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Van R. Mayhall Jr.

Van R. Mayhall, Jr., is the senior partner in the Baton Rouge office and is a former Chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee having served six years in such role. He has extensive legal experience with strategic and enterprise legal issues affecting ongoing businesses. Mr. Mayhall advises boards of directors and senior management on such issues and for over 40 years has practiced in the areas of corporate and business law; business transactions, tax and securities matters; insurance regulatory matters; selected litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
Georgetown Law, Washington,  ...See more >

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"A solid thriller with an invigorating religious theme."

Kirkus Reviews


Invited Author, Louisiana Book Festival, 2013: Judas the Apostle

Star Award, 2013: Judas the Apostle

Editor's Choice Award, 2012: Judas the Apostle

Rising Star Award, 2012: Judas the Apostle

Hometown Baton Rouge, La.

Favorite author Stephen King and Dean Koontz

Day job Business and Corporate Attorney

Passion in life Family, faith, law and writing.


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1491721087
Page count: 372pp

Ancient languages professor Dr. Cloe Lejeune returns to stop an evil organization from locating a cave of oil jars crucial to the survival of Christianity in Mayhall’s (Judas the Apostle, 2013) latest religious thriller.

Cloe is translating parts of an old journal that may have been written by an apostle chronicling three years in the life of Christ. The documents were found in ancient oil jars, one bequeathed by her late father and the other from the Sicarii, a group protecting a cave reputedly filled with similar jars. Pope Francis enlists Cloe to find the elusive cave, since proof of the apostle’s diary might have the power to either confirm or refute the Gospels. He also hopes to find the cave before a villainous enterprise; Cloe has already dealt with its murderous leader, the Kolektor, but he’s gone, replaced by his former servant, the Karik, as well as a mysterious heir. Cloe, her military son, J.E., and Monsignor Albert Roques join Swiss Guards in tracking down the cave. The author’s novel is rife with mystery, as Cloe’s group uncovers a myriad of clues, from tunnels in the Church of St. John in France to a burial site in Tunisia, Africa. Mystery even surrounds some of the characters, particularly Miguel, who’s trailing the Karik (and by extension, Cloe and the others) for killing his family with a bomb intended for him; the reason he’s initially a target doesn’t come to light until later. Mayhall recaps his previous novel thoroughly but nonintrusively, opening with momentum (the Sicarii facing the advancing Romans in A.D. 70) and relaying the earlier plot in snippets as the story progresses. Cloe is a commendable protagonist, more than proving her worth intellectually but also handling herself physically; she shows that a high heel can be a weapon, too. While the strongest scenes involve Cloe’s making her way to the cave using the Sicarii’s cryptic signs and biblical verses, the novel has its share of action, including a plane that goes down and a standoff with gunfire and grenades. Once again, Mayhall wraps everything up quite nicely while leaving the story open for another sequel. Reading the preceding novel isn’t a requirement, though this volume will likely inspire readers to do so.

An exhilarating companion piece to the first in the series.

Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1475931549
Page count: 300pp

A linguistics professor’s inherited relic sets an arms dealer on her trail in Mayhall’s debut religious thriller.

Dr. Clotile “Cloe” Lejeune flies to Louisiana with her son, J.E., for her father’s funeral. Once there, she learns that her dad was murdered by a professional who was apparently searching for something in his house. Cloe surmises that the murderer was looking for an African oil jar that her father left to her. Local priests believe that the jar may contain the Gospel of Judas, an ancient text which could rock the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. Meanwhile, a mysterious, powerful man with a deep-rooted hatred for the church decides that he must have it—at any cost. The novel contains numerous discussions of religious texts, including passages that Cloe manages to translate from inside the jar. The conversations are weighty but never burdensome thanks to thriller genre conventions: a formidable villain with a penchant for taking artifacts that aren’t his; a murder, a kidnapping and a face-to-face showdown; and lots of suspense—indeed, simply opening the jar takes quite some time. The book is best when it creates an atmosphere of distrust, as when J.E. deduces that one of Cloe’s cohorts is leaking information (effectively giving the book its own Judas). Mayhall doesn’t mask the story’s religious aspects, including talk of the four Gospels and the different ways they tell the story of Judas’ betrayal. After the characters piece together new and old data, their conclusion is certainly provocative, but it’s nothing that readers might consider blasphemous. The brilliantly open ending steers clear of definitive answers but provides adequate closure.

A solid thriller with an invigorating religious theme.


Biblical thriller, historical thriller

In this sequel to Judas the Apostle, Cloe Lejeune, her soldier son, J.E., and the Monsignor, undertake a mission from the Pope to find the cave of jars and save Christianity. Dr. Clotile Lejeune, an ancient languages expert, is back in her Madisonville, Louisiana, bungalow, working on translating the newly discovered and potentially earth shaking journal of Christ’s public ministry, when she is called to a personal audience with the new pope, Francis. Cloe, J.E., her soldier son, and the Monsignor, a mysterious Vatican operative, have only just narrowly survived their encounter with the Kolektor, a billionaire arms merchant. The Kolektor, willing to kill anyone who stood in his way of possessing the ancient oil jar left to Cloe by her father has met his fate at Hakeldama at the hands of the Sicarii, the shadowy successors to the first century Judean revolutionaries. Now time and circumstance are the enemies. The Pope tells Cloe that nothing less than the fate of Christianity is at risk and charges her to find the cave of jars and to keep them away from their adversaries. On the other side of the world, the Kolektor’s criminal organization has arisen and is headed by a man far more dangerous than the Kolektor himself and who will stop at nothing to find the cave of jars. Cloe and friends will follow biblical clues seeking the location of the jars from Lyon, France to Jerusalem to Tunisia all the while fighting off the death dealing leader who has taken the Kolektor’s place. The race for the cave of jars is on. What will be revealed? Will Christianity survive?


Interview with Van Mayhall, Jr.