Okay, let me start off by saying that I admire Paul Maier's gifts as a scholar and translator - his versions of Josephus and Eusebius are invaluable. His knowledge of the biblical world also eminently qualifies him to tell stories set at those times - his documentary novel "Pontius Pilate" can easily be set on the shelf next to works like "Ben-Hur" and "Quo Vadis". But brilliant men can't be experts in everything - in Maier's case, works of fiction set in the modern day. "The Constantine Codex" is worth reading for its premise alone, but it suffers from some of the weaknesses that have characterized the author's other novels.
* A thought-provoking concept - the discovery of missing manuscripts which may revolutionize the study of the New Testament
* The content of the Islam vs. Christianity debate - not exhaustive by any means, but a good introduction
* Giving venerable scholars like Daniel Wallace and Edwin Yamauchi a chance to be action heroes.
* Fast-paced reading; makes scholarly concepts accessible to the general reader
* The author seems enamored of Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and high-church Protestantism, and rather disdainful of evangelicalism, which hardly seems to have a place at the table.
* Too-quick acceptance of the additions to Mark and Acts into the canon of Scripture. Though they might rightly have a place, little discussion takes place about signs of divine inspiration - the true test for Scripture. The writers of the New Testament probably wrote many other letters and books, which God has not chosen to preserve with His other inspired writings, and apostolic authorship alone does not make something inspired Scripture. If we found Paul's grocery list, it would be a great archeological find, but not necessarily a document meant for the church to use.
* Inadequate conflict, resulting in a low degree of suspense. Even with all the shuffling of documents, the text is still safely preserved in photographs. And since the text complements Scripture, its revelation is not seen as a challenge. The one antagonist is very suddenly revealed, then fizzles.
* Many of the same flaws as "A Skeleton in God's Closet" - bad dialogue, awkward romance, and unbelievable scenarios. My suggestion to Paul Maier is, that if he intends to keep writing novels set in the present, he form a writing partnership with a co-author more comfortable with characters outside of the ancient world.