Vatican City, present day: Papal secretary Father Colin Michener is concerned for the Pope. Night after restless night, Pope Clement XV enters the Vatican's Riserva, the special archive open only to popes, where the Church's most clandestine and controversial documents are stored. Though unsure of the details, Michener knows that the Pope's distress stems from the revelations of Fatima.
Equally concerned, but not out of any sense of compassion, is Alberto Cardinal Valendrea, the Vatican's Secretary of State. Valendrea desperately covets the papacy, having narrowly lost out to Clement at the last conclave. Now the Pope's interest in Fatima threatens to uncover a shocking ancient truth that Valendrea has kept to himself for many years.
When Pope Clement sends Michener to the Romanian highlands, then to a Bosnian holy site, in search of a priest, possibly one of the last people on Earth who knows Mary's true message, a perilous set of events unfolds. Michener finds himself embroiled in murder, suspicion, suicide, deceit, and his forbidden passion for a beloved woman. In a desperate search for answers, he travels to Pope Clement's birthplace in Germany, where he learns that the third secret of Fatima may dictate the very fate of the Church, a fate now lying in Michener's own hands.
©2005 Steve Berry; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Berry handles his thriller tradecraft skillfully: his descriptions are stellar, and of special interest, he offers a vivid re-creation of the majestic conclave, in which the College of Cardinals elects a new pope." (Booklist)
the story was fine until the end...I was terribly disappointed in the way this story was written. To have a cover up at the end was a really disappointing shock. too bad!
Excellent novel, well written with deep and complex characters. This is my first Steve Berry audiobook and look forward to his other novels here at Audible.
I hate to write this, but I have no choice. What could have been a davinci type pseudo religious thriller degenerated into anti Catholic pontificating (pun intended). Near the end the author uses highly convoluted logic to biblically justify among other things, abortion. NO MAJOR RELIGION OF ANY TYPE CONDONES ABORTION. Whether or not one agrees, the fact is religions do not approve of it. This is but one example. A WASTE OF MONEY.
I listened to this book for hours anticipating a earth shattering revelation from no less than the mother of God herself only to learn to my great shock that the Virgin Mary supports gay marriage and abortion rights. What a dismal let down to what could have been a decent read notwithstanding it's constant Catholic bashing.
I enjoyed this book until the end. The reader is terrific. However, the ending makes this book seem like another outlet for making the homosexual agenda seem approved by God.
This author, though professing to be Catholic, is actually anti-Catholic. Though he has significant understanding of the workings of the Church, he knows nothing of it's Faith and Doctrine. It's impossible to write a decent Catholic novel without this knowledge and understanding. Nothing but a NOVEL piece of propaganda. I actually felt sick, as the anti-Christian diatribe began.
I can recommend this book only to a people who are not catholic. For me it was very interesting to see how the author has tried to separate religion and faith and to question the main church doctrins. The plot is not so active and thrilling as in other S.Berry's books, but the book makes you think.
This is good. Period. Worth buying and it will keep your attention. As usual Berry spins a pretty good yarn. I enjoyed it all the way through.
Have to completely disagree with the majority of the reviews. Having read all Steve Berry's work, this one is different. It explores long relationships that are deep and cerebral, that surpass mere physical attraction. It probes issues many don't want discussed - and I thoroughly enjoyed this departure from the normal thriller. The scenes in the Romanian orphanage are mesmerizing. It's a novel that reaches places other thrillers never touch.
Add to this the phenomenal job that Paul Michael does with different accents, women's voices, and the narration. He is absolutely marvelous and worth listening to whatever he reads.
So no - I don't think the ending is a cop out. Rather than a summary dismissal it gives yet more to think about, another question of faith and comment on doctrine.
I loved it - and will listen again.
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