The Shroud Conspiracy is a thriller novel by John Heubusch about the race between science and religion to discover the truth about Christianity’s most famous relic, the Shroud of Turin. The novel was published by Simon and Schuster on March 14, 2017 with publication of the sequel to follow.
Dr. Jon Bondurant, the protagonist, is a world famous forensic anthropologist, well known for his pugnacious atheism. When the Vatican invites him to lead an unprecedented investigation into the authenticity of the purported burial cloth of Jesus Christ, he can’t resist the once-in-a millennium offer.
“The Shroud Conspiracy is an absolutely brilliant thriller!”
Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Foreign Agent
Why would the Vatican open itself to obvious ridicule and a skeptic’s certain scientific debunking of one of the most revered relics in all of Christendom? The Vatican’s media specialist, beautiful, devoutly catholic Domenika Josef knows why. She’s privy to a recently discovered ancient codex with bombshell implications. What she’s not privy to is her own pre-destined role in a secret plan by others to change the course of human history by using DNA tied to the sacred blood-stained Shroud.
When science and faith collide, accidents can happen. The result is unleashed on the planet with the promise of devastating consequences.
Bondurant and Josef are polar opposites in every way but their undeniable attraction ignites a passion they can’t avoid. Their relationship was not part of the plan and as it becomes clear, the plan to use the Shroud to change the world is to be carried out at all cost.
When I was writing The Shroud Conspiracy and its sequel, The Second Coming, I came across a quote by George Orwell on writing that struck a chord with me:
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
With The Shroud Conspiracy being my first attempt at fiction, I could relate to the challenge. But in another respect, I was caught quite off guard. As I wrote late into the evenings, it so happened that one important character tragically came to find he has a rare and deadly form of cancer. He bargains with the devil to live. As I researched the dire nature of the illness so as to ensure the symptoms of his terrible disease were accurate, a strange thing occurred. I found that a similar cancer was in reality growing deep inside of me. My journey in writing the books became, as Orwell put it, an “exhausting struggle like a long bout of painful illness,” one whose outcome to this day is uncertain. Fortunately for me, I am surrounded by angels, not demons, who have lifted me up along the way.
The Shroud Conspiracy is published by Simon and Schuster on March 14, 2017. Its sequel, The Second Coming, is complete and will be published relatively soon thereafter.
On March 14, John sat down to discuss The Shroud Conspiracy with Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise. Click the play button on the link below to watch the full event at The Reagan Library and Museum. More info about the event here.