Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 11 June 2022
Marduk, the self-proclaimed monarch of the ancient Babylonian sect, the Amori, is determined to destroy the Vatican and Christianity, exposing it as a lie. Rising from the resulting chaos, the Amori would rule the world. To achieve his goal, he organizes a team to steal the ‘Book of Secrets’ hidden inside the Vatican’s Secret Archives. Joe Mason and Roxy Banks, haunted by their past, are given a job to protect Professor Pierce Rusk and his daughter Sally for seven days while they’re engaged on a research project inside the Archives. While there, they encounter Marduk’s thief and Professor Rusk is killed. Bent on avenging her father, accompanied by Joe and Roxy, they embark on an action-packed search for Marduk’s New Babylon in an attempt to retrieve the ‘Book of Secrets’ and prevent destruction of Christianity.

Marduk is revealed as a megalomaniac within the first two pages of ‘The Vatican Secret’, and his team of thieves exaggerated caricatures who lack any credibility. Joe Mason and Roxy Banks carry so much psychological baggage from their past lives, it is a wonder they are able to function at all. In a totally incredulous attempt to retrieve the ‘Book of Secrets’, Sally Rusk manages to easily decipher five clues left in five famous churches that would reveal location of Marduk’s New Babylon. Always one step ahead of Marduk’s assassins, ‘The Vatican Secret’ is filled with car chases, lots of physical action, gunfights, and miraculous escapes. Finally, Joe Mason’s ragtag team confronts Marduk in a climax that will leave readers shaking their heads, relieved they managed to reach the last page of this totally fanciful work that should never have survived the slush pile. The book’s plot has more holes than a kitchen sieve, but David Leadbeater hopes this will not be noticed as each new page thrusts the reader into a new round of totally unreal action sequences. ‘The Vatican Secret’ is a great read for those simply interested in wild chases and gunfights, unencumbered by detailed plotting, characterization, and a believable story. A thoroughly disappointing book from David Leadbeater.
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