Volumes: 3 author: Jan Valetov copies sold: 100.000 genre: Historical thriller translation possible from: Russian rights available: all except Ukrainian The Damned – The Gospel according to Judas Vol. 1 Chronicles of the Damned. Folio 2010, 352 pages. ENGLISH SAMPLE AVAILABLE Vol. 2 The Way of the Damned. Folio 2011, 352 pages Vol. 3 The Heart of the Damned. Folio 2012, 352 pages In Israel, an archeological expedition headed by Professor Katz of the University of Jerusalem begins excavations at the site of the Masada fortress – the last stronghold of the Jewish Revolt against Rome in 66-73 AD. At the invitation of Katz, his nephew Val, a prominent TV journalist from Ukraine who distinguished himself by his reports on risky expeditions to unsafe regions of the globe, comes to join the team. A strong mutual attraction almost instantly develops between 30 year-old Val and the Arab-Christian – Arin, the Professor’s assistant, an athletic, petite, hazel-eyed girl of striking charm. By mere accident, during the excavations they discover a secret underground refuge under the ruins of King Herod’s palace. Here they find some mummified remains. A tube containing a parchment lies next to the body. The well-preserved manuscript, written by somebody named Yehuda, depicts dramatic, at times bloody events that took place in the 1st century AD. Despite all his efforts Professor Katz fails to conceal the immensely valuable artifact. His group becomes the target of a sudden attack by hired assassins. Although with army training as former Israeli soldiers, Katz, Arin and also Val miraculously survive the barrage of fire, but the killers continue to pursue them in the endless labyrinth of cliffs and canyons across the Judean Desert. Katz comes to realize that they are relentlessly followed not by random criminals but by trained professionals from a private army, who take orders from some forces at the highest, sub-governmental level. A group of influential people convene in Paris and agree to undertake whatever is necessary to silence Katz and his colleagues forever so that the world never learns about their discovery. The uncovered manuscript is at the heart of this deadly confrontation. It was written by the Savior’s thirteenth apostle Yehuda – the notorious Judas, who has been damned forever and labeled a traitor by Christians for the past 2000 years. The manuscript portrays Yeshua-Jesus as an observant Jew, a strong and courageous leader and an inspirational preacher who died for the righteous cause of his people’s freedom from Roman tyranny. In her effort to preserve his memory for future generations, his wife Miriam kidnapped and secretly reburied Yeshua’s body, spreading rumors about his resurrection. As for Yehuda, he never sold his teacher for thirty silver coins – on the contrary, he is Yeshua’s closest and most trusted friend, who gave up his good name and accepted the role of betrayer at Miriam’s request, as well as eternal damnation from all Yeshua’s followers. Those hunting for the surviving members of the expedition and the manuscript belong to the powerful Legion, a secret organization subordinate to the even more powerful Conclave, which continues its sacred mission to protect the Dogma of Faith and sends its fighters whenever and wherever it sees anything posing serious threat to Faith.