The Vatican Secret

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 03 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 06 Mar 2022


An ancient relic. A deadly enemy. A secret he’ll protect with his life…

When ex-MI5 operative Joe Mason is sent to Rome to guard an elderly professor and his daughter, he thinks he’s in for an easy ride.

But on their first day in the Vatican secret archives, a masked assassin gains entry, shoots Joe’s client in cold blood and steals an ancient manuscript. Giving chase, Joe can’t imagine what could lie within those pages that would make someone willing to kill.

The search for answers leads Joe and his comrades in a race against time, across continents and into treacherous mountains. Only they have a hope of rescuing the Vatican Book of Secrets before a centuries-old enemy can succeed in bringing Rome – and the world as we know it – crashing down…

Dan Brown meets Jack Reacher and Die Hard in this fast-paced, adrenaline-filled, action-adventure thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Readers are gripped by David Leadbeater:

‘Loved it… A fast-paced, adventure-packed, non-stop fight for survival, balanced with a great team dynamic of real characters’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Action-packed, fast-paced and filled with adventuring… Great characters too!’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amazing rollercoaster ride of mayhem and adventure, David you just get better and better’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Action, history, fun characters and lots of exciting adventures. You have to love it’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Buckle upAdventure that will be impossible to put down til the very end’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A thrilling and dangerous adventure’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wild rollercoaster ride if was up and down and round and round’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Filled with memorable characters. Everything that makes an action novel worth reading. I highly recommend’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 ‘Thrilling from the beginning to the end’ Goodreads review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An ancient relic. A deadly enemy. A secret he’ll protect with his life…

When ex-MI5 operative Joe Mason is sent to Rome to guard an elderly professor and his daughter, he...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780008471125
PRICE $6.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 41 members

Featured Reviews

If you're looking for a rip-roaring action adventure, this is the book for you! The Vatican Secret reminded me of the great pulp adventures of yore. Fans of James Rollins or Matthew Reilly will love this one. Some of the best genre books have been based around the secrets of The Vatican and this book deserves a place among them. And, as a bonus, you get the formation of a formidable new team of action heroes! A thrilling plot and the colorful characters make for an exciting read. Thank you to Avon Books and NetGalley for the advanced reading copy!

Was this review helpful?

420 pages

5 stars

British Joe Mason, a former soldier who is haunted by a devastating firefight in Iraq, now works for an organization that provides, among other things, security for individuals. His boss, Patricia, assigns him to protect a professor and his daughter in Rome. They have research to do in the Vatican archives.

The catch is that they want two people, one a woman to protect the daughter. Patricia assigns Roxy Banks. Joe is upset for two reasons. First, he works alone and second, he has heard nothing good about Roxy. He very reluctantly accepts the assignment.

Sally Rusk is the daughter and her father is a renowned and wealthy professor. He is also more than a little haughty.

While watching them do their research, things get a little boring. Suddenly, shots ring out and their two Vatican guards are dead. What is going on? The female assassin turns and shoots the professor. His daughter Sally is bereft and very angry. She urges them to chase the woman. Racing after the killer, they discover that the Book of Secrets has been stolen from its highly secured vault.

This sets up a scenario of cover to cover action.

The reader meets Marduk, who brings megalomania to a whole new level. The man is certifiable. He kills without feeling to achieve his goal. He plans to release a firestorm across the world using the information from the Book of Secrets. He will destroy Christianity and the Vatican. He is gleeful in his plans and so assured of success. He soon learns of Joe, Roxy and Sally and sends his henchmen after them.

Invaluable aid is received from men called Hassell and Quaid.

The characters in this book are both fascinating and engaging. I really liked all five of the main protagonists. And the bad guys were really bad. The book is very well written and plotted. It moves along apace. With the pages flying by, the reader loses time. Mr. Leadbeater creates exciting action scenes. He is a great writer. This is my first David Leadbeater novel (how can that be?), but it certainly won’t be my last. I loved this book.

I want to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK/Avon for forwarding to me a copy of this remarkable book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Was this review helpful?

Secrets are not unusual in the Vatican, so when an author dares to title a book as “The Vatican Secret,” you expect something special. This novel gets its special label in the area of action. There is plenty of action delivered not only by the protagonist, but a collection of antagonists keep the story going.

Was this review helpful?

An absolutely thrilling adventure, a rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it, terrific plot and well drawn characters. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.

Was this review helpful?

Buckle up because you are about to go for a ride. This books is action packed and just when you think you can relax, something else goes on. I am eagerly waiting for the next in this series.

Was this review helpful?

THE VATICAN SECRET by DAVID LEADBEATER is an exciting and suspenseful thriller with nteresting characters and a nailbiting plot.
I like the way the author shows us how this crew of broken human beings make up a team and chase the Vatican’s Book of Secrets and the wicked Amori through Europe and Iraq in order to try and save the world.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Avon Books UK. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

You’ve met Jason Bourne. You’ve met Jack Reacher. Now it’s time to meet Joe Mason.

