The Last Pope, Paperback
Vatican City, 29 September 1978: the world wakes to the shocking news that Pope John Paul I is dead, just a month after his accession. Thirty years later, in London, young journalist Sarah Monteiro receives a mysterious package.
Enclosed is a list of names and a coded message. Moments later a masked assassin attempts to silence her for ever.
It seems Sarah holds the key to unveiling a deadly secret - a plot that implicates unscrupulous mercenaries and crooked politicians, and which goes to the very heart of the Vatican.
Sarah has no choice but to run, forced into a ruthless game of cat-and-mouse.
She can trust no one, especially when her father's name appears on the incriminating list. Sarah finds herself at the centre of a world-wide conspiracy its keepers will stop at nothing to protect.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 486 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/08/2009
- Category: Thriller / suspense
- ISBN: 9780141042695
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Review by MyopicBookworm
After reading this, one can appreciate Dan Brown's qualities as a writer. The poll links the (supposed) assassination of John Paul I to the financial scandals in the Vatican banking system and the shady P2 organization. This might have worked, but the idea that the CIA is largely subverted by secret masonic agents operating out of the Vatican is just ridiculously implausible, as is the quick-witted responsiveness of a couple of journalists caught up in the affair. I guess that is what is going on: the onion-like layers of hidden identity and motive are so opaque that I'm not quite sure, and I couldn't keep tabs on all the various armed men in black suits, sinister cardinals, murdered priests, and elegant elderly men who run everything from behind the scenes. The narrative switches rather confusingly between the 1970s and the present day. The author also suggests that John Paul I was preparing to turn the Roman Catholic Church inside out not only by unmasking financial crooks in high places but by revoking papal infallibility. Wishful thinking, I guess. An entertaining book, if you're stuck in an airport. MB 16-iv-2012