A forbidden secret . . . The Church's fate in the balance . . . Will a pair of amateur sleuths expose a truth that could upend the Christian world?
Jesus’ resurrection is a cornerstone of Christian faith. But when a clue surfaces that hints at an alternate account, the ramifications stand to change Christianity forever.
Jesuit priest Michael Dominic’s assignment to the Vatican’s legendary Secret Archives results in his discovery of a hidden papyrus: the unpublished writings of Mary Magdalene — a lost record buried in Rome’s deepest recesses. The forgotten relic’s heretical revelation threatens the Vatican’s very legitimacy, and pits Michael against ruthless and powerful enemies.
Desperate, he reaches out to Hana Sinclair, an investigative reporter with a record of tackling contentious subjects. Together they defy the Church elite, and embark on a search through the shadows of history to unearth the truth. As the pressure builds to silence the pair, will the Vatican resort to the unthinkable in order to safeguard its wealth and power?
Based on historical facts, this international thriller takes readers on a white-knuckle race through the holy sites of Europe. Get your copy of this award-winning tale and discover why Gary McAvoy’s devoted fans say, “I didn’t want this book to end!”
Gary McAvoy is author of both fiction and nonfiction, including his bestselling thriller series “The Magdalene Chronicles,” and its sequel series, “Vatican Secret Archive Thrillers.” His nonfiction work “And Every Word Is True” has been hailed as a sequel to Truman Capote's landmark book “In Cold Blood.” Gary is also a professional collector of ancient manuscripts and historical documents, much of which informs his writing projects.
Father Michael Dominic is a recently ordained Catholic priest assigned to work in the Vatican Library's Secret Archives, which aren't so much secret as reserved for elite scholars.
Dominic is a classical medievalist whose rapid rise in the church was engineered by his mentor, Cardinal Enrico Petrini, who's known Michael since he was a boy.
One of Dominic's jobs is to help digitalize the Vatican archives, so researchers around the world can have access to the documents housed there. Michael, who's not permitted to be in the archives alone, is supervised by kindly Brother Calvino Mendoza, a portly septuagenarian who wears the brown robe and leather sandals of his Franciscan order.
Brother Mendoza is very excited about exhuming documents unseen for centuries, and - instead of asking for assistance - injures himself retrieving a large book from a high shelf.
After helping Mendoza back to his room, Dominic returns to lock the archives and can't help but peek into the book Mendoza retrieved. The tome's handling exposes a secret compartment containing two documents: writings by the ancient seer Nostradamus, and a blackmail letter directed to the Vatican.
Dominic photographs the hidden pages and consults Professor Simon Ginsberg, a religious scholar who teaches in Rome.
Dominic and Ginsberg determine that 16th century Nostradamus made predictions relevant to current times, and an early 20th century priest named François Bérenger Saunière, who had a small parish in Rennes-le-Château, France, extorted huge sums from the Holy See.
Bérenger Saunière used the funds to purchase an extravagant estate, embellish his church, provide a comfortable home for his housekeeper, and beautify the village of Rennes-le-Château.
Dominic is keen to discover what Saunière used to coerce the Vatican and gets the opportunity to investigate after he makes the acquaintance of Parisian journalist Hana Sinclair, who writes for Le Monde.
Hana is researching an article about the Vatican bank conspiring to hide gold stolen from Jews during WWII, and the two researchers are natural allies.
Michael and Hana end up going to Rennes-le-Château together, where they serendipitously acquire a papyrus document that could undermine the very foundations of the Catholic church.
The priest and reporter aren't the only ones interested in the earth-shaking discovery. The Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal Fabrizio Dante - who spies on everyone in the Holy See - has gotten wind that Dominic is on to something.
So Dante arranges for a Croatian Europol cop named Petrov Govic - a secret Nazi sympathizer who's been working for Dante for years - to follow Dominic and Hana, intercept their emails, tap their phones, and report back to him.
When Cardinal Dante learns the contents of the papyrus document unearthed in France he means to get it by any means necessary, and things take a dramatic turn from there.
Historical elements of the story include references to the Crusades; the brutal Inquisition; the controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII, who remained silent while Jews were exterminated by the Nazis; and a secret pact connected with WWII French resistance fighters called the Macquis.
