Shapiro may be remarkably prescient
The Canada Post: September 2009
Shapiro’s ‘God’s Elect’ proves to be a thrilling read
Raleigh Cary Jewish Federation News: August 20092009
God’s Elect by Frank Shapiro is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It is entertaining, thrilling and at the same time quite frightening. The plot is simple yet, to my knowledge quite unique. The idea of the Roman Catholic Church being hijacked by a fanatical anti-Islamic group, as explained by Mr Shapiro, is all too credible. With the power the control of Rome gave them they could set out to implement their own agenda to counter the equally fanatical march of Islam. Sitting uncomfortable between these two dominant powers is the tiny state of Israel likely to be crushed out of existence by one or other of the juggernauts. Frank Shapiro is a respected historian and he uses his vast knowledge to great effect in this, his first novel. I look forward with eager anticipation to his next offering.
Lionel Ross-Author, Publisher and Broadcaster
Embassy of Israel,
London – 31st July 2009
•○• ON THE SHELF •○•
‘God’s Elect’ by Frank Shapiro
God’s Elect’, a contemporary historical thriller, whose story twists and turns in the most unexpected ways. In ‘God’s Elect’ a new Pope makes the historic decision to share the Vatican’s oldest secret with Israel’s Chief Rabbi. But behind this statesmanlike gesture lies a sinister plot…
Jewish Renaissance Magazine
Reviewed by MARGE CLOUTS
Many paperbacks have a category definition
on the back cover, such as Fiction or
Memoir. God’s Elect has all the following:
Fiction (Historical)/Fiction (mystery
including crime)/ History. Such a mixture is a
challenge to cohesiveness, especially since
the chapters jump and reverse chronologically
in this first novel by Frank Shapiro,
an historian living in Israel.
The core mystery is intriguing. What
really happened to the Temple Treasures –
the gigantic golden Menorah and all the
sacred vessels – after they were triumphantly
carted away by Roman legionaries on the
order of Titus in 70CE? The Temple itself
was obliterated, leaving only the external
Western Wall. The destruction of Jerusalem
was marked for history by the famous Titus
Arch of Triumph in Rome.
In 2010 (the very near future) Chief
Rabbi Levi of Israel ponders at the site of
the Arch, on his way to see the new Pope,
Urban IX. (The former Pope and most of
the world’s leaders had been assassinated in
a terrorist outrage.) The rabbi is astonished
to find that the Pope is eager to learn how
the possible return of the Temple Treasures
would affect the spiritual and political life
of Israel. Would the Third Temple then be
built? This is no theoretical question, as the
Rabbi discovers, when he is led through
underground Vatican passageways to be
shown the Temple Treasures themselves.
Of course he is intended to report this back
to Israel’s leaders.
What ulterior motives would the
powerful Catholic Church have for offering
the return of these Holy objects? Many other
powerful groups also have an interest: the
Israeli government and army for a start, then
a little known (invented) Millenarian sect,
‘The Temple Society’, formed in Germany,
whose members (like other real radical
Protestant sects) believe that the Temple
must be rebuilt in order to usher in the
Second Coming of Christ. There is also the
‘Movement of the Temple Mount Faithful’
whose Jewish members are determined to
ascend the Temple Mount, to lay the
foundations for the Third Temple.
Such rebuilding would mean war. This
is what the new Pope wants, as he has an
anti-Islamic crusade in mind. He even
named himself Urban IX in honour of
Urban II who had started the First Crusade.
Al Quaeda, Iran and various secret agents
all become serious players in this
dangerous and complex intrigue.
The cunning and intricate plot twists
are hampered by the necessity for much
talk and planning with very little action,
and by the historical information which is
inserted for clarity. Nevertheless, there is
page-turning suspense as the Pope, who is
not what he seems, and so many disparate
groups with their own conflicting agenda,
focus on Mount Moriah.
Review by Professor Ami Klein
I was delighted to read Frank Shapiro’s “God’s Elect” that was published just recently by Pegasus Publications.
It is not only that the author, who is a historian himself, is using historical materials to create a realistic possible present scenario, but it is also the way the story is being told. The book is a great interesting thriller and acts as a tribune to herald an intellectual universal message that is hidden among its lines.
The story of the book touches the deepest interests and conflicts of the three main monotheistic religions leaders. These leaders were, and still may be, ready to sacrifice their own herds of believers just for the purpose of fulfilling one or another of their lunatic dreams. Symbols, should it be a mere artifact, such as the Menorah, or a fiction, such as saving the life of a dead Savior, are practical human-uniting-tools used by leaders for fulfilling their dreams. The book describes the power hidden in these symbols and how far people can be manipulated by them.
On top of these, the book emphasizes the danger of obedience of the devotees who willingly swallow their preachers messages, those messages that put them on the slippery road that might lead the world to an Armageddon type of apocalyptic civilizations clash.
Prof. Ami Klein
God’s Elect, by Frank Shapiro.
Move over, Dan Brown. A first novel by Israel based historian Frank Shapiro is a page-turner of the first order. The plot unfolds at a good pace, moving the reader from Jerusalem to the Vatican, and numerous other sites in Europe, Asia and Australia. Shapiro’s academic research shows itself throughout the book, with flashbacks and descriptions which, though detailed, never slow the momentum .
It is often the case that the plot of a novel echoes current events; with a new American President,
the Catholic Church is in the spotlight; seismic shifts are occurring daily in Israel and the Islamic world. The timing and relevance of the story could scarcely be more perfect. The story twists and turns in most unexpected ways and the denouement is thrilling and well-crafted, not to mention very scary indeed.
There is no one hero, albeit a truly satisfying villain ( I dont want to spoil the fun by saying who that is, but, there is a clue on the book jacket). No matter. In the film version which is sure to follow, no doubt the studio will develop one of the several hero-candidates to suit the big name who will be cast in the role, and there should not be any difficulty in creating some love interest either. Producers take note please.
This is a great and exciting read to escape the current mood of gloom.
Malcolm Silver 416.488.3393
Home of The Peace of Mind Solution
& The Peace of Mind Real Estate Solution
his book “God’s Elect”
and World Predicaments