Daniel Silva, who was a journalist for years before he became a novelist, has always taken care to create plots that relate directly to current political and historical realities. In this novel Silva goes way beyond the facts that we all understand from the media, elucidating the complexities and the heartfelt commitments of both the Arabs and the Jews to preserving “their own” piece of the land in what is now Israel, and especially Jerusalem. Allon is restoring “The Deposition of Christ,” widely regarded as Caravaggio’s finest painting, working at night in the Vatican, when the body of a female curator in the antiquities department is found beneath the Michelangelo-designed dome of the basilica. While this is being investigated, Allon learns from Shimon Pazner at the Israeli Embassy that Hezbollah, aided by Iran, may be planning a major attack on some Israeli site in Europe. Eventually, these two plots coincide, but not before Silva has explored the complexities of the financial dealings at the Vatican; the personal alliances within the Vatican and within Rome itself; the financial and cultural interconnections between the Palestinians, Hezbollah, Iran, and the antiquities market; and the extreme actions suicide bombers are willing to commit to advance their agenda. No compromise seems possible in dealing with any of these issues as the reader becomes newly aware of the increasing tensions of the area and the unlikelihood that any solution, other than war, will be the result.
Category Archive for 'Vatican'
The Leopard, an assassin who figures in a number of Silva novels, becomes a major player in this third Gabriel Allon novel, about the passive involvement of the Vatican in the Holocaust and its subsequent denial of all responsibility. Basing the novel on research by scholars like Susan Zuccotti (whom Silva credits in his acknowledgments) into the secret connections between factions within the Catholic Church and the Third Reich, Silva creates a chilling and utterly compelling story about the reasons that the Vatican might have feared the Jews were a threat to its own power and wanted to prevent the ultimate establishment of an Israeli homeland.
A fast-paced thriller in which the action and blood never stop, this strong debut by Spanish author Juan Gomez-Jurado will keep many readers going until well into the night. Set in Vatican City during the conclave to elect a new pope following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, the action begins with the grisly deaths of two cardinals planning to participate in the conclave, their bodies tortured and mutilated almost beyond recognition by a serial killer on the loose. That serial killer is Victor Karosky, a priest. As Rome begins to fill up with all the cardinals returning for the conclave, clergy of all denominations, pilgrims who wish to view the Pope’s body, heads of state arriving for the funeral, tourists, and news organizations with their equipment, the various security forces are frantic to find the killer and prevent additional killings.