The Death of a Pope
by Pier Paul Read

At first I didn’t recognise the author when this book was sent to me, more fool me, as I have read several of his previous works (fiction & non-fiction) and enjoyed them. This book is no exception to his output. A very taught theological thriller that lacks all the waffle that you find in many novels of the type. While there is reflection and liturgical discussion it never gets turgid and trite.

The plot involves the death of Pope John Paul II and selection of a new pope to replace, or rather that is the backdrop for the drama that unfolds. It involves Africa, ETA, the IRA and the Muslim Brotherhood to name just a few players, with a nice touch of WMD about the place. The plot is intricate, but easy to follow and never gets out of hand. PPR has a way about his writing that almost implores you to continue reading. This is books just screams “read me in one sitting” and its possible to do so with great ease.

PPR gives plenty of ambiance without getting anal about it. There is enough to draw you in but it never feels like he is using background in place of plot.

In short this is an excellent novel that deserves to be read by those with taste in quality novels. I enjoyed every minute of reading it and highly recommend it.

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