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CLONING CHRIST by PETER SENESE

Summary

The theological thrill ride, darting from Israel through Europe to the United States, focuses on Dr. Max Train, a leading genetic scientist from Syracuse, New York. Max was once a devout believer in God, but now lives a faithless life following the brutal slaying of his beloved wife and four year old autistic daughter twelve years ago. In many ways, Max exemplifies humanity's difficulties we all face at one time or another to hold onto our faith in God and each other, as well as believing in ourselves and our own abilities. Max represents "everyperson". Twelve years after the widely publicized trial during which Max is rightfully found innocent of his family's murder pinned on him by corrupt dark forces, Max vacations in Israel. During an earthquake outside of Jerusalem, he discovers what appears to be the Cross Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on nearly two thousand years ago. A mysterious explosion soon destroys the cave where Max had secretly extracted the ancient artifacts, killing, Train believes, his best friend Dr. Luke Gartner and two graduate students he was in Israel with. Moments later, Max's body is hit with a sea of bullets as the morning sun begins to rise over The Holy Land. A fearful Max escapes Jerusalem, embarking on an odyssey to verify the true identity of the cross and to discover who is behind the killings.

Max may hold the fate of Mankind in his hands. If this is the True Cross and Christ was cloned from the remaining blood stains and hair remnants on the cross, would government and religion become obsolete upon His Second Coming? If the blood stains and hair are those of Jesus, then what does this say about the long held belief Christ rose whole and entire upon his resurrection? Where would the battle lines be drawn between the advances in science and the beliefs of religion? What effect would this knowledge have on one's faith and beliefs?

In the hallowed halls of the Vatican a righteous Cardinal, Anselm Mugant, hears of the discovery in Jerusalem. Without the Pope's knowledge and in clear opposition to all Catholic teaching, the wayward prelate will stop at nothing - even murder - in his bid to prevent human cloning from taking place, including his misconceived belief Max Train has intent to clone the possible body of Christ. Mugant is made to represent how Man, when completely self serving, can actually do great harm including the destruction of God's Way no matter his original intention. He sets up a dangerous and complex cat and mouse game in his effort to do whatever it takes to uphold his own righteous beliefs.

Mugant soon enlists the services of the internationally rumored assassin known simply as The Scorpion to track down Max and silence him with death. The Scorpion, a onetime penitent of the Cardinal, is a force of pure evil and who challenges life. He forces this same challenge onto Max as he casts a deadly shadow over his praised soul and every move he makes.

Adding intricate subterfuge to the plot is the existence of Mugant's "Fifth Crusade", five international industrialists with great power and reach devout in the Cardinal's perspective on human genetic science, and controlled by Mugant's knowledge of their deepest secrets. Together, Mugant launches an all-out attack to find the ancient artifacts in Train's possession, and prevent the genetic scientist from doing the unthinkable in his eyes - announcing to the world a cross containing bodily remnants could indeed by the True Cross of Jesus of Nazareth - and clone the body of Christ!

Max is a modern day Job, seeking answers to life's questions as Hell literally seems to break loose around him. As all those he has ever loved perish around him and others turn against him in order to hasten his demise, Max puts his trust in Sara, a Mossad agent who is the niece of Max's trusted friend, Rabbi Morty Kohn, who helps him to slowly restore his faith and lay to rest the horror and tragedy that the brutal slayings of his wife and daughter have caused.

Cloning Christ spins a tangled and intricate web of deceit, blackmail, violence, loss, faith, forgiveness, truth and acceptance in a story that questions the right to clone, while responding to the needs and harsh realities of life as we know it. Cloning Christ is the story of life and the sacredness of it, as shared in the novel that leaves you racing to turn the page.

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Cloning Christ
by Peter Senese, Contributor Robert Geis

Orion
January 1, 2003
ISBN #0971082642
335 pages
Hardcover
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