. He really felt a connection to Father Giovanni and wants to help him. He contacts Father Giovanni’s family. Finally, the truth comes out about the bilocation, the visions and all of it. Irene and Cal decide to team up to try to find Father Giovanni. They are visited by a high ranking police official. They do not tell him everything. Across the street, a man is watching and taking pictures. The Nazis want to create a Fourth Reich and will do anything to achieve their goal. They collide with Cal, Irene and Giovanni. Kidnappings, torture, threats and a chase across Europe are all present in this exciting thriller. This book is very well written and plotted. It was an easy read and enjoyably exciting. I liked the characters of Cal, Giovanni and Irene. The bad guys were suitably evil and the kind the reader loves to hate. The suspense begins immediately in the story and ratchets up as the novel goes on. It reaches an exciting and action-filled denouement. This is my first Glenn Cooper book, but it won’t be my last. I truly enjoyed it. I immediately went to Amazon to look for other books of his. Well done, Mr. Cooper!! I want to thank NetGalley and Severn House for forwarding to me a copy of this most excellent book for me to read and enjoy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Duke-Wyer

    This is the first in what will be a series of religious conspiracy thrillers introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan. The story unfolds over several time-lines; set against the back-ground of Nazi Germany to Italy and to the present day. A young unremarkable priest (Giovanni) based in Italy is discovered to be presenting with the stigmata of the crucifixion and as such is bringing unwanted attention to his parish, to his faith and to the wider audience of the world and the Vatican. Cal Donovan This is the first in what will be a series of religious conspiracy thrillers introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan. The story unfolds over several time-lines; set against the back-ground of Nazi Germany to Italy and to the present day. A young unremarkable priest (Giovanni) based in Italy is discovered to be presenting with the stigmata of the crucifixion and as such is bringing unwanted attention to his parish, to his faith and to the wider audience of the world and the Vatican. Cal Donovan is invited by the Vatican to assess the priest and the situation. His investigations lead him to believe that he may well be witnessing a genuine miracle. Meanwhile a mysterious group based in Germany set out to kidnap the priest with the intention of appropriating various religious artefacts which they believe will allow them to establish the Fourth Reich. At this point Cal becomes involved with Giovanni’s family and in particular with his sister who then helps Cal in his efforts to find Giovanni and uncover the truth. Along the way, both Cal and Irene experience unexplained trance like ‘absences’ which enables them to feel and experience what Giovanni is going through. These episodes include the pain and suffering the priest endures, not only from the stigmata but also the torture he undergoes at the hands of the Germans. What ensues is murder, pursuit and investigation across Europe culminating in Israel. I could not but think of the Da Vinci Code when reading this book as it has many similarities. However, the most intriguing aspect of this book was the issue of stigmata. Clearly many of those who suffered with stigmata were put under intense scrutiny, perhaps ridiculed and often secreted away by the Church to be ‘protected’. Personally, I had never thought about the fact that on the most basic level there would be pain and suffering involved, although obviously there would; I never graduated to the thought that mental anguish, doubt and confusion would accompany this. The author’s descriptions have led me to think more fully about the whole subject. I admit to harbouring the thought ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful if this did happen; wouldn’t it be fantastic to think that these artefacts are in fact ‘real’ and exist and can be seen?’ I found the history of each timeline of the book to be more interesting than the ‘chase’ aspect. Although it held together it was just not as interesting to me. Obviously Giovanni’s character was very interesting, but I was not over-enthused about Irene and as for the Professor? Well, he is slightly flawed, but perhaps a tad smug – but he is in his infancy, let’s see where the second book takes us. If you liked The Da Vinci Code, I think you might well like this, so it is worth a read. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Slipak

    MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. First time I read the premise for this book, I thought, “Da Vinci Code/Dan Brown.” When I began reading the book I kept finding myself feeling like the author was just a bit too afraid to let us see the complete Protagonist, never whole, never complete. It was a bit frustrating not being allowed into the Protagonist’s full character, into his head to see what really was ticking there and I can’t help but wonder if it was written th MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. First time I read the premise for this book, I thought, “Da Vinci Code/Dan Brown.” When I began reading the book I kept finding myself feeling like the author was just a bit too afraid to let us see the complete Protagonist, never whole, never complete. It was a bit frustrating not being allowed into the Protagonist’s full character, into his head to see what really was ticking there and I can’t help but wonder if it was written this way because the author wanted to keep those things just out of reach to continue building tension. Such a move is risky. There is always that chance that the reader will become too frustrated and give up the book rather than hang in there until the end, which would be equally frustrating because you never really see the Protagonist in his complete form at the end. Is this a case of where the series seems to build and reveal character layers as it progresses book to book, and the only way to figure him out is to keep reading the series to find out more about him? Now, the big question is… will a reader want to invest such time and money just for a fictional character? It’s quite the hope to have in order for a series to be successful. All that time and money… What if after five books, seven books, twenty three books, the readers don’t get satisfaction for their following the series…wow! Not something I would do… I’m a chicken basically. However, for Glenn Cooper, this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s been in the business of writing for a while now. For a first book of a series, I think this book opens new beginnings for the Protagonist and promises to grab as many readers as possible for the series’ serious trek ahead. Now, going back to my first sentence, that this series would appeal to readers of Dan Brown. I wasn’t kidding; this book is equal to if not better in some areas than Dan Brown’s series. If I was to invest in a new series, and of course since I love thrillers, I’d choose this one because I’m goofy enough to wait for more details about a promising Protagonist, details I may not get until book 39ish.

  11. 4 out of 5

    jeff popple

    Glenn Cooper’s first novel, The Library of the Dead, was a highly enjoyable religious conspiracy thriller that centred on the discovery of a mysterious underground library of medieval texts. He has written many thrillers since, but none have come close to matching his debut thriller until now. Sign of the Cross is an engrossing novel that combines interesting historical detail and speculation with modern day action. The story revolves around a young Italian priest who has suddenly starts showing Glenn Cooper’s first novel, The Library of the Dead, was a highly enjoyable religious conspiracy thriller that centred on the discovery of a mysterious underground library of medieval texts. He has written many thrillers since, but none have come close to matching his debut thriller until now. Sign of the Cross is an engrossing novel that combines interesting historical detail and speculation with modern day action. The story revolves around a young Italian priest who has suddenly starts showing signs of the stigmata. Harvard Religious Studies and Archaeology professor Cal Donovan is asked by the Vatican to investigate the case and flies to Italy to interview the priest and those that know him. Meanwhile a more sinister group is also pursuing the priest, convinced that his condition is linked to the re-appearance of a lost religious artefact. The story moves at a very good pace and historical flashbacks provide interesting details on the origins of the artefacts and the efforts by the Nazis to acquire them in the 1930s and more recently. Cal is a very engaging character, slightly reminiscent of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon, and Cooper does a good job of grounding the mystical elements and making seem somewhat credible. The story builds to a good climax and a nice surprise or two. Some aspects of the story require a suspension of disbelief, but overall it is a very entertaining read. My copy of the book was provided by Netgalley and the publisher in return for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eadie

    Will Cal Donovan be able to prevent an apocalyptic catastrophe? Cal Donovan receives a urgent summons from the Vatican to fly to Italy in order to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Cal is a Harvard professor of religion and archaeology and is determined to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds. After Giovanni is kidnapped, Cal realizes that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret. I enjoyed following Cal and Giovanni's sister, Irene, Will Cal Donovan be able to prevent an apocalyptic catastrophe? Cal Donovan receives a urgent summons from the Vatican to fly to Italy in order to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Cal is a Harvard professor of religion and archaeology and is determined to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds. After Giovanni is kidnapped, Cal realizes that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret. I enjoyed following Cal and Giovanni's sister, Irene, as they searched for Giovanni. Their search took them to Croatia, Abruzzo and Rome Italy, Cambridge MA, and finally onto Jerusalem. The Nazis want to create a Fourth Reich and since 1935 they have been searching for Christian treasures such as; the sword that pierced Jesus Christ's right side, the thorns from his crown and the nails from the cross. The action starts at the beginning as both sides begin their search and it doesn't let up until the very suspenseful ending. I found the characters to be well-drawn and believable. The book was an easy and enjoyable read and very well-written. I have read Cooper's Will Piper series and enjoyed those books very much. I am looking forward to reading his John Camp Down Series and his standalone, Near Death. He is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. I would highly recommend this Cal Donovan novel to those who love religious thrillers with plenty of action and adventure.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Book Inspector

