The Magdalene Reliquary

Book 2 of The Magdalene Chronicles


A curious priest uncovers a mystifying secret . . .

One that leads to a long-buried relic some will do anything to possess.

Can he outwit adversaries who will stop at nothing to keep him from revealing an object that challenges history as we know it?

Father Michael Dominic discovers a strangely constructed 13th-century puzzle hidden deep within the Vatican Secret Archives. With the help of his brilliant colleague, investigative journalist Hana Sinclair, solving the puzzle exposes a cleverly concealed map that marks the hiding place of a sacred artifact—one with shocking implications.

From Rome to France and Switzerland, his search for the object finds Dominic pitted against deadly agents and a ruthless Russian oligarch. Desperate, he must choose between trusting an unlikely collection of possible allies—or certain death. As his enemies close in, can he survive and bring this staggering new secret to light, or will his pursuers bury it beside him in the cold, dark earth of a long-forgotten cave?

Sure to please fans of the bestselling novel The Magdalene Deception, this second entry in The Magdalene Chronicles series is impossible to put down. Packed with historical events and non-stop action, readers will be burning through pages late into the night.

Advance Reader Reviews for "The Magdalene Reliquary"

“A direct sequel to The Magdalene Deception, and it’s a good one, from my namesake (no relation, I promise). One thing I will say from the off is that before you read …Reliquary it would definitely help to have read its predecessor first, because there is great backstory for most of the endearing cast of characters in this book, and there are multiple strands of narrative which stem from the first. While the quest of this book is a new one (these books tend to revolve around archaeological missions for holy relics – think Dan Brown, or perhaps a more down-to-earth take on Raiders of the Lost Ark). For those of you who don’t know, a reliquary is a chest containing the remains of a historical figure – in this case, the secret child of Christ and Mary Magdalene, so I suggest perhaps not for the more devout Christians amongst you.

The characters are good, and interesting too, including an intrepid priest, a ruthless cardinal, Russian mobsters and a pair of Swiss special forces soldiers with hearts of gold – McAvoy certainly knows how to craft a good book. This story is perhaps less intricate than the puzzle format aspect of the first, but it still contains the trademark genius artefacts; I would say the revenge aspect of the storyline will have a more mainstream appeal, but in fact this is an altogether more subtle affair. It is a little bit slow to build, with a lot of detail and some wordy filler, but I certainly think readers will enjoy it; it’s more of a relaxed frame of mind, cosy winter evening book, which moves gradually toward a pretty action-packed climax. I thought of it perhaps as if Indiana Jones were to feature in an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot – this is perhaps enhanced by the continuing storyline involving stolen Nazi gold.

McAvoy is a tremendously eloquent author of the utmost professionalism. His attention to detail is definitely a strong point, and he clearly carries out a huge amount of research into the technicalities and historical accuracies in his work – this is a piece of work which takes itself very seriously. I would describe him as a jobbing author, and a highly proficient one at that, with a wonderful work ethic. I look forward to the next instalment in what I hope is an ongoing series. I would definitely recommend this book, and …Deception before it, to fans of slow-burning, intelligent and interesting stories with a theological aspect.”
— MATT McAVOY BOOK REVIEWS  (UK)  (No relation to the author)

“The ingredients for a satisfying thriller? Combine the young Vatican Archivist Father Michael Dominic, investigative journalist Hana Sinclair and three Vatican Swiss Guards working to protect an ancient religious object, add a ruthless Russian oligarch, an evil Croatian Ustasha agent bent on revenge, and a pinch of gypsy help then stir in some Vatican palace intrigue.

Author Gary McAvoy has baked up a gripping sequel to his debut novel, The Magdalene Deception, in this fast-paced roller coaster yarn, The Magdalene Reliquary. It is the sort of book you can’t, and don’t want to, put down … a read-through-the-night adventure, pausing only to search Google to fact check what you are certain are fictional people, places and events, only to learn they are real.

It is abundantly clear that McAvoy has meticulously researched the historical backstories as well as the settings in Italy, France and Switzerland. His attention to detail, from explosives and caving, to the underground world of collectables and law enforcement, make the story utterly believable, leaving the reader wondering what is real and what is fiction.

The strong character development in his first book is amplified in this sequel as both protagonists and antagonists come to life on pages. The only thing missing is the next in the series, The Magdalene Chronicles. In the meantime, this book goes on my gifting list for friends.”
— GREGORY MCDONALD, Reviewer

“Fast-paced with thrilling action, The Magdalene Reliquary is the perfect continuation of the adventures of priest Michael Dominic and his talented journalist friend Hana Sinclair that began in The Magdalene Deception. After growing to love these characters in the first book, I was delighted to see where their next adventure would lead, and I was not disappointed. McAvoy once again provides rich historical details, beautiful locales in France, Italy, and Switzerland, and page-turning excitement as his characters race to thwart the international theft of an ancient artifact. As always, the writing sparkles with vivid description and clever dialogue.”
— FRAN LIBRA KOENIGSDORF, Retired Advanced Placement English Teacher, Kansas

The Magdalene Reliquary is packed with action, adventure, and danger. It was brilliantly written, with a vivid sense of place, both in and around the Vatican and caves in France. Its characters are sympathetic and heroic and the villains ruthless and treacherous. The tension and suspense increased throughout. To say this was a pulse-pounding, heart-racing tale is no exaggeration. As the plot reached a crescendo, for the first time I kept getting worrisome alarms on my Apple watch that my heartbeat was too high.”
— CAROLYN WALSH, New Brunswick, Canada