The novel is enhanced by engaging secondary characters, picturesque descriptions of the Vatican.....
......and forbidden romantic sparks between Hana and Father Dominic.
This connects with my major quibble about the story - almost everyone who meets Michael comments on how handsome he is, and marvels that he became a priest. It's just a bit much. 😏
I enjoyed this exciting thriller, which held my attention from beginning to end.
Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Gary McAvoy), and the publisher (Literati Editions) for a copy of the book.
In The Magdalene Deception you’ll find a plot that mixes elements of a treasure hunt, contempory and historic fiction, and spy stories. This mix reminded me a lot of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, though The Magdalene Deception felt a bit slower and darker in some moments. It is also much more matter-of-fact in style, I’d say.
Keeping a newly found manuscript secret and away from a Croatian nationalist secret society is at the centre of it all, and while the main characters, Michael and Hana, are at it, you are taken along a trip through a few European countries and get loads of historical background story around it.
This rather historical touch was ok for me, though I imagine that some readers could feel slightly overwhelmed by this cornucopia of historical context at times. What might have happened as a result of this much historical context is that the characters do not really have room to develop in any way. Maybe it is simply the wrong genre for that, but this focus on historical context and developments took away some suspense and atmosphere, which made the characters less interesting than I’d have liked them to be. There could have been room for Michael and Hana getting a little closer, but no. First of all the plot and style of writing do not really allow that, and in addition, Michael is a Catholic priest, so, no chance at all. However, at least they travelled through a nice European setting, with pretty accurate descriptions of the different places.
All in all, this is definitely a good story, and the major reason for me to subtract one star is the lack of any form of character development because of the focus on historical events. Other readers might exactly love that, though. 4 out of 5 stars
First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Gary McAvoy for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
Always a fan of novels with Catholic and/or historical twists, this book by Gary McAvoy caught my eye as soon as I found it. Michael Dominic grew up in United States, without a father but under the watchful eye of one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church. Having finished his seminary studies and been ordained, Dominic accepted a position within the Vatican as a researcher, where he was able to hone some of his other interests in medieval history. When he trips upon a cache of old documents, he hides them away from prying eyes in hopes of exploring them a little more, only to discover that they are written in quatrain form and speak of some fairly significant things. After speaking to a superior, Dominic meets a Swiss reporter, Hana Sinclair, who has travelled to the Holy See in order to follow a story from a Nazi-era interaction with the Vatican Bank. While their work is not necessarily complementary, Dominic and Sinclair find themselves in the middle of a third mystery, one centred in rural France where a priest was blackmailing the Vatican with a set of documents in his possession, back before the turn of the 20th century. Travelling there, Dominic is being tailed by a powerful enforcer who seeks to obtain the documents to uncover what is going on while trying to strengthen a Croatian political and religious order. When Dominic receives the document, he is able to translate them and discovers a secret from two thousand years ago, one that would truly rock the Church to its core. With a killer on his trail and needing to ensure the document is preserved, Dominic returns to the Vatican, only to find that he and Hana may have caused a major panic. A great thriller that weaves numerous storylines together effectively. Recommended to those who love a good thriller worth historical implications, as well as the reader who enjoys Vatican and Catholic politics.
There’s something about biblical revelations set against a fictional thriller that pulls me in every time. Be it the history or the politics of what entered the narrative of the biblical teachings, there is something there and loads of mystery behind what did not make it. McAvoy creates a wonderful story that never stops building throughout. His protagonist, Michael Dominic, comes from humble beginnings, but is never one to let that get him down. He finds ways to work within his limits and find true passion for all he enjoys doing, without needing to focus on the solitary of life as a priest. His grit and determination is on show here and keeps the reader connected to him throughout. Other characters offer some wonderful flavour to the overall narrative and keep things exciting, amongst all the twists and revelations. McAvoy captures the secrecy and deep-rooted history of the Vatican and its politics throughout this piece, with a strong story and plot that moves in many directions. While there is the inherent biblical document that is revealed, there is not too much of a focus on its gnostic or apocryphal nature, but more that it adds new depths to the narrative of the Church’s past decisions on how to portray the Christian story. With a mix of longer and short chapters, McAvoy pulls the reader in and keeps them guessing, while also refusing to place a damper on the action. Juggling modern and ancient Church issues, McAvoy does not lose his reader at any point, as his writing is so clear that the attentive reader will likely want more. I look forward to more by the author, with Michael Dominic or others in the protagonist’s seat.
