Allen & Unwin, $24.95
Unholy Night is a revisionist retelling of the nativity story, where the three wise men turn out to be thieves in the vein of those of the Arabian Nights. If you might be offended by the recasting of the magi of the Gospel of Matthew in such a light, this book is probably not for you.
However, there is nothing deeply sacrilegious in this original work of fiction.
It is not a parody of the nativity, but takes the ambiguity surrounding the mysterious magi and fills in some of the blanks in creative and unusual ways.
The plot centres on sword-fighting fugitives of a depraved Herod the Great, who are chased by the might of the Roman Empire and find their lives intersecting with Mary and Joseph at a very critical moment.
There are fabulous twists and turns, which are hard to see coming. This book is a lucky dip of literary surprises and is worth seeking out.