My new novel, The Liars' Gospel, will be released by Penguin on 30 August 2012. Here's the blurb:
This is the story of a Jewish man, Yehoshuah, who wandered Roman-occupied Judea giving sermons and healing the sick. Now, a year after his death, four people tell their stories. His mother alternates between grief and rage while trouble brews between her village and the occupying soldiers. Iehuda, who was once Yehoshuah’s friend, recalls how he came to lose his faith and find a place among the Romans. Caiaphas, the High Priest at the great Temple in Jerusalem, tries to hold the peace between Rome and Judea. Bar-avo, a rebel and a murderer, strives to bring the peace tumbling down.
Viscerally powerful in its depiction of the realities of the period – massacres and riots, animal sacrifice and human betrayal – The Liars’ Gospel finds echoes of the present in the past. It was a time of brutal tyranny and occupation. Young men and women took to the streets in protest. Dictators put them down with iron force. Rumours spread from mouth to mouth. Rebels attacked the greatest Empire the world has ever known. The Empire gathered its forces to make those rebels pay.
And in the midst of all of that, one inconsequential preacher died. And either something miraculous happened, or someone lied.
And a note from me not the back of the book: I'm calling it at the moment the story of Jesus told from the perspective of the Pharisees. Mostly because as an ex-Orthodox Jew I grew up a Pharisee, and I feel one doesn't hear enough about what an excellent point they had on lots of matters.