Thursday, February 16, 2017

Conclave by Robert Harris

I recently listened to the book Conclave by Robert Harris and narrated by Roy McMillan. The novel is a great listen and one of my favorites in the thriller genre.

This wonderfully narrated (8 hours) thriller takes us into the Sistine Chapel during the ultra-secret papal conclave. In the novel, the fictional pope has just died, and 117 or so cardinals from around the world are summoned to Rome to elect the next pope. Unbeknownst to the cardinals the now deceased pope named the Filipino Archbishop-Cardinal of Baghdad, in pectore (appointments to the College of Cardinals by the pope whose names are not publicly revealed, mostly to keep the cleric safe from persecution). In the aftermath of the pope's sudden and unexpected death rumors begin circulating that he was planning to fire a few cardinals. In charge of overseeing the papal election is the Dean of Cardinals, Cardinal Lomeli. Lomeli feels it is his duty to uncover what the pope knew before he died because some of the cardinals in question are in the running to succeed him. Tension and high suspense surround the elaborate, richly described ceremonies of each vote as secret revelations about the leading contenders surface. Once again Harris delivers a knockout of an ending.

Like Papal fiction, try one of these....

Woman of God by James Patterson (2016)
The Third Secret by Steve Berry (2006)
The Last Pope by David Osborne (2004)
The Accidental Pope by Raymond Flynn (2000)
Cardinal Galsworthy by Edward Sheehan (1997)
White Smoke by Andrew Greeley (1996)

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