Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Michael Slade
Severn House
RRP: £10.99, US $15.95
ISBN: 978 1 84751 080 8
Available 01 March 2009

In the closing days of World War Two Bomber command sends Fletch ‘Wrath’ Hannah and the crew of the Ace of Clubs off on a secret mission, a mission from which few would return. In the present Wrath's granddaughter enlists the help of Wyatt Rook, a successful writer and historian, to unravel the secret behind her grandfather’s disappearance and the truth about the Judas conspiracy - a conspiracy that may rock the Catholic Church to its very foundations; a conspiracy that the church is willing to kill to protect...

Crucified is the new novel by Michael Slade, another book which follows the Da Vinci Code’s path with a conspiracy involving the Vatican. In fact the two have so much in common that fans of Dan Brown's original are likely to enjoy this tale.

Slade’s hero is Rook, a writer who specialises in uncovering conspiracies. Having completed a book on the Dresden bombing he is on a book signing tour when he is approached by the vivacious Liz who has a proposition for him. Ever one for a mystery, and the promise of sex, Rook apparently drops his tour and heads off to Germany where the bomber, Ace of Spades, has been unearthed during a routine autobahn construction.

The book sweeps from the passion of Christ past the bombers fate to the present day unravelling the mystery of the Judas package along the way. To keep the pace going, and to introduce an element of threat, the Vatican has sent Legion, a particularly unpleasant religiously obsessed psychopath, to recover the package by any means. Unfortunately, for those he encounters, this usually means being slaughtered.

Whilst Rook and Liz are pretty straight forward characters, I didn’t feel by the end of the book that I had been given any real insight to their characters, Legion is a bit of an enigma with Slade unable to decide whether he is truly possessed by Satan or just mentally ill. If Satan was in possession of him he came across as sadistic but oddly disempowered for a former angel.

Of course, the whole point of these books is for the reader to go along a journey which is connected with enough historical fact to lend it plausibility before the great reveal. Truth to tell, I don’t know if it’s the fact that, although no longer practicing, I was raised a Catholic, that I found the reveal about Judus a bit of a letdown. I won’t spoil it for those who are likely to read the book but it’s the sort of thing that was discussed and half excepted when I was growing up. After all, someone had to betray Jesus otherwise he would not have died and been resurrected, the Passion would never have happened leaving the Old Testament with a bit of a naff ending. The other supposed reveal about the makeup of Jesus’s DNA is also a letdown. If you believe that God created man then he created him with the need to have both male and female DNA combined, so no reason Jesus shouldn’t have both as he was born a human being.

In the end the novel is a competent thriller which is let down by its ending, leaving the most interesting character in the book to be the villain.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£10.99 (
£10.99 (
£10.99 (
£10.99 (
$10.85 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.