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A reading from the forthcoming book, The Fifth Gospel, by Ian Caldwell '98

In 2004, a book set at Princeton, The Rule of Four, became a nationwide bestseller.

Ian Caldwell ’98 wrote that book, and the outpouring of support from the university community was overwhelming: Firestone Library mounted a copy of it in a display case, President Tilghman mentioned it in her opening address to the incoming class, and many alumni associations asked him to give readings.

On March 4, Simon & Schuster will publish his second novel, The Fifth Gospel, which has been named the upcoming #1 book in the country by the national organization of independent bookstores, and the #1 most anticipated thriller of the season by Publishers Weekly.

A reading from the book

Wednesday, April 8
7 pm

Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera


Praise for The Fifth Gospel:
“A stunning and addictive read . . . Part murder mystery, part family drama, part religious history, this keep-you-on-edge literary thriller doesn’t miss a beat. Caldwell’s elegant language combines with a truly provocative plot . . . Obsessively readable.”
Library Journal, Editor’s Pick for Spring

“A brilliant work . . . Extraordinarily erudite . . . Caldwell makes intriguing literature from complex theology.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A superior religious thriller, notable for its existential and spiritual profundity . . . An intelligent and deeply contemplative writing style, along with more than a few bombshell plot twists, set this one above the pack, but it’s the insightful character development that makes this redemptive story so moving.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Captivating . . . This thriller is, at its heart, a story of sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption. Peppered with references to real-life people, places, and events, the narrative rings true, taking the reader on an emotional journey nearly two thousand years in the making.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Here motives are nuanced shadows that are as hard to grasp for Alex as they are for readers. It is this very elusiveness, juxtaposed against a strong sense of place, that intrigues, making this the best kind of page-turner, one about which you also have to think.”
Booklist (starred review)

From David Baldacci:
“It’s been ten years since Ian Caldwell co-wrote The Rule of Four. The Fifth Gospel was more than worth the wait. For those who might compare it to The Da Vinci Code, don’t. This marvelous book stands alone and will become the very high standard for any novel in this genre. Masterfully plotted and extraordinarily researched, and written in a voice that never rings false, The Fifth Gospel is that rare story: erudite and a page-turner, literary but compulsively readable. It will change the way you look at organized religion, humanity, and perhaps yourself.”

From Nelson DeMille:
“The Fifth Gospel is nothing short of groundbreaking—a literary feast wrapped around an intriguing murder mystery. Caldwell writes with precision and passion as he takes us on an emotional journey deep into the workings of the Vatican and deeper into the hearts and souls of the men and women who have devoted their lives to the Church. The Fifth Gospel is a cathedral where skeptics and believers alike may enter and all will leave transformed.”

From Lev Grossman:
“An amazing achievement: The Fifth Gospel is a gripping thriller rich with human drama and forbidden knowledge.”

From Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow:
“You are going to hear a lot about how this book took ten years to write and how it’s minutely researched and erudite. Forget all that. This thing reads like a rocket. Jump on and hold tight.”

From Kate Braestrup, ordained minister and author of Here If You Need Me:
“Under Caldwell’s deft hand, the Vatican becomes a setting both real and surreal, utopian and dystopian by turns, a tiny, walled country where the switchboard operators and nannies are nuns, the cops are Swiss Guards, and a priest suspected of murder is tried not for his life but for the meaning he has given it. In such a setting, small and seemingly arcane details of scriptural interpretation are clues to the mystery, driving the interlocking dramas of family and history in ways that aren’t just plausible but compelling. There is passion in The Fifth Gospel, and a tremendous depth of knowledge; the fruits of Caldwell’s obviously extensive research are served up in perfectly timed portions that propel the action in surprising ways.”

About the Author
Ian Caldwell is the coauthor of The Rule of Four, which spent forty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, sold nearly 2 million copies in North America, and was translated into thirty-five languages. He lives in Virginia with his wife and children.​​

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