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The Pope's Assassin Hardcover – March 31, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Only the most rabid religious conspiracy fans will be able to slog their way through Rocha's overlong, preachy third thriller involving the search for ancient religious artifacts (after The Holy Bullet). London journalist Sarah Monteiro joins her unrequited love interest, Fr. Rafael Santini, who's a Vatican secret agent, in a struggle between the Jesuits and the Vatican to control artifacts in the possession of London businessman Ben Isaac. Priests are being murdered for access to the artifacts, in this case the Gospel of Jesus and the bones of Christ. The usual crazy assassin with a serious sexual problem heads up a cast of characters so large that it's difficult to remember who's a good guy and who's evil incarnate. Endless religious historical lectures slow the action and add little to a plot that's difficult both to follow and swallow. (Apr.)
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Watch out Vatican! This book is a definite must-read. --Eric Frattini, author of The Entity
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Top Customer Reviews
Rocha writes credibly enough and clearly enough that you are drawn into accepting the underlying premise: What was discovered in the caves in Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls, is not exactly what the world has come to believe. Having bought into the premise, you have no trouble accepting the reality Rocha creates.
While the characters are not as full fleshed as I would have liked, there are enough details that you immediately have empathy for the main characters. I just wish I know more about their backgrounds. Rocha's style excels with the action sequences: the tension described in the scenes is felt very strongly. I also appreciated the background into the workings of the Pope's office and the history of the Jesuits.
(This review was originally on my LibraryThing page)
The conclusion may be off putting for some as nothing is really resolved as far as the main premise is concerned. By this time, I was so enthralled with the characters, I was saddened by the ending and left wondering how the main protagonists will fare. To have that much feeling for the characters is one of my hallmarks of a good book.
Short of a full five star rating, I have no trouble giving this book four and a half stars; very well done all around.
Luis Rocha is another in a list of authors who has taken a a little known situation within the church and spun it into an interesting tale.
Unless you are historically based, The Pope's Assassin isn't the easiest of reads. Too many characters and intertwined events makes the plot difficult to follow. He does, however, manage to incorporate enough history so that if mysteries associated with past events is your thing, then this book won't bore you.
Bocha has written two previous novels based upon the church and his continuing characters, and all are similar. Father Rafael, a former CIA operative and Vatican super-agent, is the thread weaving the plots together; the beautiful journalist Sarah Montiero provides the love interest; and the mysterious JC knows all and often rides to the rescue. Somehow "JC" in a series about the Vatican is a bit much...couldn't he have been "LG" or "MB" or something else?
In any event, I think Rocha could have made this book 75 pages shorter and still had an effective novel. The characters, the events, the historical interaction and the plot made this a book worth reading nevertheless.
Can't wait for Rocha's next book.
This novel was fascinating although I did have trouble with the many characters to this book. I felt at times in the beginning I was often confused by all the character development.
What if the religion, Christianity is all but a lie based of made up stories? What if Jesus was never crucified? What if Jesus had lived and wrote his own parchment for his teachings? This secret called the,"Status Quo" is a missing parchment that told of Jesus's life well after his alleged crucification? Many people are looking for this parchment including the Vatican. What secrets are they hiding? Sometimes the truth is staring you in the face, it's up to the reader to decide what is fact or fiction.