FeaturedThriller & Suspense

The Shroud Solution

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Loved it! 😍

Some are electrified to use modern science to potentially resurrect the idea of Christ, while others are happy to negate any Second Coming!

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and K. Bruce Mackenzie for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.


Always a fan of novels with Catholic and/or historical twists, this book by K. Bruce Mackenzie caught my eye as soon as I found it. When two cardinals arrive in Scotland on a mission, their presence is noticed by a few. The Vatican has sent Cardinals Ratzinger and Jaropelk, two of its highest ranking officials, to discuss a matter of great importance with members of a highly specialised institute working on matters of cloning. Among them are Dr. Ian McKinney, as well as Head of Security, Angus MacGregor, whose work denotes the need for the highest protection. The cardinals are highly interested in the work done cloning sheep, something that the Institute is proud to have accomplished. Even now, in 1997, the story continues to bring them much notoriety. When the cardinals bring up the possibility of examining the Shroud of Turin—the cloth said to have been wrapped around the crucified Jesus Christ—some shy away for religious reasons. However, Dr. Ian McKinney, an espoused atheist, is interested in the challenge and meets with the cardinals in secret, accompanied by MacGregor who has security in mind. They discuss the option and the only obstacle will be if Pope John Paul II blocks any biological analysis of the Shroud. The cardinals return and promise to be in touch soon, if McKinney is given the chance to proceed. After some arm twisting, the cardinals get a preliminary go-ahead, paving the way for McKinney to begin his examination. Throughout the process, he discovers something interesting, which the cardinals cannot deny is on the verge of changing the world forever. However, even more remarkable is the sudden faith-based change that Ian McKinney undergoes, finding solace in learning about the Shroud and the details of Christianity. When his scientific results yield some interesting findings, the cardinals work with McKinney to convince the pontiff to explore some further tests. Hesitant because he is only mortal, John Paul II agrees, but has some strict guidelines moving forward. McKinney is overjoyed, but this is not the only progress he has made in life, finding solace in the arms of a woman who’s been right next to him for so very long. As the plan proceeds, there are those who lurk in the shadows, curious about what the Vatican is doing. Two hired killers inch closer, tasked with neutralising not only the Shroud plan, but those who would overstep the limits of man playing deity. What comes next turns the story into the explosive novel Mackenzie has been building up to this point. Filled with religious, political, and thrilling twists, the reader will learn a great deal while wondering how much is fiction and where some well-kept factual secrets might mingle into this story. Recommended for those who love religious thrillers with a historical element, as well as the reader who find ‘what if’ stories to their liking.


While I am not a Catholic in my upbringing, there is something about Vatican politics that has always piqued my interest. This book, which mixes that with some Christian history and the modern blurring of scientific lines, proved to be a recipe for success for Mackenzie in his debut thriller. While the story opened with an odd twist—no spoilers here!—things soon fell into sync as the story moved between Scotland and the Vatican with ease. Ian McKinney soon finds himself in the protagonist’s role, though it is his character transformation that steals the show over some of the plot twists. The reader sees many of McKinney’s epiphanies in this story, some of which prove more saccharine than others, which helps the plot push forward and adds depth to the overall narrative. With some fictional and actual characters throughout, the story gains some interesting twists throughout. All those who grace the pages of this piece find themselves adding to the already intriguing plot with each page turn. Mackenzie wastes no time in positing some interesting hypotheses about genetics, cloning, and the plausibility of the Shroud of Turin holding the key to the potential Second Coming, albeit with more than the Hand of God playing a role. The story was strong and only got a tad far-fetched on a few occasions, more in the dialogue and character interactions than anything else. I found myself unable to put the book down at times, as the chapters were such teasers, some lasting pages while others summarily ended in a paragraph. Those with open minds and an interest in the topic will likely find themselves as hooked as I was, asking what they might have been missing not reading this book sooner. The numerous twists, down to the final reveal left me wanting more and pleased that Mackenzie speaks of a trilogy on the subject. Surely stirring up some controversy inside the Holy See with some of the sentiments expressed herein.


Kudos, Mr. Mackenzie, for a great novel. I hope others find this one as intriguing, as I know I was committed as soon as the story began. 


Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.

While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.

About the author

Bruce Mackenzie spent his childhood in suburban Chicago and is a graduate of Michigan State University. After a career in several aspects of commercial and residential real estate, he is satisfying his creativity by beginning his writing career. He lives in Denver with his wife, Joneen. view profile

Published on November 20, 2019

Published by

110000 words

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

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