Kudos, Mr. McAvoy, for this wonderful book. This may have been the first of your books that I have read, but it will not be the last.
This is a Vatican thriller with a believable storyline. The plot builds very slowly with intense action scenes near its conclusion. It is rich or dense (depending on the readers' reaction) with historic facts and speculations, making the story highly credible. Frequently pausing in my reading, I often consulted Wikipedia and Google which caused me to highly admire the author's scholarly knowledge and historical research. It was well-written but could have used some more lighter moments.
Michael Dominic grew up and was ordained a Jesuit priest in America. His godfather and father figure is a wise, powerful Roman Catholic Cardinal. Michael is transferred to the Vatican to work in its Secret Archives due to his expertise in ancient writing and codes. While working in the archives, Michael feels there is a connection to Berenger Saulnier, a priest in rural France in the recent past, who may have been blackmailing the Vatican with an ancient papyrus manuscript in his possession.
The Vatican is well described, with its hidden treasures and writings, the rivalries and ambitions within, and secrets which caused many conspiracy theories to spring up. Michael becomes friends with a Swiss Guard and meets his cousin Hana who is a journalist from a very wealthy Swiss banking family. The military training and experience of the Swiss Guards was a surprise to me. When photographing them in their elaborate, multi-coloured uniforms, I thought these men served a decorative function.
Hana is pursuing a story that Nazi and Croatian gold is held in the Vatican bank. Gold and other treasures were stolen by the Nazis and Ustasha (an extreme, brutal right-wing group in Croatia) from their victims of genocide proceeding and during WW11. Hana meets with Dr. Ginsberg who is documenting the collaboration of Pope Pius X11 with the Nazis and the role of secreting war criminals out of the country. A vast amount of looted and stolen treasure ended up in Vatican vaults.
Michael and Hana cooperate and their two investigations begin to coincide. They are followed and spied upon by members of Ustasha. These men are blackmailing an arrogant, intimidating and powerful man within the Vatican and following his cruel orders. Michael and Hana have retrieved the ancient manuscript in France, and are astonished that it is the long-hidden testament of Mary Magdalene which would shake the foundations of Christian belief were it to become known. They have placed themselves in extreme danger.
I wish to thank NetGalley, publisher, and author Gary McAvoy for this ARC in return for an honest review. I am hoping for further adventures of Father Michael Dominic and Hana.
The Magdalene Deception is an interesting read along the lines of Dan Brown novels. Dominic is a priest new to the Vatican who uncovers an interesting document that could lead to the downfall of the church. He pairs up with a French journalist, on her own quest, to unearth this potentially damaging find.
I really enjoyed the book (a 3.5 rounded up to 4). While it held my interest the downgrade for me was the unlikely coincidences and the abrupt end.
4.5* I really enjoyed this novel. I love history and I found the information in this book fascinating. I kept putting my book down to research more about what I was reading. It is very well written and so engrossing. I will definitely be reading books 2 and 3.
Thank you Book Sirens, Literati Editions and the author for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.
Ever since the the publication of The DaVinci Code, I have had a fascination with the area around Rennes-le-Chateau/Carcassonne in southwestern France. As an adjunct to the area itself, I found the story of the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade against them to be very interesting. Over the last decade, I have read several books, fiction and nonfiction, about the area and the people. In 2011, I even visited both cities.
THE MAGDALENE DECEPTION by GARY McAVOY is yet another entry in the Cathar legacy. The story opens in March 1244 as the last holdouts in the Castle Montsegur are about to surrender to the Crusaders led by King Louis of France. The night before their “final solution”, four Cathar men secretly depart the Castle with the treasure and holy relic(s) of the group. That event has been the subject of many books. What was the treasure and what were the relics that went missing?
