A State of Corruption

Paul Geddes, Author Holt McDougal $14.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-03-008164-4
The death of a corrupt Vatican banker, a mysterious note to the prime minister warning of scandal involving a Cabinet member, and the suicide of a young priest set the scene. Along with these elements, Geddes here reintroduces Ludovic Fender, the portly British investigator previously seen in High Game and A November Wind, in a stylishly wrought thriller that plays almost perfectly until its climactic moments. With colleague Antonia Strachan in tow, Fender sets off for Rome, ostensibly to investigate whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer's wife profited from secret information. But he is also out to discover if a group of zealous priests who seem capable of murder are operating with Vatican approval. Artfully written and plotted, the novel moves smoothly through Vatican intrigues until Geddes employs a convenient climax that is jarringly out of sync with the book's style and tone. (April 7)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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