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The Vatican Secret

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Member Reviews

The first of two books published this year, The Vatican Secret by David Leadbeater is the first of the new Joe Mason series. Joe is an ex-MI5 operative and gets a job guarding an elderly professor and his daughter in Rome. A cushy task until the professor is killed and an ancient manuscript taken, forcing Joe to decide whether to hunt down the killer. Teaming up with an unwanted partner, they decide to follow the clues and solve the mystery. An action thriller which traverses Europe in order to find the manuscript and help the daughter save her father’s legacy. An enjoyable action adventure with likeable characters and fast paced narrative that makes for a three-and-a-half-star rating. With thanks to Avon Books UK and the author, for an uncorrected advanced copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given, without persuasion.
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Well I don’t know if this book does really exist or not, but even the mere hint of it would be enough to have the characters do what they did in this fantastic book to prevent any secrets getting out.  I wasn’t sure what the book was letting me in for when I first started reading but it fair hooked you in so that you wanted to keep on reading to see what happened.
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<i>The Vatican Secret</i> is a fast-paced but far-fetched adventure about trying to protect a book that have been kept secret for centuries. The books fortune lies with Joe Mason a former MI5 soldier who has lost his confidence because of an incident where two of the soldiers under his command lose their lives. <i>The Vatican Secret</i> is in one of a new series of books written by the best-selling, prolific author David Leadbeater.

Mason is now working for a private security company.  He has lost his confidence as a soldier and no longer works for the government.  In the private industry he is coupled with Roxy who also has a sorted history in the security business.  The two are given what looks like an easy assignment protecting two scientists doing research in the basement of the Vatican. While they are working there is a security breach in the Vatican and a book a stolen. When they realize what has been stolen the researchers reveal that this could destroy the Christian church as we know it and the book must be found.  And so begins a global chase to stop a plot to reveal The Vatican’s deepest secrets.

The character development in this novel is quite interesting.  We meet Joe Mason and we learn about his history and why is the way he is.  His partner Roxy is a security agent who also has a history.  We slowly hear what her issues are as the book continues.  These two people are much more complicated than first appears leading to some interesting perspectives.  There some other interesting characters and least one particular character who comes from the other side. Leadbeater does a very good job of unfolding the depth of his characters slowly as the story goes on.  He brings the reader along to the point where you were actually cheering for the team based on how well you have come to know them.

I am a bit concerned that the main evil character Marduk is quite insane and a little bit far-fetched.  I find it hard to believe this character could be real.  His behaviour and dialogue make him almost a cartoon character.

The story itself is a bit far-fetched and becomes more of a cartoon fantasy than a story. To think that there is one single book that can actually do such significant damage is a little bit more than I can accept. As well, the fact there could be a large organization whose sole purpose is to completely destroy a large religious organization’s belief system is difficult to swallow.  Finally, the fact that there is an organization that’s willing to use guns and bombs in the middle of large crowds in numerous large cities in Europe just to stop the team from finding organisation headquarters is quite unrealistic. One has to suspend belief completely to accept the storyline as plausible or in any way realistic.

I recommend this book to people who really like a fast-paced action-packed story where the outnumbered heroes battle a vast enemy. I gave this story 3 on 5 because although the characters are interesting, the story is too far-fetched and you have to suspend belief too much to get into the book. I want to thank NetGalley and Avon books for providing me with a digital copy of the story.  I give this a review voluntarily.
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The plot was just too trope-y for me,  I did like ex-MI 5 officer Joe Mason but the whole hunt across the globe for stolen treasure of the Vatican = been there done that.  I know I'm the odd one out but I DNF.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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What a truly fantastic romp of an adventure!!

An incredibly easy book to read, you just get swept away with the characters, the action and the fun. The start of a new series starring a mottley crew lead by Joe Mason, The Vatican Secret is a thrill a page action adventure that takes the reader all around the globe hunting a book and an evil Amori man.

I've always been fascinated with the Vatican, its archive and the secret it holds and although this is a work of fiction, it still allows me, the reader, a chance to imagine. You sit back and read, wondering what secrets the Vatican is protecting, or is it? You just don't know - but that's the fun of books like this, it allows your imagination to run riot and re write history in your own mind!!

I can't wait for the next adventure. Magnifico!
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I really struggled to engage with this book and found it quite difficult to finish. I'm typically drawn to novels rich in characterisation, particularly where this is achieved through "show don't tell" writing. This book didn't deliver that for me. The pacing is also insanely fast - within just a few chapters, Leadbetter reaches a point that would take most authors a third of a book to get to. I would have preferred more detail, set up and nuance. 

It's all a matter of personal preference, of course. If you're actively looking for a thriller with a plot that zips along, then this could well be the book for you. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Vatican Secret is a solid read. Action packed novel will nice bunch of interesting characters and old book full of secrets in background. Nice writing style, easy to follow narrative. I enjoyed it.
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A solid action thriller not stop action and one of the best prologue I've read. In the vein of James Rollins if you like action adventure book don't miss this.
Thanks to Avon books and Netgalley for a review copy.
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Another great book from David, History, excitement and plenty of action. I was totally engrossed reading this story, While I loved the characters, one did make me want to jump in the book and slap their face, but that shows how fantastic the writer is when they can bring out their readers emotions with their books.
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Wow.. Get ready for an adventurous thriller!! 

This is an unputdownable book - I had to finish it at one go.. It was indeed gripping! 

Am super eager to see more of Joe Mason!!
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I just had to read this new series.  After making a glutton f myself and finishing almost all the Matt Drake books, I needed something a wee bit different but with the same feel.  Joe and the Gang did not disappoint.