Flash forward to the present. Father Michael Dominic has been installed at the Vatican through the good offices of his patron/godfather Cardinal Enrico Petrini of New York. His assignment is in the Vatican Archives, a place I would dearly love to visit because of all the secrets hidden there. The printed archives are being digitized and Father Michael is an expert in that field. When Napoleon sacked Rome in 1809, he took 3,000 crates of stuff to Paris. In 1814, only 700 were returned. The rest is still in France.
While doing research for his supervisor Father Calvino Mendoza, Dominic discovers a document that will lead him to Rennes-le-Chateau (a very small hilltop village), Paris and the story of Abbe Berenger Sauniere. The latter was a priest in that town late in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He built and rebuilt the local church and a manor house. When he died, he left everything to his friend and housekeeper Marie. Her grandniece is still alive and has some of Sauniere’s papers. One question that has baffled historians for a century is “Where did Sauniere get the money for his building projects?”
With the help of Hana Sinclair, a reporter for Le Monde newspaper and heiress to a Swiss banking fortune, and Karl Dengler a member of the Swiss Guards of the Vatican, Father Michael finds a document that could bring down the whole of Catholic religiosity.
Arrayed against the “good guys” are some malevolent individuals who will not hesitate to kill. Among the antagonists is Cardinal Fabrizio Dante, Vatican Secretary of State. His muscle is supplied by Petrov Govic a Croatian liaison to Interpol in Lyons, France. His father was a major leader of the Croation Ustasha who out Nazied the Nazis during WWII when it came to eliminating Jews and Romas in Croatia. The apple did not fall far from the tree.
A rip-roaring adventure with great characters. Even if you know nothing about the Cathars or the geographic areas, you will find the story riveting. There is even a hint at things to come and a tinge of romance. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
McAvoy has done a good job of weaving a fictional story into historical events. The descriptions of locations are detailed, allowing readers to get a very good sense of the setting. The characters are well developed, providing an essential aspect to an engaging novel. Unfortunately, the egalley I read did not have an author's note indicating which parts of the novel were, in fact, based on history and which were the author's imagination.
Readers who like speculative plots based on possible ancient manuscripts will like this one. It has a good amount of intrigue and a little suspense near the end. It will also appeal to readers who like Dan Brown's early novels. I personally don't appreciate a novel that has as its plot disproving accepted historical accounts of Jesus' life. In that sense, the plot is not unique as similar plot lines have been written before. Other than my dislike of a plot critical of Christianity, I felt it was a very well written novel.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.
I don't recall how this book came to my attention but it did. I do recall that the pitch was it was a thriller akin to the Dan Brown books DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. I enjoyed both of those books so I thought I'd take a chance and bought a copy. I also learned that there were three books with the similar titles which had me concerned that I might be getting involved in a trilogy so I decided to only get a paperback copy. I've now finished the book and sent for a hardcover edition of this book as well as the two subsequent books. The story in this book ends without any hint of a continuation of this story so I am assuming the other two books are independent stories in a series surrounding the main character in this book, Father Michael Dominic S.J.
The lure that this book is like the Dan Brown books is not without substance. There are similarities but this book is a much quicker read and not as involved or detailed as the Brown books. Nevertheless, the story is intriguing and rather colorful if you like images of Rome and Paris in your fiction. Michael Dominic is the son of a single mother who was the housekeeper for a priest in NYC. Michael grew up in the parish rectory and the parish priest, Fr. Petrini, ultimately becomes a highly regarded cardinal while Michael decides to become a Jesuit priest. Michael also becomes an expert in ancient documents and manuscripts. Upon his ordination Michael, through the influence of Cardinal Petrini, is assigned to Vatican Archives in Rome. While in this assignment Michael makes a discovery that curiosity sends him on a journey to France. As a result of this journey Michael comes into possession of a document that could totally refute a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. Others become aware of this discover and want to possess this document for a variety of reasons that involve Church hierarchy, a neo-Nazi type organization, a cache of Nazi looted gold in secret possession of the Church, and a trio of old French Underground fighters and even the Swiss Guard are called into action. It's a fun book and a quick page turner. Enjoy.