    This book is told from multiple perspectives and it has a very wide variety of characters to choose from. I really liked Cal (kind of the main character of this book), he is a very charming, intelligent and likeable character. Sometimes I used to get lost between who is who, due to a huge amount of different characters, whose names were not the easiest to pronounce. I am not very religious, but I really liked the way history and religion were combined in this novel, it was truly amusing. This nov This book is told from multiple perspectives and it has a very wide variety of characters to choose from. I really liked Cal (kind of the main character of this book), he is a very charming, intelligent and likeable character. Sometimes I used to get lost between who is who, due to a huge amount of different characters, whose names were not the easiest to pronounce. I am not very religious, but I really liked the way history and religion were combined in this novel, it was truly amusing. This novel is very well researched, and it was visible, that the author loves history and knows how to present it to the reader in a fun manner. The narrative always keeps changing between different locations and different times. I really liked this constant change, it made the book lively and it kept me entertained. It is quite a short book, so every chapter brings something new and unexpected. This novel has a lot of facts and information and wasn’t the easiest read, it requires quite a bit of concentration. The chapters have decent length and didn’t drag to me. The ending was interesting and rounded up the story nicely. So, to conclude, it is a fast-paced and educational novel, filled with adventure, amusing characters and always changing plot. If you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code or similar books, I think you would enjoy it as well. Give this book a try, and I hope you will like it as much as I did. 🙂

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rose

    This was an interesting view of Catholic theory as expressed by a professor of Divinity at Harvard University, Cal Donovan, the main character. I like the way, this author, takes myths and presents them in an almost believable story. As someone, who has read historical fiction, some of the facts mentioned are true, but some are based on myths unproved. But this story bounces around time periods from the days of 632 AD to the present, following the discovery of relics from the cross that Jesus wa This was an interesting view of Catholic theory as expressed by a professor of Divinity at Harvard University, Cal Donovan, the main character. I like the way, this author, takes myths and presents them in an almost believable story. As someone, who has read historical fiction, some of the facts mentioned are true, but some are based on myths unproved. But this story bounces around time periods from the days of 632 AD to the present, following the discovery of relics from the cross that Jesus was hung on, primarily the actual timber of wood, the nails, the crown of thorns and the lance, all objects that came in touch with his body. As can be proven from historical records, Hitler, encouraged by Himmler, searched also for these relics, encouraged by a particular view of the power of the relics. A reference is made to the researcher Otto Rahn, employed to find these relics, a true-life person, whose writings of his travels is the basis of the villain group who was trying to create Fourth Reich. The other myth/story incorporated into this book was stigmatism and the reference to Saint Padre Pio, whose stigmatism was not fully documented by medical examinations during his life enough to deter his being canonized. The young priest in this story is based on his experiences. Read this book with a skeptical eye and you will be entertained well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fred Rayworth

    The Sign Of The Cross was a decent DaVinci Code type thriller with a different protagonist and of course, different plot. It was steeped in Catholic mythology and religion, of which I don’t believe, but given that I took it as a thriller and half fantasy, I had a good time. I’ve seen lots of this stuff before, but then again, I’ve seen plenty of the butler did it, so I don’t hold any of that against the author. In fact, I rather enjoyed it with all the plot twists and turns, and the plenty of su The Sign Of The Cross was a decent DaVinci Code type thriller with a different protagonist and of course, different plot. It was steeped in Catholic mythology and religion, of which I don’t believe, but given that I took it as a thriller and half fantasy, I had a good time. I’ve seen lots of this stuff before, but then again, I’ve seen plenty of the butler did it, so I don’t hold any of that against the author. In fact, I rather enjoyed it with all the plot twists and turns, and the plenty of surprises. The writing was mostly outstanding, with solid third-person limited and past-tense, with only the occasional slip into head-hopping. The chapters and scenes were relatively short most of the time, which made for a faster read. However, there were a few times where the chapters were a bit long, and the narrative seemed to bog down a little. My only real beef was one part of the ending, plus the hero was a bit of a jerk. Outside of that, I had a great time and recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Romero

