The Second Messiah: A Thriller

Hardcover | November 7, 2013

byGlenn Meade

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In the desert near Jerusalem, an archaeologist is murdered after he uncovers stunning evidence in a Dead Sea scroll about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The two-thousand-year-old parchment containing enigmatic references to not one but two messiahs is stolen before it can be fully translated. 

In Rome, a charismatic American priest with long-hidden secrets is elected pope, setting off widespread panic among some of the faithful who question whether he is the anti-Christ or the world’s new savior. As the conspiracy over the scroll explodes into a political and religious standoff, two people find themselves on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of unknown assassins in their search for truth. 

Archaeologist Jack Cane and Israeli police inspector Lela Raul must solve the mystery of the Second Messiah and uncover the real secret behind the message of Jesus before they are permanently silenced and the scroll and its contents are forever lost to humanity.

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From the Publisher

In the desert near Jerusalem, an archaeologist is murdered after he uncovers stunning evidence in a Dead Sea scroll about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The two-thousand-year-old parchment containing enigmatic references to not one but two messiahs is stolen before it can be fully translated. In Rome, a charismatic American pr...

Author Glenn Meade has written "Snow Wolf," a book about the Cold War and the CIA's plan to assassinate Joseph Stalin, and "Brandenburg," a story about the taking over of Germany by a neo-Nazi group led by Hitler's son.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.5 inPublished:November 7, 2013Publisher:Howard BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1451611846

ISBN - 13:9781451611847

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Read from the Book

1EAST OF JERUSALEMISRAEL Leon Gold didn’t know that he had two minutes left to live and he was grinning. “Did anyone ever tell you that you’ve got terrific legs?” he asked the drop-dead gorgeous woman seated next to him. Gold was twenty-three, a tanned, good-looking, muscular young man from New Jersey whose folks had immigrated to Israel. As he drove his Dodge truck with military markings past a row of sun-drenched orange groves, he inhaled the sweet scent through the rolled-down window, then used the moment to glimpse the figure of the woman seated next to him. Private Rachel Else was stunning. Gold, a corporal, eyed Rachel’s uniform skirt riding up her legs, the top button open on her shirt to reveal a flash of cleavage. She was driving him so crazy that he found it hard to concentrate on his job—delivering a consignment to an Israel Defense Forces outpost, thirty miles away. The road ahead was a coil of tortuous bends. “Well, did anyone ever tell you that you’ve got terrific legs?” Gold repeated. A tiny smile curled Rachel’s lips. “Yeah, you did. Five minutes ago, Leon. Tell me something new.” Gold flicked a look in the rearview mirror and saw sunlight igniting the windows and the glinting dome of a fast-disappearing Jerusalem. There was only one reason he stayed in this godforsaken country with its endless friction with the Palestinians, high taxes, grumbling Jews, and searing heat. The Israeli women. They were simply gorgeous. And the Israel Defense Forces had its fair share of beauties. Gold was determined that Rachel was going to be his next date. He shifted down a gear as the road twisted up and the orange scent was replaced by gritty desert air. “Okay, then did anyone ever mention you’ve got seductive eyes and a terrific figure?” “You mentioned those too, Leon. You’re repeating yourself.” “Are you going to come on a date with me or not, Private Else?” “No. Keep your eyes on the road, Corporal.” “I’ve got my eyes on the road.” “They’re on my legs.” Gold grinned again. “Hey, can I help it if you make my eyes wander?” “Keep them on the road, Leon. You crash and we’re both in trouble.” Gold focused on the empty road as it rose up into sand-dusted limestone hills. Rachel was proving a tough nut to crack, but he reckoned he still had an ace up his sleeve. As the road snaked round a bend he nudged the truck nearer the edge. The wheels skidded, sending loose gravel skittering into the rock-strewn ravine below. Alarm crept into Rachel’s voice. “Leon! Don’t do that.” Gold winked, nudging the Dodge even closer to the road’s edge. “Maybe I can make you change your mind?” “Stop it, Leon. Don’t fool around, it’s crazy. You’ll get us killed.” Gold grinned as the wheels skidded again. “How about that date? Just put me out of my misery. Yes, or no?” “Leon! Oh no!” Rachel stared out past the windshield. Gold’s eyes snapped straight ahead as he swung the wheel away from the brink. A white Ford pickup appeared from around the next bend. Gold jumped on the brakes but his blood turned to ice and he knew he was doomed. His Dodge started to skid as the two vehicles hurtled toward the ravine’s edge, trying to avoid a crash. The pickup was like an express train that couldn’t stop and then everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Gold clearly saw the pickup’s occupants. Three adults in the front cab, two teenagers in the open back—a boy and a girl seated on some crates. The smiles on their faces collapsed into horror as the two vehicles shrieked past each other. There was a grating clang of metal striking metal as the rears of both vehicles briefly collided and then Gold screamed, felt a breeze rush past him as the Dodge flew through the air. His scream combined with Rachel’s in a bloodcurdling duet that died abruptly when their truck smashed nose-first into the ravine and their gas tank ignited. Fifteen miles from Jerusalem, the distant percussion of the massive blast could be heard as the army truck’s cargo of antipersonnel mines detonated instantly, vaporizing Gold’s and Rachel’s handsome young bodies into bone and ash. The Catholic priest was following two hundred yards behind the pickup, driving a battered old Renault, when he felt the blast through the rolled-down window. The percussion pained his ears and he slammed on his brakes. The Renault skidded to a halt. The priest paled as he stared at the orange ball of flame rising into the air, followed by an oily cloud of smoke. Instinct made him stab his foot on the accelerator and the Renault sped forward. When he reached the edge of the ravine, he floored the brakes and jumped out of his car. The priest saw the flames consume the blazing shell of the army truck and knew there was no hope for whoever was inside. His focus turned to the upturned white Ford pickup farther along the ravine, smoke pouring from its cabin. The priest blessed himself as he stared blankly at the accident scene. “May the Lord have mercy on their souls.” His plan had gone horribly wrong. This was not exactly what he had intended. If the pickup’s occupants had to die, so be it—the priceless, two-thousand-year-old treasure inside the vehicle was worth the loss of human life—but he hadn’t foreseen such awful carnage. He moved toward the pickup. A string of deafening explosions erupted as more mines ignited. The priest was forced to crouch low. Seconds later his eyes shifted back to the upturned Ford pickup. He could make out the occupants trapped inside the smoke-filled cabin. One of them frantically kicked at the windshield, trying to escape. Nearby the sprawled bodies of a teenage boy and girl lay among the wreckage. When the explosions died, the priest stood. His gaze swung back to the burning pickup. The desperate passenger had stopped kicking and his body had fallen limp. As thick smoke smothered the cabin, the priest caught sight of the leather map case, lying wedged inside the windshield. He knew it contained the ancient scroll that had been discovered that morning at Qumran, and that the pickup was on its way to the Antiquities Department in Jerusalem with its precious cargo. But the priest was desperate to ensure that the scroll never reached its destination. His orders from Rome were clear. This was one astonishing secret that had to be kept hidden from the world. Flames started to lick around the map case. “Dear God, no.” He scrambled down the rocks toward the wreckage. © 2011 Glenn Meade

Editorial Reviews

“Another literate and suspenseful thriller from an estimable storyteller who proves that beginner’s luck had nothing to do with his impressive debut.”