The Opus Dictum

Two clandestine syndicates want control over the Church’s power … and the tools to do it are hiding deep in the Vatican Secret Archives. But first they have to deal with a meddling priest who could ruin their plans.

Father Michael Dominic is intrigued when a long-lost briefcase is discovered in the Vatican Secret Archives. Inside, he finds incriminating documents, a special key, and a computer disk filled with codes, which together unlock a piece of the Catholic institution’s troubled past. Suspicious they could influence a special conclave to elect a new pope, Dominic must discover what the documents reveal before it’s too late.

But the two menacing institutions close in on Dominic, intent on taking the key and cipher for their own sinister ends. Father Michael, his young assistant, and a feisty young nun have to work together to decode the information before anyone else. Can they solve the puzzle in time, or will their enemies obstruct centuries of Church history?

If you loved The Magdalene Chronicles, or books by Daniel Silva or James Rollins, you’ll devour this new, blistering thriller! Find out why McAvoy’s fans say, “I couldn’t stop turning the pages!”

Coming January 2022

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Advance Reviews for The Opus Dictum

The Opus Dictum is an intense, thrilling, fast-paced novel containing plenty of intrigue, action, suspense and heightened danger. The author once again seamlessly blends well-researched historical facts into a pulse-pounding new book with endearing, undaunted, believable protagonists and ruthless villains. Highly recommended for those readers who enjoy a stimulating, impeccably researched, well-plotted adventure with plenty of action.” — CAROLYN WALSH, Canada

“As in the previous four Father Dominic books, The Opus Dictum was a thrilling ride through the inner workings of Vatican City and the occupants of the Vatican itself. I almost feel the need to buckle in before picking up one these books! The historical detail in the settings and facts, the characters and their relationships and dialogue and the suspense of the chase as the characters try to save, recover or find the antiquities of the Church all come together beautifully to create a non-stop page turning experience unlike I get with most fiction I read. I believe what draws me most to Gary McAvoy and his work is he’s not trying to push a narrative down my throat, he’s accepting of all ideas, and it’s probably the first thing I noticed when I began reading his books over a year ago. When I’m asked now what to read by someone who doesn’t have a particular genre in mind and is looking for that all around great read filled with excitement and intrigue, the first words out of my mouth are always, ‘Gary McAvoy and his Magdalene Chronicles series!* — KYMM CUMMINS, California

“I’m a big fan of Gary McAvoy as a writer; his style is tremendous: intelligent, articulate, conscientious, hardworking and incredibly knowledgeable – and that is just to start. He possesses that rare thing which separates a wonderful writer from a wonderful author: a meticulous researcher, whose books are intended for an equally intelligent, discerning reader, who appreciates the better things.

I believe this is the fourth I have read in this series, with its familiar characters, clearly now much beloved by their creator, and I was fortunate enough to read them in exactly the order they should be; this would certainly be my first piece of advice for any reader looking to pick up this book as a standalone, or dip into Gary’s books on a whim: the series must be read in order.

If I am being honest, it is not my favourite in the series, despite the particularly engaging mystery of Roberto Calvi, found murdered in London in 1982, a case with which I was already acquainted. Although fully in possession of Gary’s usual outstanding qualities, this instalment was a particularly wordy one, which may have made it feel longer at times than it actually is. However, it is fair to say that it picks up pace dramatically in the action-packed final third. This author loves his formula, and it works for him; this is another application of the same: an intelligent group of characters, with varied and complementary skillsets and aptitudes, solving a Vatican-implicated crime puzzle.

I really like Gary’s action sequences and I look forward to them, anticipating them almost as a trademark of his work, with their Clancy-esque authenticity of special operative combat techniques. As always, he shows discipline not to overdo the action, by way of keeping his subject matter and genre firmly within the intellectual arena. His attention to detail is formidable in every single area. He makes his research appear innate and effortless, but if there were any doubt how much graft he puts into his writing, he includes a fascinating glossary of the sheer amount of research work involved. If you haven’t read Gary McAvoy, I strongly recommend it; he is a rare writer indeed.” — MATT McAVOY, United Kingdom (no relation to author)