Thank you to BookSirens and Literati Editions for the opportunity to read The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy for free in exchange for an honest review. Choosing this book would come as a surprise to all that know me, since I'm an atheist and don't believe in anything that deals with god, the bible or religious beliefs. However I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and a true lover of history. One can't be a lover of history without knowing how religion has shaped the outcome of so much and so many in our past as humans.
The Magdalene Deception was a really entertaining read for me especially considering Jesuit Priest Michael Dominic had just got a job working in the Secret Archives at the Vatican with the responsibility of going through archival documents and verifying their existence. While doing his job he stumbles across a particular papyrus that could break open a cornerstone to religious belief and show it for the lie that it is. Thus turning the words of the Catholic Church and all of Christendom on it's head. But this discovery doesn't come without danger either.
Meanwhile a journalist, Hana Sinclair, who also happens to be related to one of the cardinals at the Vatican is working on a piece that will highlight the theft of millions of dollars from the Jews in WWII by the Nazi's and the hiding of the money within various banks and even the complicity of the Catholic Church in stealing their share.
Father Dominic sees a kindred spirit in Hana and reaches out to her for help in his latest discovery which will lead them both into a maze of danger, secrecy and corruption. There are those within the higher ups of the church who would love to have this document to advance their own agenda without a care or concern for the repercussions of what this information could do to the world of believers.
This was one I was able to read in a day, it grabbed my attention from page one and didn't let go until I closed the book at it's end. I enjoyed the characters and thought McAvoy did a great job showing their growth as the book moved on. Father Dominic seemed so innocent and to me almost questioning his faith in the beginning, although he still had questions at the end, he seemed to have grown through his experiences and had his eyes opened to the corruption going on within the church. Guaranteed he felt differently about the church after his experiences than he did as a new employee at the archives. The mystery and subsequent chase for the document was exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. I wasn't sure Father Dominic and Hana would survive the corrupt forces that were trying to steal their treasure. Very exciting.
I must say as one who doesn't believe I thought it very brave of the author to put out a book that challenges one of the most basic and most revered tenets of religion and he handled it wonderfully. Of course I don't believe any of it happened, but I do respect the delicacy of how it was all handled in this book. The parts I found fascinating but not really surprising was the extent of the corruption the Catholic Church is engaged in and has been since it's inception and all the wars, destruction and death caused because of what they've done or said. I do recommend this one to anyone with an interest in historical fiction, the author seems to have his research down, or anyone with an interest in religious history or history in general. It's also a darn good mystery and thriller too! Happy Reading!
What a fun book! Seriously, I just enjoyed suspending my skepticism and going with some hair-brained theories about religion. The characters were good: all the good guys are really good and all the bad guys are nasty! The pacing was spot on - everything flowed to the logical conclusion. I have to admit Gary McAvoy got me hooked and I will probably ready the next two installments of his Magdalene Chronicles.
This was the first book I read by Gary McAvoy, and it certainly did not disappoint. Though it is labeled as fiction, there is plenty of factual history incorporated into this novel, which Mr. McAvoy walks the reader through in the post script. The reader will be taken on an adventure with Father Michael Dominic in search of an ancient relic that could turn the Vatican and all of Catholicism/Christianity on its head. This book explores some of the secrets of the Vatican dating back to WWII and Nazi Germany, as well as some biblical history that is not widely known, as some of what is written about is oral history, or theoretical. For those of you who are fans of Indiana Jones (Last Crusade and Raiders), Daniel Silva's "A Death in Vienna," or the mystery/thriller genre, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. And the sequel, in my opinion, is just as good if not better! This is one of those books that I wish was one hundred pages or so longer, and explored deeper the relic and the history behind it. Truly a fun and fascinating story that does not require you to be religious at all in order to appreciate it. I'm on to the third book tonight!
Shades of Dan Brown, but possibly more a bit more realistic.
This novel introduces a 3 volume set of Roman Catholic religious thrillers starring a young Jesuit priest and a rich young aristocratic journalist. They have stumbled upon a long lost document of Templar pedigree which appears to disprove the divinity of Christ by declaring the "resurrection" a fiction. (Imagine that.) The author of this ancient text is none other than Mary Magdalene, who in fact was the wife of Jesus. Sound Familiar?
The Vatican Secretary of State gets wind and tries to steal and conceal it. Protagonists have crisis of faith.
Plenty of Vatican intrigue, some honesty about the Holy See's gay culture, and a exciting conclusion make the novel a fun read for this former RC religious.
Take a pinch of medieval religious history, a secret document, a Catholic Priest, a beautiful woman, the Vatican and all its nooks and crannies, the pope and a few Cardinals for good measure and you have yourself one heck of a mystery. Father Dominic uncovers a document in the secret bowels of the Vatican Archives which leads him and a lady friend to an aged papyrus that could mean disaster for the Catholic Church as we know it. Add a dash of neofascism and missing gold taken from Jews during the war as they were herded to concentration camps and you have a page turner you can’t put down — even for a minute. Great characters. Super convoluted plot with lots of twists and turns. And definitely a battle between good and evil. Can’t wait until I get my hands on book 2 in this series. The
If you like Dan Brown's books, you'll enjoy this book as well!
This book had me interested and involved in the first chapter due to its historical and religious nature. Also it's translation of antique parchments drew me in. After that Mr. McCoy began quite an adventurous story which involved Father Dominic and Hana Sinclair, a journalist, which had them traveling in many areas of France and Italy to unravel the story about the Nazis, stolen gold, Cardinal Roco Petrini and a parchment discovered by Father Dominic in the Vatican archives. I really enjoyed this book and plan to obtain the next books in the series. Each book, I believe, can be read as a "stand alone"; but I think reading this first book helps to acquaint you with the main characters involved. I obtained this digital copy through a Goodreads giveaway I entered. Thank you Goodreads!
Oh my, that gave me flashbacks to Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series!!! It was a slow burner in the beginning unlike Dan Brown's books. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed reading about Father Michael's "journey" to the Vatican. It was definitely a believable storyline and kept me drawn in the entire time. it was a great take on the history of Christianity and the "what ifs" and the consequences of said "what ifs." I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!
This is a fast moving story set against a backdrop of the Vatican City where are housed millions of documents outlining the history of the Catholic Church , together with certain documents that are deemed too sensitive to be released. The characters are well drawn and their involvement in a conspiracy leave you not wanting to stop turning each page until the end.
Very much looking forward to the others in the series.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Dan Brown's books.I say this because the book successfully and seamlessly integrates two different and interesting subjects into one story. The characters are interesting, and the locations beautifully described. If you have any interest in Roman Catholicism, the Vatican and the gold stolen from the Jews during World War II, you will probably enjoy this book.
An archaeological thriller, a document written by Mary Magdaline is tbe basis of this story along with the Church's role in securing the wealth of those persecuted by the Nazis during WWII. The compelling story lines and interesting characters made this book very hard to put down. The loose ends are enticing and make one want to read tbe next installments.
I love historical novels. I enjoy double checking the historic parts and mapping out the places mentioned. I haven't been to Rome so mapping out was really fun and getting pictures of the places involved. It was well written and I got to 'see' the Vatican through the Internet and other's eyes. Was sad about a lot of the Vatican history.
I really enjoyed this book and read it with fervor in a day. Having gone to catholic high school, I was exposed to the “other side” of the church that not many will see. There is a nice synopsis at the end of the book concerning what is true and what is factionalized. Nice job and I really appreciate the higher level of writing prose! I needed to look up a few words for sure!
Enthralling novel based on historical hypothesis about Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
A must read with great background and lots of speculation. It is a quick and absorbing read with several twists and turns. Nazi gold and ancient manuscripts. Insight into the Vatican Archives and the Vatican Bank.
One more in a series of intriguing stories revolving around our civilization's theological beliefs and our desire to validate what does not need the stamp of proof. An enjoyable read with interesting characters.
Entertaining read.. Similar to other Grail and Magdalene mysteries it approaches the subject from a church POV. Anticipate more of the same in book 2.. Recommend this for those interested in Templar and Cathar followers..
Wow! Congratulations to the author, Gary McAvoy, for mixing a story with religious archeology, painful history, realistic human emotions and glimpses of the future of the Holy Mother Church. Great story; wonderful writing!
I had mixed feelings about this book even though I enjoyed reading it. It was an exciting tale. It made me sad how the Vatican participated in the escape of Nazi participants to South America after WWII.