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A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller (The Pius Trilogy) (Volume 1) Paperback – June 12, 2017
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"They're the friggin' international Marvel "Avengers." If ever there was a movie in the making, it's here!" ~Stuart R. West, author of Tex, the Witch Boy.
"If you enjoy thrillers that are big on excitement and action, and heavy on detail with a lot of research well applied, then A Pius Man is for you. " ~Karina Fabian, author of Mensa, Magic, and Mayhem.
"A Pius Man is great," ~Keith Thompson, author of Twice a Spy.
"If you're looking for a compelling read that combines historical fact with creative fiction, you'll love A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller." ~Daria Anne DiGiovanni, author of Water Signs. (dariadigiovanni.com) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
A Pius Man is what happens when you combine a fan of action films with a history degree. Forget Dan Brown. A Pius Man comes with footnotes, and an online code for a full bibliography.
In Rome, a terrorist is blown out the window of a hotel and crash-lands on a car at the gates of the Vatican. A figure in a priest's robes is seen running from the scene. But the body on the windshield is just the beginning for a team of six unlikely investigators from around the world. Each pair of hands on this case has a past, and a few secrets ... and an axe to grind. They don't want to work together. They don't want this case.
And one of them just might be the killer. Our suspect list consists of...
Sean Ryan, an American stuntman turned mercenary and self-described "cleanser of the gene pool." He's supposed to be in Rome to train priests in combat, but old habits die hard.
Then there's Giovanni Figlia, a homicide cop for the Pope who fears only paperwork. He was best known for starting soccer games with bishops in the Borgia gardens ... until the corpse landed on the hood of his Jetta.
A former U.S. Army chaplain who was meeting with the murdered man on a weekly basis. Did the Jesuit priest who's killed men with his bare hands know that his weekly luncheon date had just murdered a researcher in the Vatican Archives?
Scott "Mossad" Murphy of Israeli intelligence's "Goyim Brigade": He's in the middle of investigating another murder at the Vatican ... this one a high-ranking Muslim leader with connections to al-Qaeda.
Into this mix comes Maureen McGrail, an Irish Interpol agent with a bitter past with Sean Ryan. She's working her own murder case, related to the controversial canonization of Pope Pius XII, sometimes known as "Hitler's Pope." And guess who Interpol wants to send to Rome ... ?
And the final, most distressing suspect is Joshua Kutjok....aka Pope Pius XIII, a right-wing African pope with rumors of blood in his past and the stated goal of turning "Hitler's Pope" into the "Hero of the Holocaust." To accomplish this goal, he's already let terrorists into the Vatican Archives ... would he kill a man who stood in his way?
In A Pius Man, six unlikely heroes must work together to unravel a web of intrigue and murder that entwines one of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century. Was Pius XII a Nazi collaborator who deliberately let millions of Jews die? Has the Vatican covered up the truth for more than 60 years? Or has someone perpetrated a decades-long smear campaign? And what will happen to six strangers trying to finally bring the truth to light?
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Top customer reviews
1) This novel is outside of my normal preferred reading genre, but since I am in an author's group with the author I decided to give it a try. I do like historical fiction but this really is more in line with a modern spy novel/James Bond kind of thing. My forte is Fantasy/Sci-Fi, so some of the things I will note may be perfectly normal for the genre.
2) If I was rating the novel honestly I would have given it 3.5 stars, but given the choice of 3 or 4, I felt it deserved more than 3.
That being said, here were what I saw as pros and cons in the novel:
1) The author has excellent skill in telling stories and is very detailed in his action sequences. While I felt there may have been a bit too much granular detail in the battles for my personal taste, I felt they were well within the bounds of the genre and did not detract from the overall story.
2) Excellent research on history. While once or twice I felt it was a bit "info-dump"ish, for the most part he wove the facts into the tale very well so it was both an interesting adventure as well as educational historically.
3) I felt most of the dialogue was well done, and although the cast of characters were hard to keep track of initially, they distinguish themselves fairly early on and he did a decent job of developing the characters as individuals.
