Daniel Foster is in âacademic purgatory' as he calls it. He is teaching Theology and has only one goal and one obsession in his life. The goal is to be asked to join the exclusive and very secret Religious Studies Investigation Committee. A group that investigates different religious sects and is located at the University but has undisclosed financing outside the University and is not known by any other than the members. Daniel's obsession is to confirm that everything that happened in the New Testament is not written down. He believes he has found numerous indications that Christ's body was hidden at the time of the Ascension and the body itself did not rise. He feels frustrated that his colleagues in the department consider his theories nonsense and won't give him the time of day.
He has a friend in the department that shares his office, Lorenzo. Lorenzo is part of the Committee and the only way to become a member is to be invited by a member in good standing. Daniel's problem is that his obsession with proving that Christ's body is still somewhere on earth - on the surface seems to be at odds with the Committee's work. However, Lorenzo does put a good word in for him and he does become part of the Religious Studies Investigation Committee and immediately is sent on a mission.
The mission was to Peru but the helicopter carrying the team, Daniel, Richard and Lorenzo crashed due to a strange storm that came upon them without any warning. From that moment on their journey was beyond belief. Going through the jungle with the pilot close to death they found an unusual stone building. A strange, silent group of people invited them into the edifice. In the middle of the night a young man comes to them and tells them a story that is everything Daniel had surmised in his research about Christ's body.
What follows is a chronicle of events that reveals how Daniel's obsession can make him see things that are presented to him as truth simply because he wants them to be.
The Petrified Christ is in no way a religious story. It is a tale of what obsession can do to a man as well as how pronounced and undeniable fear can lead to insanity. The first few pages were not necessarily fast-paced, jump right into action reading - more intriguing and the reader wonders where Daniel is coming from with his insights into the student body as he looks out his window.
Mr. Torres does a great job weaving his story and pulling the reader into the whole quest. I did find the final part of the book where Daniel is back at the University reflecting back and forth from the present to the last hours in Peru kind of disjointed but that in no way reflects badly on the story as a whole.