SHROUDED IN SILENCE By Robert L. Wise 336 pages, $14.99
Abingdon Press, March 2011
Synopsis: American Biblical scholars studying in Rome, Jack and Michelle Townsend, set out on a quest to find what they believe to be the original ending to the Gospel of Mark. Following ancient clues, they head for Rome, but what starts out as a scholarly search turns violent as two separate groups strive to stop the Townsends, plunging their quiet research into chaos. After a bomb destroys their office, the Townsends are pushed to the limits of their determination and commitment to God’s will. Can faith in God’s purposes endure in a swirl of conspiracy and espionage that brings the couple to the brink of death?
Shrouded in Silence has the parts that should make for an excellent page turner. It's got religious controversy, underground anti-American terrorists, and a gorgeous setting in the midst of the Vatican. But the sum of its parts never comes together as a whole. Sadly, I found this latest book by Robert L. Wise short on suspense and believability. Guns are just handed to our heros and they instantly know how to use them? Access to high security areas in the Vatican is opened with no background checks in the midst of terrorist bombings? As a book lover, I am more than happy to suspend my disbelief for the benefit of the story being told, but the plot holes are too numerous to overlook and to list here. What should be twists and turns in this story sadly are clear shots to what's coming next. The characters' intentions are easily "read" and the bad guys stood out early on. I kept waiting to be proven wrong, but knew the ending about a third of the way into this book.
I really hated writing this and put it off for a couple of days because I just was so disappointed in what could and should have been a a tight thriller.
1 out of 5 stars.
This e-galley was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected by review.