cover image Crucified


Michael Slade, . . Severn, $28.95 (333pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6652-3

The discovery more than 60 years later of the wreckage of a British bomber that crashed in Germany in 1944 triggers a hunt for connections to Christ's crucifixion, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition in this middling religious thriller from Slade (Kamikaze ). Wyatt Rook, an American writer who specializes in books and TV documentaries that dig up dirt about recent history, agrees to help a sexy young British researcher, Liz Hannah, look into the case of the crashed plane (of which her grandfather was a crew member). The complicated trail takes the pair from England to Germany, where a plot involving Churchill and a Nazi traitor called Judas began, and then to Golgotha. Meanwhile, the Vatican's “Art Historian” is worried (“If the resurrected bomber yields a map to the Judas package, Christendom might be rocked to its two-thousand-year-old foundations”). Those with an insatiable appetite for Da Vinci Code knockoffs will be most rewarded. (Oct.)