The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness

Book Cover

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.

November 2021 TBR

Just like October 2021 TBR, I have a ton of books to read before the end of the month. But, unlike October, I am not overbooked with appointments. So, I will have plenty of time to catch up with what I am behind on and read the TBR’s for this month.

So, here’s my list. Let me know if you are reading or have read these books. I will put next to them if they are part of the backlog from last month.

Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross (part of the backlog from October)

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin (part of the backlog from October)

Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant (part of the backlog from October)

Lies in Bone by Natalie Symons (part of the backlog from October)

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness (part of the backlog from October)

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannady (part of the backlog from October)

Heard it in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves

The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings by Stephen Mitchell

Transylvania’s World History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Sigiriya: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, Betrayal, and Tragedy in the Royal Family by Senani Ponnamperuma

Intertwined: A Biker’s Tale by Andrew Hartman

The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

October 2021 TBR

I have a ton of books to read and review this month. Like appointments, I tend to overbook myself and then go “How am I going to do this?” In this particular case, I asked myself “How am I going to read all of these books?

Easy, I am going to stop playing on my phone before bed and I am going to read while watching my shows.

Wish me luck and let me know if you have read any of these books!!

Three Sisters by Heather Morris

Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross

My Fair Queen by C.J. Anaya

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin

The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller

The Sultan’s Court by R.A. Denny

Our Trespasses by Michael Cordell

The Battle for Verdana by Brett Salter

Lies in Bones by Natalie Symons

Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant

The Judas Robe by Larry Rhodness

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannaday

September 2021 Wrap Up

I can’t believe that it is already October. The month of September flew by!! I didn’t do that great reading and I am behind on almost every reading challenge that I’ve entered. I figure that I’ll try again in 2022 to do the challenges and read more.

Books I got from NetGalley:

The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings by Stephen Mitchell

Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester

The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers

The Battle for Verdana by Brett Salter

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannaday

Lies in Bone by Natalie Symons

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness

Our Trespasses: A Paranormal Thriller by Michael Cordell

Books Read and Reviewed

Windy City Ruins by Brett Salter (review here)

Her Renegade Cowboy by Lora Leigh (review here)

A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman (review here)

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (review here)

Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Suzanne Enoch, Amelia Grey, and Anna Bennett

The Last Guest by Tess Little

So that’s it. Let me know if you have read any of the books above and I hope you all have a spooktacular October!!