Can I tell you that Sean Chercover's thriller, The Trinity Game, was even better than I expected? Deception, love, politics, religion. It's all there. However, I read for character, and this book has wonderful characters beginning with the hero, Daniel Byrne and his con man uncle, Tim Trinity.
Daniel Byrne is a priest who works for the Vatican investigating claims of miracles. He's investigated claims for ten years and 721 cases, and hasn't seen one miracle. When Daniel's disbelief and failure to find miracles starts to interfere with plans in some corners of the church, he's sent to the United States, to Atlanta, to investigate claims that prophecies are coming true. Those prophecies have been uttered by Daniel's uncle as he spoke in tongues during his "Tim Trinity Prosperity-Power Miracle Hour". And, if there's anyone Daniel won't hesitate to debunk, it's his uncle, the man who raised him and turned out to be no more than a common grifter, preying on people for money.
Daniel doesn't find what he expects in Atlanta, He finds a scared man who doesn't understand why he's speaking in tongues, and doesn't know what he is predicting. However, the Catholic Church, evangelists, the FBI, and gamblers in Las Vegas all understand the dangers of his predictions. And, when Daniel realizes that he needs to act to save lives, whether or not he believes Trinity's latest prediction, he reaches out to a former girlfriend who is a journalist, and to his bosses at the Vatican. When Trinity's prediction of tragedy comes true, there are forces that will stop at nothing to silence Tim Trinity. Daniel Byrne has to decide whose side he's on, the church that sheltered him for years, but refused to release the prophecies, or the man he fled from years earlier. No matter what, "Trinity's voices, whatever their origin, would not be allowed to change the world, when nobody who mattered really wanted the world changed."
Conspiracy theories, church mysteries, mob stories, assassins. This book has something for everyone who reads thrillers. And, even with all the fast-paced scenes, Chercover manages to add an additional layer, the complicated story of the relationship between two men in the role of father and son. Daniel, Tim Trinity, the journalist Julie Rothman, and even the mercenary, Pat Wahlquist, are wonderful, fascinating characters. This is a complex, mysterious story that leaves room for the two planned sequels. As Hamlet says, "There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy." There's no reason to doubt that Sean Chercover's sequels to The Trinity Game won't be just as exciting and complicated. Chercover's readers will be waiting.
Sean Chercover's website is www.chercover.com
The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover. Thomas & Mercer. 2012. ISBN 9781312183183 (paperback), 415p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I bought my copy of the book.