At the crossroads of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish faiths, an ancient artifact is stolen from a long-hidden vault located directly beneath Jerusalem's Temple Mount . . .So begins The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes, a page-turning novel from a new voice on the thriller scene. With the violent theft leaving thirteen Israeli soldiers and policemen dead, and the Palestinians up in arms over the desecration of sacred grounds, the tension between the two groups is dangerously high. Jerusalem is a stick of dynamite and the fuse has been lit. . . .Across the Mediterranean in Italy, American forensic scientist Charlotte Hennesey has been hired by the Vatican to examine the contents of a newly discovered archeological treasure: a two-thousand-year-old ossuary containing the bones of an unidentified, crucified man—the first complete skeleton of a crucifixion victim ever found. Together with Italian anthropologist Giovanni Bersei, Charlotte makes startling forensic and genetic discoveries that lead her to wonder—could these be the bones of Jesus Christ?With the situation in Jerusalem veering out of control and the malevolent eye of Vatican security expert Salvatore Conte watching her every step, Charlotte puts two and two together. She knows that if the mortal remains of Christ are indeed in the burial box, the implications—for history and science, for religion and the Church—are frighteningly vast. And even more immediate is the question of whether the Vatican will allow the information—and Charlotte—to see the light of day.Fast-paced and intelligent, blending historical fact with persuasive fiction, The Sacred Bones reads like a CSI episode penned by The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown. From a conspiracy stretching back to the days of the Templar Knights to the shifting alliances of contemporary Middle Eastern politics, The Sacred Bones is an addictively compelling thriller that calls into question many of modern religion's deepest-held beliefs about Judaism, Jesus Christ and early Christianity, and Islam . . . with stunning results.