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The Inquest Hardcover – 1 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: ibooks (Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416504419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416504412
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,648,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

During the reign of Vespasian, after Rome crushes the Jewish revolt, Roman Questor Julius Varro is sent to Jerusalem to investigate the claims of the fast-growing Nazarene sect that a Jew had risen from the dead after being crucified and sets out to produce a report that will destroy the myths, but an extraordinary event will change everything.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Margaret Holt on 15 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant. Keeps you interested all the way an ending you would not even have guesed
More of the same please
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A great novel, great story. It's unfortunate I have to give it 3 stars 10 April 2007
By Andariel Halo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Inquest is a great story about a Quaestor (due to the author being australian, he incorrectly spells this, and all other Latin words with AE in them as "Questor" "Pretor" etc.) in Judea after the Jewish revolt in 71 AD, who is given an assignment by his superior to investigate claims of a prophet from Nazareth executed forty years prior having risen from the dead.

The cast of characters is wonderfully rich, from the highly likeable yet boastful proud Marcus Metellus Martius, to the thoroughly unlikeable yet perfectly logical Jewish turncoat Antiochus, the loyal slaves and freedmen, and the mysterious, wistful Nazarene woman Miriam.

The novel perfectly translates to good movie material, which plenty of mystery, intrigue, suspense, and bloody action to keep the simpler minds occupied.

While going back and forth from place to place in search of more information for his case, the Quaestor in the story (Julius Terentius Varro) is somewhat underdeveloped, but not in such a way as to make him distant from the rest of the story. He fits in well, but sometimes there are times when you can't predict his behavior because he hasn't been explored too deeply.

Now come the problems... The novel is brilliantly written, but there are some points where the story seems incomprehensibly detached from its purpose. Some plot turns appear to happen too suddenly, or not suddenly enough, and you're left wondering why these people are wasting time somewhere rather than investigating the mystery.

The ending in particular left me a bit disatisfied, as I had read ahead as I usually do, and apparently misinterpreted it. It also doesn't seem to resolve whether the final result of the investigation was fradulent or not, but rather leaving it up to the reader to decide if Varro was lied to or not.

What brings the book down at least half a star is the numerous grammatical errors in the text. Leaving aside the Britannic spelling for such words as Quaestor (Questor), Praetor (Pretor), Praetorium (Pretorium), there are numerous occurences of double periods in places where there should only be one. Words in sentences are missing, making a piece of dialogue sound incoherent, or stupid (like "I say to you, what did see?"). Letters are misplaced (a character named Pompeius at one point is called Pompieus). These sort of errors range from very faint, to those which should have easily been spotted by a competent editor.

All in all, this is a great novel, despite the dissonance in plot in some points, and the lackluster ending. A fixed up ending could translate this into a fine novel, and an easy story to translate to film, even by Hollywood's (low) standards.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Ancient Roman Mystery and the Death of Jesus 8 Sept. 2005
By Paul J. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book, I have read two of his Legion book series, and this was just has easy to read and just has informaative. This book can be unsettling to some people who don't like to have the life and death of Jesus questioned, but if one is interested in the time period and want to get a POV of what it might have been like during that period and to have an understanding of what Roman military life might have been like and then this is a good book to read.

There will be some who will get bent out of shape because this book isn't 100% in unison with the bible, but he doesn't go as far as the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons by Brown. But Dando-Collins does raise questions as if a Roman might, with their mindset and view of life and how foriegn the Nazarene's beleifs are in comparison to the Roman Religious life. So the Roman POV is very sceptical to the One God view of the Christians, whereas the Romans have a multiple beleif in different Gods, I appreciated this, because it created a tension in the book.

Characters are written very well, some are two sided, but the main characters are 3-D, the background and the history is the main character of the book, because it is peeled away through out the book, the one thing that is in flux.

This is a recommend book for those that like Historical Fiction of an inquestive nature. Another good book is The Tribune: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Patrick Larkin.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good Idea, slow plot 15 Aug. 2007
By A. Wessel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I found the idea of an inquest into Jesus's death intriguing and that is why I purchased the book. The general plot is good, but the book moves very slowly and has a number of adult situations written in that do not seem to have anything to do with the overall plot of the book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book, not a perfect one 28 July 2007
By Carlos Serapiao Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Dando-Collins has written a great historical portrait, as if he experienced himself what he describes. The main and secondary characters are all greatly conceived and developed, as well as the plot and the scenarios.
In the end, the conclusion of the book is not as bright. But the fact is that the "historical Jesus" is quite controversial, so the author tried to leave the conclusion open. He built a rational and page-turner plot to the end, then an ambiguous event happens.
It is much, much better than the Da Vinci Code. And, in the end, the enigma called "Jesus Christ" remains as untouchable as before.
In "The Inquest", Jesus was revealed as a special man (maybe unique) with an unresistable message, but surrounded since the beginning by all too human disciples. His last days, as narrated by Dando-Collins, reflect the ambiguities of all Christian churches and of our human condition.
Enjoyable read, but... 2 Jun. 2013
By REAL writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had been eagerly looking forward to reading this book for a long time before I was finally able to find a copy. I did enjoy reading it, but it has several problems that made it disappointing overall. It moves very slowly, and nothing is ultimately resolved. The typos, occasional grammatical errors, and the peculiar way of rendering certain Latin words, were annoying and distracting. I had very high hopes for this novel, but when I started reading it, waiting for the plot to thicken, I was repeatedly disappointed. The ending seems to be a cop-out and somewhat inconsistent. You think, "the investigator is going to discover that the crucifixion of Jesus was a hoax," but then he backs up from making such a declaration as if from fear or indecision---which I suspect was the author's true position. He needed to decide on a position on this issue and stick to it one way or the other.
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