The Remnant

Christy Kenneally, Author . Pegasus $25 (312p) ISBN 978-1-933648-87-3

Andrew Greeley meets Robert Ludlum with mixed results in this erratically paced thriller from retired Irish Catholic priest Kenneally (Second Son ). Fr. Michael Flaherty, soon after his reassignment from Ireland to upstate New York, gets inexplicably transferred to Rome, where he becomes an unwitting pawn in a looming religious civil war involving a dying pope and ruthless bishops. A secret cabal of ultraconservative clerics have vowed to remove the church's liberal advocates “with the steel of the Crusaders and the fire of the Inquisition.” Kenneally's narrative voice is as knowledgeable as it is forceful when he describes the Vatican as “a theatre of war” and the supreme pontiff's restricted role (“There are convicts in Roman prisons who are freer than the Pope”). Some readers, however, may have trouble with the decidedly nonlinear story line and an ensemble of two-dimensional characters with no clear protagonist. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
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