JTA…the monsignor is the mysterious Vatican representative who shows up to help Cloe discover the secrets of the 2000 year old relic left to her by her murdered father. Cloe’s father, Thibodeaux Lejeune, found the relic in WWII in the Tunisian mountains overlooking El Guettar while on a secret mission which turned the tide of the north African campaign. Monsignor Albert Roques proclaims himself to be a forensic theologist. Cloe, a scientist herself, denounces this as a contradiction in terms and doubts the man’s sincerity. But, the monsignor is clearly some type of Vatican operative with surprising skills for a cleric.
The monsignor has several important roles in the novel. The first is to help the reader understand the back story about Judas Iscariot. This book is not about Judas as many in the media have mistakenly supposed. Of course, most of them have not read it or they would know otherwise. Still, the relic pertains to Judas and therein lies the back story. It’s a story within a story; a riddle within a paradox. Are there limits to imagination? I don’t think so. The challenge is to exercise imagination without depravity. Perhaps that is itself a limit but I don’t think so. My goal was to write an imaginative, fictional novel that could be read by anyone but one which has some intellectual heft to it. Read it and then tell me you didn’t open your bible to double-check me on a few things. Study the monsignor’s role in the book and then tell me you saw everything coming. I think most will agree the monsignor brought with him from the Vatican to the little village of Madisonville, Louisiana a few surprises that nobody saw coming. Best.