My Rating: 3 /5
Author: Declan Finn
Title: A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller
As the head of Vatican security, Giovanni Figlia must protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day. The Pope’s latest project is to make Pius XII, “Hitler’s Pope,” a saint. Things haven’t gotten better since the Pope employed American mercenary Sean Ryan.
Then a body fell onto the Vatican doorstep.
Soon, a pattern emerges– people who go into the Pius XII historical archives are dying. Each time, a priest has been in the background– a priest close to the Pope. One of the victims was an al-Qaeda operative, drawing Scott “Mossad” Murphy of Israeli intelligence to Rome.
Soon, Ryan, Murphy and Figlia must join forces to unravel the mystery around the Vatican, as even the man Giovanni is supposed to protect looks like a suspect. To get out of this alive, they must discover if Hitler’s Pope was a Nazi collaborator, or a pious man.
Opinions: A Pius Man is a very action-packed book. Something is always happening in the story and parts make me wonder how some characters are alive after a scene. Fighting is used throughout the novel, as well as, incorporating history. The new pope – Pius XIII – wants to canonize Pope Pius XII. However, as people gather evidence about the deceased pope, whether for the canonization or for other means, they wind up dead. Eventually the background about Pius XII and whether or not he supported the Nazis comes to light. Multiple people arrive at the Vatican – to help with the canonization, to investigate with the recent murders, to spy, etc. These characters all contribute to the multiple viewpoints – abundantly so. Furthermore, the author uses multiple names to refer to each character. This can be confusing throughout the book. I’m not good with names, so having to remember the different names/profession titles for each character slowed down my reading. Having so many people in the narrative also takes away from their own development. Yes, they all have backgrounds and characteristics, but it felt very thin or spread out rather than being in depth.
Standalone or Part of a Series: First book in a trilogy