It is the near future, and a genetic research team from the NIH is asked by the Vatican to use the latest findings of the Human Geme Project to shed new light on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. The lead researcher, Robert Strickland M.D., is an agstic with spiritual leanings. But as the inquiry proceeds, it appears that this is indeed the burial cloth of the historical Jesus-and the vestment's bloodstains open up the possibility of cloning. The ensuing investigative journey-from Washington D.C., to Israel, to Belize-has global repercussions, and transforms the lives of all involved. -The Shroud- is an adventure vel in the vein of Carl Sagan's -Contact--exploring many of today's news-making scientific, spiritual, and ethical questions. The story has sectarian agenda. At bottom, the message is one of decoupling spirituality from religious dogma, while better exploring mystical and transcendent pursuits with cutting edge techlogy. -The Shroud- resonates with the works of Deepak Chopra, Michael Crichton, and Stephen Hawking.