Carbon-14: The Shroud of Turin
SUSPENSE/THRILLER RELIGIOUS CRIME
1980s & '90s
Russell A. Williams (R.A. Williams)
A criminal justice major named Amari Johnston makes a shocking discovery that discredits the carbon date performed on the Shroud of Turin. She teams up with a brilliant physicist named Kevin Brenner, and together they evade a serial killer as they work to bring their case to the Vatican.
Detective Pete Johnston believes the murder of a priest is tied to the carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin. Pete’s daughter, Amari, is a student at the University of Arizona. After she makes a discovery that proves the carbon date invalid, she becomes the next target of a serial killer.
After Amari teams up with a young physicist at the university, they go to Turin, Italy, so they can convince church officials to allow more testing on the Shroud. On their way to the Cathedral, they evade the serial killer, who finally dies after being shot and incinerated by his own fire grenade.
Tucson, Arizona and Turin, Italy
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Main Character Details
Name: Amari Johnston
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Religious,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic
Additional Character Details
Name: Dr. Kevin Brenner
Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Faithful,Engaging,Heartthrob,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Modest,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary,Funny,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic
Additional Character Details
Name: Homicide Detective Pete Johnston
Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Leader,Unapologetic,Strong Moral Code,Skillful,Outspoken,Blunt,Religious,Masculine
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Aggressive,Complex,Crazy,Criminal,Desperate,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Secretive,Visionary,Villainous
The Shroud of Turin is the most studied relic on earth. More than 99 percent of the evidence suggests the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Only one test says otherwise—the carbon date performed in 1988. After a serial killer and arsonist targets the faithful of Tucson, Arizona, homicide detective, Pete Johnston, works to catch the killer before more clergy are killed, before more churches are burned. His daughter, Amari Johnston, a feisty descendant of a Navajo war chief from her mother’s side of the family, is a criminal justice major at the University of Arizona. When the Shroud is carbon dated at her university, the results reveal that the relic is a medieval forgery. Amari investigates this ancient cold case file for a class project and makes a shocking discovery that could alter the fate of Christianity. Amari teams up with Dr. Kevin Brenner, a brilliant young experimental physicist. Despite their differences, an unlikely romance develops between the two. Together they gather evidence so they can plead their case to the Vatican. When Amari appears on the national news, she draws the attention of the serial killer. Her father desperately tries to protect her and catch the killer before she becomes his next victim. This novel, because of the controversy surrounding the Shroud of Turin, would be an exciting and intriguing movie that can be enjoyed by adults. And because of its young protagonists, young adults and teens should enjoy it as well.
ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, RELIGION, DRAMA
Amari is a college student, studying art but with a affinity for uncovering mysteries . Her estranged father, a detective, is looking into a case of a murdered priest. The Shroud of Turin, the clothe Jesus was buried is being debated for its authenticity. Amari goes on a quest to prove that the shroud is authentic while the killer is closing in on her.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.
Draw of Story
The opening scene is of a murder, setting up the plot. A priest is rushing to take a confession in the middle of the night from someone he believes is suicidal. The person is a religious fanatic who is there to kill the priest in the confessional. The first chapter draws you into the story.
There are a lot of unnecessary parts of the story that do not drive the story forward. Amari is on a quest with Kevin and there is a lot of time devoted to their developing relationship. There is a lot of emphasis on who is a Christian and who is not. This will be a drawback for appealing to a wide audience.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that the Shroud of Turin is being carbon dated for authenticity, but a killer is on the lose. He is hell bent on stopping Amari and Kevin from letting the truth come out.
This could have a large fanbase depending on how the story is spun. There is a large religious element with the priest, the Vatican and the main characters that may not appeal to a wide audience.
This could have awards potential. It has the dramatic elements of other religious stories such as The Davinci Code. The villain has a dark past which can be developed and create more depth in the story.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE DAVINCI CODE, ANGELS AND DEMONS, NATIONAL TREASURE
What’s New About the Story
The originality lies in the Shroud of Turin and the use of Christianity combined with science. Many times, it is science or religion. Outside of this, the story follows a typical quest/thriller story plot.
Amari is a smart ,young girl who is half Navajo Native American. She is trying to follow her mother's dreams for her but ends up following her father's footsteps. She is determined and persistent in finding the truth about the shroud. She does not stand out in any unique way.
Uniqueness of Story
This is not a rare gem as it is. The story is true to its genre, though. Amari's Navajo heritage is mentioned a great deal in the beginning but does not seem to matter in grand scheme of the book. It would be interesting to incorporate that into the quest for truth about the shroud.
TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming
This story is a consider rather than a “Recommend” because there isn't much special about it. The dialogue is very basic. The characters are very open and honest with very little intriguing conversations. There needs to be an update of some of the terms in describing the Navajo. They use Indian to describe the Native Americans. There are a lot of cringeworthy moments in the writing that need to updated for today's audiences. It is a solid story, but the Catholic Church hiding secrets and a murderous priest with an abusive childhood may not be interesting enough for audiences. It's been done before.