Extended Audio Sample

Download The Fifth Gospel: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Fifth Gospel: A Novel Audiobook, by Ian Caldwell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Caldwell Narrator: Jack Davenport Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781442385085
Regular Price: $23.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A lost gospel, a contentious relic, and a dying pope’s final wish converge to send two brothers—both Vatican priests—on an intellectual quest to untangle Christianity’s greatest historical mystery.

Ten years ago, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason’s The Rule of Four became a literary phenomenon that sold nearly two million copies in North America and was hailed by critics as “ingenious…profoundly erudite” (The New York Times), “compulsively readable” (People), and “an exceptional piece of scholarship” (San Francisco Chronicle). Now, after a decade of painstaking primary research, Ian Caldwell returns with a masterful new thriller that confirms his place among the most ambitious popular storytellers working today.

In 2004, as Pope John Paul II’s reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. That same night, a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator’s research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex, desperate to keep his family safe, undertakes his own investigation. To find the killer he must reconstruct the dead curator’s secret: what the four Christian gospels—and a little-known, true-to-life fifth gospel known as the Diatessaron—reveal about the Church’s most controversial holy relic. But just as he begins to understand the truth about his friend’s death and its consequences for the future of the world’s two largest Christian Churches, Father Alex finds himself hunted down by someone with a vested stake in the exhibit—someone he must outwit to survive.

At once a riveting intellectual thriller, a feast of biblical history and scholarship, and a moving family drama, The Fifth Gospel is “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). Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A gripping thriller rich with human drama and forbidden knowledge.”

    Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Magician’s Land

  • “Masterful…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.”

    David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Target

  • “[A] smart, suspenseful thriller.”


  • “Kicks off at ninety mph and doesn’t slow down. Caldwell’s skill as a writer is evident in his ability to weave detailed descriptions of Biblical scripture, Catholic history, and Vatican geography into the story while keeping the action going…He has created memorable characters with complex relationships, deep love, and longstanding hurts.”

    Associated Press

  • “[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…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)

  • “A brilliant work…Extraordinarily erudite…Caldwell makes intriguing literature from complex theology.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Whether delivering accents or portraying characters of both genders, narrator Jack Davenport is everyone all at once in Ian Caldwell’s Vatican-based thriller…Davenport offers a nuanced narration whether delivering Simon’s secretive manner or Alex’s pragmatic one. He highlights Vatican intrigue, clerical infighting, and, most appealingly, tenderness and familial love. Caldwell’s uncluttered, thoughtful writing and Davenport’s performance make worthwhile listening. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Spring 2015
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A March 2015 LibraryReads Pick
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Ian Caldwell

Ian Caldwell is a writer and coauthor of the thriller, The Rule of Four, which spent forty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly two million copies in North America. He was raised in Virginia and graduated from Princeton University in 1998 with a degree in history.

About the Narrator

Jack Davenport is an English actor best known for his roles in the television series This Life, Coupling, Smash, and as James Norrington in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. In addition to film and theater, he has lent his voice to many audiobooks and voice-overs for commercials. Some of his audiobook credits include A Clockwork Orange, Black Dogs, Candide, among others, and his narrations have won two AudioFile Earphones Awards.