Monday, June 15, 2009

Books I've read this week - The Death of a Pope

The Death of a Pope by Piers Paul Read ©2009

From the book cover: Juan Uriarte, a handsome and outspoken Spanish ex-priest, seems to be the model of nonviolence and compassion for the poor and downtrodden. So why is he on trial, accused of terrorist activities? His worldwide Catholic charitable outreach program is suspected of being a front for radicals. The trial is covered by Kate Ramsey, a young British reporter, who sets out to uncover the truth about Uriarte and his work. She travels with him to Africa to see his work first hand but soon finds herself attracted to him.

Meanwhile an international conspiracy is growing, one that reaches into the Vatican itself. When the death of Pope Paul II brings about the conclave that will elect Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, a terrorist plot involving blackmail, subterfuge, and mass murder begins to fall into place… a plot that could spell disaster for the Catholic Church and the world.

Piers Paul Read’s powerful tale combines vivid characters, high drama, love, betrayal, faith, and redemption in a story of intrigue, church espionage, and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the world – the Papacy. The Death of a Pope races toward an unexpected and unforgettable conclusion.

About the author: Piers Paul Read is an English author. A previous non-fiction work Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors sold five million copies worldwide. He also wrote Alec Guinness: The Authorized Biography, On the Third Day, A Patriot in Berlin, Alice in Exile, other books and several television plays. Learn more about this book at .

I was sent an ARC of this book to review. First I want to say I’m not Catholic or even a very religious person but I found this book fascinating and very thought-provoking once I got into it. The Catholic Church has always seemed somewhat mysterious to me and I wonder how it continues to exist in today's world with its rules against birth control, divorce, women priests, etc.

The content of this book is very applicable to today’s society with all the fears we have about global terrorism. In this story one radical takes steps to change the world in the name of God while attempting to place the blame on another religious group. Like so many other extremists, he feels that breaking the laws of the land and/or the church is okay if some good comes of it, after all “if God is for you, who can be against you?” The scary thing is something like this could happen if the right people were involved. This is a wonderful contemporary novel and packs a lot into its 215 pages.

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