Although the twists and turns are perhaps slightly predictable (despite the author's obvious skill in misdirection) and although the suspension of disbelief is challenged by the incredible unlikelihood of the ending, this book is so grounded in reality that it could almost be a documentary rather than fiction.
Another great Vatican-based thriller is The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell.
Some great lines:
- "As with sleep, the more one desired meaningful prayer, the more elusive it became.” (p 6)
- “Once, God explained all mysteries. Now He has been usurped by conspiracy theorists. They are the heretics of the age.” (p 16)
- “The vices of courtiers all down the ages - the sins of vanity and intrigue and of malice and gossip.” (p 54)
- “The United Kingdom - that godless isle of apostasy.” (p 232)
- “Faith is a living thing precisely because it walks hand in hand with doubt.” (p 124)