Bestseller Silva’s improbable 20th thriller featuring Gabriel Allon (after 2019’s The New Girl) opens with the unexpected death of Pope Paul VII, who succeeded John Paul II in the author’s alternative universe. Allon, the director-general of Israeli intelligence, who once saved the pontiff’s life, is on vacation in Venice when he gets a call from Archbishop Luigi Donati, Paul VII’s closest confidante. Donati doesn’t buy the Vatican’s story that a heart attack was the cause of death, fearing that those opposed to the pope’s liberal policies had him murdered. Shortly before his death, Paul VII had begun writing a letter to Allon about a discovery he made in the Vatican’s secret archives that would “ignite a global sensation.” Allon and Donati believe that the Holy Father was killed to prevent him from sharing the find, and the pair set out to determine what it was and who was behind the murder. The wild plot includes cartoonish bad guys who belong to the evil Order of St. Helena and seek to manipulate the election of the next pontiff. Newcomers may find the contrivances too much to swallow; series fans will know to leave their disbelief behind. (July)
Reviewed on : 07/14/2020 Release date: 07/01/2020 Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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