Mason, an ex-MI5 operative is on the hunt for the Vatican’s most treasured possession, The Book Of Secrets, handed down from pope to pope. When it’s stolen by the Amori, an ancient society and centuries-old enemy, Mason is pulled into a global chase to find the book before the Vatican’s deepest secrets can be revealed.

The 4000-year-old society, the Amori, aims to steal the Vatican Book of Secrets from the Apostolic Archive and bring the Catholic church and the Vatican to its knees by revealing the secrets within the pages. They hold the belief that there’s proof to unravel 2000 years of inaccuracies and manipulation. To breach one of the most protected buildings in the world, they’ll need to recruit a member of the Swiss Guard as well as ignite an encrypted cyber attack. Can they do it and get out alive?

This 5-star thriller is a non-stop action-packed adventure. Leadbeater is no stranger to action thrillers; he’s been writing for 40 years! It’s no surprise then that this reads like the latest blockbuster film. It’s incredibly taut - Leadbetter doesn’t give his readers any space to do anything but be in the moment. The courageous protagonists, an unlikely team of heroes, face life and death scenarios as they hunt down the evil protagonists who show little regard for human life in their unquenchable desire for this secret book. The sense of urgency and the chase scenes maintain momentum as the team hop planes, dodge bullets, and pursue evil within the labyrinth underground of the walled enclave within Rome.

I was left breathless, my heart pounding as I turned the last page. I eagerly await Joe Mason’s next adrenaline-filled adventure in The Demon Code to be published in August 2022.

I was gifted this advance copy by David Leadbeater, Avon Books UK, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

Was this review helpful?

If the Da Vinci Code/Angels and Demons had a baby with a Michael Bay action movie, this is the Vatican Secret! Full of intrigue, memorable protagonists and certifiable villains this book will keep the reader hooked from chapter to chapter. Definitely a fun ride and the pacing was good so no chapters felt like filler or were boring.

Was this review helpful?

This book was sent to me for review by Netgalley…mystery…mayhem…intrigue…plots…theft…these themes are prominent in this book…the author is excellent at his craft…he has a woven a story that reads like nonfiction…. The characters are dedicated no matter what they are doing…red herrings…a conclusion that is…wait…read and discover.

Was this review helpful?

The Vatican Secret is the first in the Joe Mason series. Ex-MI5 officer Joe Mason is thrown into the hunt for the Vatican’s most treasured possession, a book of secrets, passed from pope to pope, but has been stolen by an ancient clandestine society. Assisted by his crew. They find themselves in a race around the globe to find the book before the secrets are revealed.

This book had me hooked from the start, it’s fast paced, explosive and will keep you entertained throughout. Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and the author for the chance to review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for a pre-release of The Vatican Secret.

If you're a fan of Dan Brown's book you'll like this one - and I don't say that lightly. Normally I'm not a fan of books that sell themselves as "like Dan Brown', but this one is an exception.

This book has it all. There is action, intrigue, suspense, and a crew of misfits trying to save Christianity as we know it. The descriptions were well done - especially of historical landmarks - and the writing style was very well done. The story also kept a nice rapid pace, with me on the edge of my seat itching to know what would happen next. This is the first book in a new series, and I'm really looking forward to reading the next books. I highly recommend giving The Vatican Secret a read!

Was this review helpful?

Another great book from David, History, excitement and plenty of action. I was totally engrossed reading this story, While I loved the characters, one did make me want to jump in the book and slap their face, but that shows how fantastic the writer is when they can bring out their readers emotions with their books.

Was this review helpful?

Wow.. Get ready for an adventurous thriller!!

This is an unputdownable book - I had to finish it at one go.. It was indeed gripping!

Am super eager to see more of Joe Mason!!

Was this review helpful?

I just had to read this new series. After making a glutton f myself and finishing almost all the Matt Drake books, I needed something a wee bit different but with the same feel. Joe and the Gang did not disappoint.

Mason is burned out. He doesn't want to kill anymore, he just wants to keep people safe. His new job with a top-tier security outfit should fit the bill but fate has other ideas. On a "babysitting" mission with his new partner, Roxy, everything goes pear-shaped and they are soon on a globetrotting, adrenaline fuelled adventure!

I really enjoyed this new series. Whilst it has the feel of Matt Drake and other thriller series it is completely fresh with new villains, the Amori, and its supremely ruthless leader Marduk. This is not a man you want to get on the bad side of. With action, adventure, blackmail, strained family relationships, new friendships, and allies that you don't quite know if you can trust - this has the hallmarks of a fab series.

The team are all a bit dinged up and have their own issues, none of them are sparkly clean and fresh out of the wrapper. This just makes them oh so realistic and gives them so much depth. Can't wait for no. 2!

I read an advanced copy via NetGalley and volunteered to leave this review

Was this review helpful?

The Vatican Secret is a fast paced book with non stop action. I enjoyed the story and the characters of the book. It starts out as a caper to rob the Vatican. A researcher and his daughter get caught up in the theft. The researcher dies and the daughter tries get back the stolen book. Looking forward to the sequel.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: