The Sixth Station
by Linda Stasi
Cover Artist: deatil from Birth of the Virgin by Getty Images
Review by Mel Jacob
Forge Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765334275
Date: 22 January 2013 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Linda Stasi's debut novel, The Sixth Station, begins with trial of a terrorist in NYC by the UN. Newspaper reporter Alessandra Russo is sent to cover the opening of the trial. A mob scene greets her and a fellow video reporter Dona Grimm. With police help, they make it into the UN grounds. They witness the arrival of the Demiel ben Yusef, believed by some to be the Son of the Son. He stops before Alessandra and kisses her, changing her life forever.
Now designated The Chosen, Ali finds herself accused of supporting Demiel. A priest also provides a car, a satellite phone with a contacts list, and money. When the priest who helped her avoid Demiel's followers and her fellow reporters is found dead, she is accused of murdering him.
Ali rushes from person to person, seeking clues to who and what Demiel is. His followers believe he is the Son of the Son, i.e., Jesus' son. The governments and religions of the world consider him a terrorist bent on destroying the world.
A disgraced former spy who once hunted Demiel tells Ali she must learn about his origins in order to free him. After meeting with the former spy, Ali suspects someone is following her, and she flees for her life. Heading to Canada, a bomb destroys her car.
Following clues provided by others, Ali flies to Europe. She goes to Istanbul, Rome, France, and elsewhere. She consults with various people including a Catholic priest, a nun, and a purported assassin.
Stasi uses history and legend liberally and not always accurately. The Cathars and the Templars, along with their rumored treasures, figure prominently. Various legends of Veronica's Veil are also used. Stereotypes abound with nasty portraits of various church and secular leaders. The novel strains credibility, especially over the preservation and transmission of Christ's blood. It also draws upon reincarnation and racial memories. The highly hyped novel may please some thrill seeking readers, but not those who want good writing and believability. A sequel is sure to follow.