    I do love a good religious conspiracy book! Especially one so well researched. As a Catholic and a History teacher the subject matter was very interesting. We all know the Nazi's made off with a lot of holy relics and artifacts. Remember the movie The Monument Men? And it's quite easy in this day and age to imagine those bad guys are still out there trying to take things that don't belong to them and they have no problem killing anyone in their way. Full of suspense, rich in history and fast paced I do love a good religious conspiracy book! Especially one so well researched. As a Catholic and a History teacher the subject matter was very interesting. We all know the Nazi's made off with a lot of holy relics and artifacts. Remember the movie The Monument Men? And it's quite easy in this day and age to imagine those bad guys are still out there trying to take things that don't belong to them and they have no problem killing anyone in their way. Full of suspense, rich in history and fast paced action will draw you in and keep you biting your lip! Cal is a good character. Funny, a bit of a drinker and yet can still hold his own with the Pope. He is like a Catholic Indiana Jones! And I loved every minute of this book. Netgalley/Severn House May 01, 2018

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate Eminhizer

    I received an advanced copy of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was a fact paced book full of twists and turns up until the very end. It was full of heart pumping suspense and action from the opening chapters to the closing pages. The author should be placed in the same conversations as Dan Brown when it comes to superbly executed historical christian fiction. There was a considerable amount of research applied throughout and it added quite a bit to the plausibilit I received an advanced copy of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was a fact paced book full of twists and turns up until the very end. It was full of heart pumping suspense and action from the opening chapters to the closing pages. The author should be placed in the same conversations as Dan Brown when it comes to superbly executed historical christian fiction. There was a considerable amount of research applied throughout and it added quite a bit to the plausibility of parts, not all, of the plot. Extremely well done and worth the read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Doug Yonce

    Glenn Cooper is a master writer, and I was excited to learn of a new series. This book did not disappoint. It successfully mixes history, mystery, intrigue, religion, and politics while educating the reader in a most interesting novel.. Multiple timelines are often used needlessly, but here the technique works to perfection. The characters are well-developed and the promise of more books to continue the story has me waiting anxiously. I received an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange Glenn Cooper is a master writer, and I was excited to learn of a new series. This book did not disappoint. It successfully mixes history, mystery, intrigue, religion, and politics while educating the reader in a most interesting novel.. Multiple timelines are often used needlessly, but here the technique works to perfection. The characters are well-developed and the promise of more books to continue the story has me waiting anxiously. I received an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mariù

    I liked it! It wasn't the best from Glenn Cooper, but certainly not the worst. The lack of female characters was glaringly obvious, except for the love interest of course, but maybe it's better this way, since in his books Cooper seems to be unable to create a female character that's not a secretary or a love interest or a damsel in distress of some kind (and most of the time it's all three). But I already know this when I start a Cooper book so 🤷🏻‍♀️ I wanted something that didn't require brain I liked it! It wasn't the best from Glenn Cooper, but certainly not the worst. The lack of female characters was glaringly obvious, except for the love interest of course, but maybe it's better this way, since in his books Cooper seems to be unable to create a female character that's not a secretary or a love interest or a damsel in distress of some kind (and most of the time it's all three). But I already know this when I start a Cooper book so 🤷🏻‍♀️ I wanted something that didn't require brain power, and this was perfect for this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aruna Sathish

    An amazing religious thriller. This is my introduction to Glenn Cooper and I am so glad that I could enjoy this one being an ardent fan of Dan Brown. After "Inferno" I never read anything in this genre. Quite fast paced and gripping I will be surprised of an avid reader does not finish this in one go. The premise is around a young priest with the stigmata and his kidnapping by a Neo-Nazi gang. Harvard professor Cal Donovan is pulled in and there kicks a quest for Christ's relics. Definitely wort An amazing religious thriller. This is my introduction to Glenn Cooper and I am so glad that I could enjoy this one being an ardent fan of Dan Brown. After "Inferno" I never read anything in this genre. Quite fast paced and gripping I will be surprised of an avid reader does not finish this in one go. The premise is around a young priest with the stigmata and his kidnapping by a Neo-Nazi gang. Harvard professor Cal Donovan is pulled in and there kicks a quest for Christ's relics. Definitely worth reading for an adrenaline rush in these boring times.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon L. Gilman

