The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness

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Publisher: Moonshine Cover

Date of publication: October 21st 2020

Genre: Historical Thriller, Metaphysical Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Abebooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

During the height of the Spanish Inquisition, a ruthless inquisitor by the name of Bishop Roberto Promane tortures a fellow priest, Father Sanchez, for information about the whereabouts of a relic known as The Judas Robe. The robe holds the key to some highly sensitive secrets about Jesus that Pope Sixtus does not want to be revealed. Promane succeeds in uncovering the robe only to lose it to Sanchez’s rescuers, the knights of The Order Of Christ.

Present Day
Joel Gardiner, a pre-med student, is attacked one night by thugs after leaving a campus pub. A young woman named Sophia rescues him and reveals that Joel’s mother, Natalie, is descended from the Order Of Christ, the faction that has kept the robe hidden for centuries. These thugs are part of a conspiracy group led by
Bishop Newman who seeks the robe in order to uncover a secret held for centuries.

While trying to evade the conspirators Joel and his girlfriend, Lisa, begin to research the matter. The ‘Judas Robe’ that Bishop Newman currently seeks is the key to the revelation, that of discovered, will shake the foundations of Christianity.


First Line:

“Bishop, scripture teaches that God is beyond the physical reach of this world,” Father Sanchez said.

the judas robe by larry rodness

When I was first approached to read and review The Judas Robe, I almost turned it down. I didn’t think that I would enjoy reading the book because of the blurb. But something made me pause and rethink my decision. I ultimately decided that I would read The Judas Robe. Why? I am fascinated by books like this. I have read (and loved) Dan Brown’s books and figured this one would be very similar. It wasn’t. But, instead, I got an exciting thriller that kept me on my toes while reading.

The Judas Robe had an exciting plotline. Starting in Spain, during the Inquisition, the first few chapters lay out what the Judas Robe is and what happened to the four people who were in contact with it. It goes to the present day, where Joel goes to school for pre-med and works at a research facility. He is jumped one night while going to a party and is saved by a young woman. In the days afterward, Joel finds out about the robe. He also discovers that his religious fanatic mother is descended from an order sworn to hide it. That puts him and his mother in the crosshairs of a group led by Bishop Newman, a close friend and confidant to Joel’s mother. A series of events sets Joel, his mother, his girlfriend, a priest, and the young woman who saved Joel on a quest to find out where the robe is hidden and retrieve it. But Bishop Newman and his fanatics are right there with him. What is so important about this robe? Why does Bishop Newman want it? Will Joel find it, and what will he do about it?

The Judas Robe does start somewhat slowly. But I did appreciate that. The author chose to build up the background of Bishop Newman, Father Sanchez, Sophia, and Belle (as well as The Judas Robe) instead of throwing us right into the story. Once the author switches to Joel and the present day, the book picks up its pacing.

There was some lag in the storyline towards the middle of the book. I felt that the time that Joel and his friends spent in the underground lab was stretched out. It didn’t affect the book, but I thought that it was too long. Plus, I wasn’t a fan of how it ended. It was almost too easy for the Bishop to get in and get at them.

The characters were well written and fleshed out. But they didn’t all sit right with me. I wasn’t a fan of Lisa, Natalie, and, of all people, Joel. But my personal feelings didn’t affect how I viewed the book.

The storyline with the Judas Robe and the race to find it fascinated me. But I felt that it kept getting interrupted by Joel and Natalie’s very strained relationship. Once the robe was found, though, the storyline did take an interesting turn. But I felt that again, it was overshadowed by all the drama going on with the group.

There are several scenes of orgies and violence by Bishop Newman’s followers. I would have loved to know what substance they were taking to get that way. It was brought up towards the end, but that was it. No other mention of it.

There is sex in The Judas Robe. I turned the page (well swiped because I was reading it on my Kindle) and was hit with an orgy scene (see above). None of it was graphic, but I was surprised that it was even in the book.

There were a couple of twists in the plot that I didn’t see coming. The major one was revealed at the end and made me go, “What the heck?!?” when I read it. The other one was hinted at until Father Sanchez came right out and said it to Natalie and Joel.

The end of The Judas Robe was interesting. I liked how the author resolved everything and how he revealed the twist that I mentioned above. I also liked that he left me wondering if there was going to be another book.

I would recommend The Judas Robe to anyone over the age of 21. There is sex, violence, and language.

By Jolie

I love to read. My favorite genres are women's fiction, romance, psychological thrillers, fantasy, young adult, steampunk, dystopian, LGBTQIA, and paranormal.

2 comments

  1. Before I even finished reading the blurb, the name Dan Brown immediately sprung to my mind, because that premiss sounds very much Dan-Brown-esque and I am so glad you also noticed the similarity.
    Must be an intriguing read though, going by your well articulated assessment

    1. Jolie – I love to read. My favorite genres are women's fiction, romance, psychological thrillers, fantasy, young adult, steampunk, dystopian, LGBTQIA, and paranormal.
      Jolie says:

      Thank you!!

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