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Set in the near future, Secret introduces Jakob Volkner--Pope Clement XV--a German "caretaker pope" who, nearing the age of 80, was elected as John Paul II's successor. But three years into his papacy, the thoughtful Clement has begun to quietly express skepticism about papal infallibility and the Church's restrictive dogma, and to make odd requests of his longtime secretary, Monsignor Colin Michener, an Irish-born but American-reared priest whose vows of celibacy have been tested--and found wanting. Clement has also made repeated visits to a guarded sanctum within the Vatican archives, where sacred and historic documents are stored. And he's dispatched Michener to Romania to locate an elderly cleric who, in the 1950s, translated three cryptic prophecies, purportedly offered by the Virgin Mary in 1917 to a trio of children in Fatima, Portugal. Those secrets have since been fully disclosed to the world. Or have they? Thats the question facing Michener in the wake of Clement's shocking suicide, as he pursues a twisted trail of clues, crimes, and religious forecasts from Rome to Bosnia to Germany, accompanied by his former lover, journalist Katerina Lew. But making any additional secrets known to the world will put Michener in confrontation with doctrinal reactionaries, led by Cardinal Alberto Valendrea, the Vatican's Italian secretary of state, who's determined to follow Clement as the Vicar of Christ--even if that requires inventing a few new sins and flouting a 900-year-old prediction of doom for the next pope.
Attorney-author Berry, praised previously for The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy, enriches The Third Secret with glimpses behind the locked doors of a papal selection process and knowledge of centuries-old Catholic prognostications that, while employed judiciously in these pages, nonetheless suggest a prodigious amount of research. He's less successful with his casting. Valendrea is a wincingly unnuanced scoundrel, and Ms. Lew achieves scarce definition beyond being a raven-tressed temptress to powerful prelates. Thankfully, Berry does better by Michener, who finds himself at a crossroads, carrying on in Clement's name even as he searches for confirmation that his own life of devotion and service has been meaningful. Although the secrets "revealed" in this tale seem more controversial than plausible, and a potentially intriguing subplot about the excommunication of a maverick priest ends up as a throwaway device, The Third Secret builds to a conclusion that is as suspenseful and stunning as it is inevitable. Have faith. --J. Kingston Pierce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I really want to like Steve berry books. This one seemed to drag on with very little suspense. Very predictable although characters better developed than his cotton Malone hero in... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of his best. Great read!. Was wondering. Has any of his novels been made into movies.? This one would certainly be a good one to start with. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Slightly kazooed
I really enjoyed this book. So much that I purchased another Steve Berry book! What was the church trying to hide???? What was that third secret??? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lena A. Kennedy
Love the factual history that Steve Berry puts in all his books. Although the plot conclusion makes an impressive reasonable resolution for a fiction story, it surprised me that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Swayzar
As a recovering Catholic...I loved this book...both for it's honest appraisal of the church and it
s wonderful development of the faith some people are blessed with against... Read more
I've read several Steve Berry books. With the presumption of this one, going into the Vatican conclave and portraying a newly-elected pope as someone so evil, I thought at first... Read morePublished 3 months ago by vburris