    Excellent book! I thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride of this book. Glenn Cooper is a truly gifted author. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys excitement and a good story line. On to the next! Excellent book! I thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride of this book. Glenn Cooper is a truly gifted author. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys excitement and a good story line. On to the next!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is a religious conspiracy thriller after the fashion of Dan Brown. It is well crafted. The story is centred on the Christian miracle of stigmata, a subject I am interested in. I still think no one can write religious thrillers like Dan Brown, but Sign of the Cross is pretty good in its own right.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Ugh I can't believe I read this to the gruesome end. Dumb storyline, good characters, well developed but too gory and bloody. Did not like this book. Definitely not a fun read, filled with torture and violence. Ugh ugly. 😫 Ugh I can't believe I read this to the gruesome end. Dumb storyline, good characters, well developed but too gory and bloody. Did not like this book. Definitely not a fun read, filled with torture and violence. Ugh ugly. 😫

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alizé Latini

    Easy read, it’s been a perfect distraction from this crazy month...but. Unfortunately for it, it is not aging well, meaning that there are a couple of anachronistic plot twist that were perfectly fine for when it was written but now they are a bit cringy. I love Glenn nonetheless!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Glenn is back to his best with this book, can’t wait to start the next in the series

  26. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Having read the third in the series thought I'd go back to the first book: Cal is an academic sleuth...detect Dan Brown/Tom Hanks?????. An easy bit of escapism. Having read the third in the series thought I'd go back to the first book: Cal is an academic sleuth...detect Dan Brown/Tom Hanks?????. An easy bit of escapism.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen's World

    Full of intrigue and suspense, this will keep you reading through the night as you try to work out what is going on. Will he get to the answers in time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I highly recommend The Sign of The Cross to fans who enjoy the works of Dan Brown, although this read isn't exactly like Dan Brown's work, the air of religious mystery and conspiracy is similar, as well as the action packed chapters. Just read it! The main protagonist is the theologically equipped Cal Donovan (heart eyes) who has become one of my favourite leading men. He is approached to investigate into the case of a young recently ordained priest who has become to show signs of the Stigmata. I I highly recommend The Sign of The Cross to fans who enjoy the works of Dan Brown, although this read isn't exactly like Dan Brown's work, the air of religious mystery and conspiracy is similar, as well as the action packed chapters. Just read it! The main protagonist is the theologically equipped Cal Donovan (heart eyes) who has become one of my favourite leading men. He is approached to investigate into the case of a young recently ordained priest who has become to show signs of the Stigmata. If you aren't aware what this is, it's wounds of the cross thought to have been inflicted on Jesus. As you'd thing, questions begin to arise whether the wounds are self inflicted or true. Sign of the Cross fully emerges itself into the conspiracy of these acts, as well as flicking to finds of relics involved in the crucifixion and a deadly neo - Nazi brotherhood lurking and planning in the shadows. The dark lingering atmosphere is darkly electrifying at times, unconsciously you'll chew your nail down to the quick before you realise. Glenn has taken a huge subject and managed to successfully and sensitively inject it into a jaw dropingly good storyline. I felt that I was in a literary storm, and I didn't know where the narrative was going to end up. The taut atmosphere lingers constantly throughout! What stood out for me was the research that Glenn Cooper obviously undertook while writing this novel, including the basics like the stigmata, The Crucifixion, as well as perceived Vatican 'miracles' and how they investigate into them. The authenticity sky rocketed with the inclusion of Padre Pio (find out more about him here), I thought it was great to include real life events of those themes included in the dialogue. I also enjoyed the flicks between timelines and view points, which provided both the geographical locations involved and a more in-depth visualisation of the events. The whole book was drenched in twistiness, packed with plenty of action and adventure, as well as being pumper full of some tasty historical essence feel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carmine Apra'

    Quite good. beside other things (religion, stigmata, nazi), a nice thriller and/or investigation story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Excellent left me wanting more ...

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