The Third Testament by Craig Russell
(Previously published in the UK as Biblical by Christopher Galt/Craig Russell)
Published: 23/04/2015 (Quercus)
Pages: 448 Paperback
Previously published as 'Biblical' by Christopher Galt in hardback in 2014, I am delighted to see this brilliant thriller back with a great looking cover and a new, more suitable title. I felt at the time that 'Biblical' didn't give a true indication of its genre and felt it would not appeal to its rightful audience. With this issue resolved I'm confident that, The Third Testament by Craig Russell will receive the full recognition and praise it deserves.
The opening scene had me hooked immediately with the depiction of a French teenager finding herself in amongst a crowd of people witnessing the execution of Joan d'Arc. She manages to take a picture of the horrific scene on her phone.
Around the world people are experiencing hallucinations, having feelings of déjà vu, and accidents and mass suicides are occurring on an alarming scale.
It is a time where science is destroying religion as it answers the mysteries and miracles of old.
Macbeth, a psychiatrist involved in a neuroscience project, finds himself hurled into a race against time to uncover the mystery of the phenomena. Is it caused by a virus, or are these visions sent from God as believed by religious leaders and fanatics worldwide? Is the world readying itself for 'The Rapture'?
Craig Russell's 'The Third Testament' (previously released as 'Biblical') is a fantastic piece of fiction blending elements of scientific fact and human genetic anomalies. Russell's characters come to life with his empathetic writing style, and the numerous memorable characters are totally plausible and mesmerising. I felt as though I were watching a film, they were so well drawn out. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to each of them as their fate unfolded. Mary Vermont's heart felt tale of her frustration and anguish of suffering from Alzheimer's and the happiness albeit brief of the visions she has was particularly poignant. It was easy to imagine what it must be like to have this awful disease looking through Mary's eyes. Each and every one of Russell's characters has an equally compelling tale to tell and I loved finding out about them all.
The Third Testament kept me guessing all the way to its mind blowing climax. It is an intelligent, imaginative, addictive, apocalyptic thriller that kept me reading well into the early hours.
* Definitely my favourite thriller this year.
Christopher Galt is the pseudonym for the award-winning thriller writer, Craig Russell, author of the acclaimed Fabel and Lennox series. He lives in Perthshire, Scotland.
My review posted for Biblical last year Click here