1) Probably the most irritating thing about the book was the author's violation of the fiction writer's prime directive, i.e. the establishment of a "willing suspension of disbelief". The goal of a fiction author is to draw the reader out of their world and into yours. He did that masterfully, but then at the end of most of the chapters, he forcibly ejected the reader out of his world by putting in a "for more details on XXX see XXXblog.at..." That completely penetrates the "fourth wall" and destroys all the authors work to draw the reader into the story. Had those end of chapter notes been assembled into an appendix or something, that would have really helped to keep the reader inside the story.
2) One pair of characters I found had pretty forced or unbelievable dialogue and interactions. Without putting forth a spoiler, I will just say that by the end at least something of the "oddness" was somewhat explained by the story, but I found while reading it that I dreaded every cutaway to these two characters as all the rest of the dialogue and characters were believable and natural but this pair just was so odd as to distract me from the story. I think to some degree that may have been intentional with these two, but still might have warranted a bit of smoothing out to make the difference not quite so jarring.
3) This last one is probably one of those things that is normal for the genre but for me was hard to swallow. So many of the characters are like super-ninjas in this book. It is almost comic-bookish in their fighting escapades, like watching one of those "over the top" kung-fu movie fights. Again, for spy novels that might be the norm for the genre, and I know in fantasy/sci-fi we can get a little outlandish with the fight sequences, but if this was supposed to be a real-world setting, the abilities of several of the characters strained the limits of credulity for a non-fantastical story.
All in all, weighing the pros and cons, I would definitely recommend this book, especially for someone who is a fan of James Bond, modern spy type novels. I found it a refreshing change of pace from my normal reading genres and I think the author has potential for a great career in writing.
This is one of those novels you need to read in a weekend two or three successive nights, due to the cast of characters and the fast-moving plot.
One of my favorite aspects of Finn’s writing is the tongue-in-cheek omniscient point-of-view that brings the reader into the story. It’s as if the author is guessing your thoughts as you read the words on the page and he made me smile more than once while reading.
There’s violence, a love story, secrets, lies, and religion, all in the beautiful setting of Rome.
This would make an awesome movie. It is the anti DaVinci Code, which was not historically accurate, for those of you who didn’t already know that. Declan Finn knows history and lays it out little by little in this novel without the reader realizing they’re being educated.
Genius, mad genius perhaps. But genius – no doubt! I’m reading book number two.
Part one of the Pius Man Trilogy introduces readers to a great cast of characters. One, in particular, is my favorite: Pope Pius XIII.
If I may say, (remembering, of course, that this is a work of fiction) this Pope is the coolest of the cool. A Pope from war torn Sudan? A Pope who has experience with the corruption of certain leaders in third world countries? A Pope who follows Church teaching in every way, and who can spot a corrupt American Cardinal on the make? All of this is portrayed in a believable manner by Declan Finn.
And the fictional Pope is only one of many interesting characters in this Vatican crime-adventure, filled with James Bond style car chases, Russian spies, and even a romance. Good stuff.
All that aside, I think my favorite thing about A Pius Man is its historical truth with regard to Pope Pius XII, who led the Roman Catholic Church during Hitler’s attempted “Final Solution.” As a Roman Catholic, I am constantly amazed by people (some of whom profess to be Christians) who insist that the Church was complicit in the horrors perpetrated by Hitler. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Declan Finn did a brilliant job of bringing the truth about Pius XII to light in a fictional story. Finn ended this book with links to a bibliography, where readers can find out for themselves exactly how many Jews were hidden in the Vatican and saved from the death camps by Pius XII. Readers might also be interested in finding out how many priests were killed by Hitler in retaliation for Pius’s aid to Jews.
I’m looking forward to reading books two and three of the PiusTrilogy.
Most recent customer reviews
Seriously, Vatican ninjas.Read more
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Researchers looking into Pope Pius XII's activities during WWII are turning up dead.Read more