Review: The Return – Cate’s Take

Genre: Religious thriller

Rating: Not for me

Never having read The Da Vinci Code (I know, you can flog me later), I was able to go into Carter Vance’s book without any sort of bias. And while the storyline and ideas were engaging, the book simply didn’t work for me as a reader.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints. We meet Geoff, an American banker vacationing at his friend’s estate in France; Jacques, said friend and secret Templar Knight; and Sarah and Peter, whose relationship is vital to the story’s plot.

The idea behind this story is that Sarah is the descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and that her child with Peter is the second coming of Christ. Vance drops subtle clues and hints through Geoff’s obsession with the Templars, which leads him to various locations all over the globe.

One of my main issues with the book was that the plot moves so quickly that the reader never gets a chance to get to know the parties involved. There are multiple points where Vance could have provided clever insight or interjected more personality, but the plot overrules the characters, and we never get to see more than a basic two-dimensional representation of them. From what I could glean, I really liked Sarah’s character and her relationship with Peter, but the reader only gets brief glimpses. When one of the main characters died, I felt little more than a passing sympathy.

I understand what Vance was trying to do, but it didn’t work for me. The pacing was far too rushed for such a complex story, and I felt that that robbed the reader of what could’ve been an engaging and exciting read. However, the story beneath the plot is done well, and the book is very well-researched. I just wanted to see more.

The Return is available at:



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