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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Thursday, 21 September 2017

"Conclave" by Robert Harris

As Dean of the |College of Cardinals, Jacopo Lomeli has to organise the election of the next pope. Packed with authentic detail, Conclave charts the intrigues as the secrets and sins of the front-runners knock them one-by-one out of the race to leave them with perhaps the least likely candidate.

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)
A good read. September 23017; 380 pages

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