Mason is burned out.  He doesn't want to kill anymore, he just wants to keep people safe.  His new job with a top-tier security outfit should fit the bill but fate has other ideas.  On a "babysitting" mission with his new partner, Roxy, everything goes pear-shaped and they are soon on a globetrotting, adrenaline fuelled adventure!

I really enjoyed this new series.  Whilst it has the feel of Matt Drake and other thriller series it is completely fresh with new villains, the Amori, and its supremely ruthless leader Marduk.  This is not a man you want to get on the bad side of.  With action, adventure, blackmail, strained family relationships, new friendships, and allies that you don't quite know if you can trust - this has the hallmarks of a fab series.

The team are all a bit dinged up and have their own issues, none of them are sparkly clean and fresh out of the wrapper.  This just makes them oh so realistic and gives them so much depth.  Can't wait for no. 2!

I read an advanced copy via NetGalley and volunteered to leave this review
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The Vatican Secret is a fast paced book with non stop action.   I enjoyed the story and the characters of the book.  It starts out as a caper to rob the Vatican.  A researcher and his daughter get caught up in the theft.  The researcher dies and the daughter tries get back the stolen book.  Looking forward to the sequel.
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The Vatican Secret is the first in the Joe Mason series. Ex-MI5 officer Joe Mason is thrown into the hunt for the Vatican’s most treasured possession, a book of secrets, passed from pope to pope, but has been stolen by an ancient clandestine society. Assisted by his crew. They find themselves in a race around the globe to find the book before the secrets are revealed. 

This book had me hooked from the start, it’s fast paced, explosive and will keep you entertained throughout. Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and the author for the chance to review.
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Thank you NetGalley for a pre-release of The Vatican Secret.

If you're a fan of Dan Brown's book you'll like this one - and I don't say that lightly. Normally I'm not a fan of books that sell themselves as "like Dan Brown', but this one is an exception.

This book has it all. There is action, intrigue, suspense, and a crew of misfits trying to save Christianity as we know it. The descriptions were well done - especially of historical landmarks - and the writing style was very well done. The story also kept a nice rapid pace, with me on the edge of my seat itching to know what would happen next. This is the first book in a new series, and I'm really looking forward to reading the next books. I highly recommend giving The Vatican Secret a read!
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THE VATICAN SECRET by DAVID LEADBEATER is an exciting and suspenseful thriller with nteresting characters and a nailbiting plot. 
I like the way the author shows us how this crew of broken human beings make up a team and chase the Vatican’s Book of Secrets and the wicked Amori through Europe and Iraq in order to try and save the world.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Avon Books UK. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
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You’ve met Jason Bourne. You’ve met Jack Reacher. Now it’s time to meet Joe Mason. 

Mason, an ex-MI5 operative is on the hunt for the Vatican’s most treasured possession, The Book Of Secrets, handed down from pope to pope. When it’s stolen by the Amori, an ancient society and centuries-old enemy, Mason is pulled into a global chase to find the book before the Vatican’s deepest secrets can be revealed. 

The 4000-year-old society, the Amori, aims to steal the Vatican Book of Secrets from the Apostolic Archive and bring the Catholic church and the Vatican to its knees by revealing the secrets within the pages. They hold the belief that there’s proof to unravel 2000 years of inaccuracies and manipulation. To breach one of the most protected buildings in the world, they’ll need to recruit a member of the Swiss Guard as well as ignite an encrypted cyber attack. Can they do it and get out alive? 

This 5-star thriller is a non-stop action-packed adventure. Leadbeater is no stranger to action thrillers; he’s been writing for 40 years! It’s no surprise then that this reads like the latest blockbuster film. It’s incredibly taut - Leadbetter doesn’t give his readers any space to do anything but be in the moment. The courageous protagonists, an unlikely team of heroes, face life and death scenarios as they hunt down the evil protagonists who show little regard for human life in their unquenchable desire for this secret book. The sense of urgency and the chase scenes maintain momentum as the team hop planes, dodge bullets, and pursue evil within the labyrinth underground of the walled enclave within Rome. 

I was left breathless, my heart pounding as I turned the last page. I eagerly await Joe Mason’s next adrenaline-filled adventure in The Demon Code to be published in August 2022. 

I was gifted this advance copy by David Leadbeater, Avon Books UK, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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If the Da Vinci Code/Angels and Demons had a baby with a Michael Bay action movie, this is the Vatican Secret! Full of intrigue, memorable protagonists and certifiable villains this book will keep the reader hooked from chapter to chapter. Definitely a fun ride and the pacing was good so no chapters felt like filler or were boring.
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This book was sent to me for review by Netgalley…mystery…mayhem…intrigue…plots…theft…these themes are prominent in this book…the author is excellent at his craft…he has a woven a story that reads like nonfiction…. The characters are dedicated no matter what they are doing…red herrings…a conclusion that is…wait…read and discover.
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Buckle up because you are about to go for a ride. This books is action packed and just when you think you can relax, something else goes on. I am eagerly waiting for the next in this series.
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If you're looking for a rip-roaring action adventure, this is the book for you! The Vatican Secret reminded me of the great pulp adventures of yore. Fans of James Rollins or Matthew Reilly will love this one. Some of the best genre books have been based around the secrets of The Vatican and this book deserves a place among them. And, as a bonus, you get the formation of a formidable new team of action heroes! A thrilling plot and the colorful characters make for an exciting read. Thank you to Avon Books and NetGalley for the advanced reading copy!
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