A Thief in the Night: Life and Death in the Vatican

Overview

On the eve of September 28, 1978, Pope John Paul I died unexpectedly-apparently of a heart attack-after a reign of only thirty-three days. Within the Vatican there were serious disagreements about the time of death, who found the body, and the true state of the Pope's health prior to his death. These arguments led to rumors of foul play and conspiracy-variously involving the KGB, the freemasons, crooked financiers, and Vatican officials. In 1987 the Vatican invited John Cornwell to conduct a new, independent ...
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Overview

On the eve of September 28, 1978, Pope John Paul I died unexpectedly-apparently of a heart attack-after a reign of only thirty-three days. Within the Vatican there were serious disagreements about the time of death, who found the body, and the true state of the Pope's health prior to his death. These arguments led to rumors of foul play and conspiracy-variously involving the KGB, the freemasons, crooked financiers, and Vatican officials. In 1987 the Vatican invited John Cornwell to conduct a new, independent investigation into the true circumstances of the Pope's death. In A Thief in the Night Cornwell tells the story of his search, including a startling theory about John Paul I's untimely demise-and a chilling and unsurpassed look inside one of the world's oldest, most secretive institutions.

Author Biography: John Cornwell is an award-winning journalist and author with a lifelong interest in Catholic and Vatican affairs. He has profiled Pope John Paul I for Vanity Fair and the London Sunday Times Magazine and has written on Catholic issues for many other publications.

An investigation into the sudden death of Pope John Paul I on September 28, 1978, more startling than the conspiracy theories of his murder. Author John Cornwell uncovers the truth of his tragic end.

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Editorial Reviews

Andrew Greeley
As brilliantly written as a prize-winning mystery story.
Anthony Burgess
A model of investigative journalism and a small masterpiece of the genre.
Graham Greene
A deep and exhaustive penetration of the Vatican.
Library Journal
Since the sudden death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, theories of conspiracy and assassination have flourished. With the approval of the Vatican, British journalist Cornwell has investigated the allegations and found that the evidence does not support the theories. However, he takes Vatican officialdom to task for not providing better medical care for the shy and retiring Pope during his 33 days in office. Cornwell's access to the highest Vatican officials included a brief audience with Pope John Paul II. Cornwell uses a crisp, journalistic style, and many chapters read like a whodunit. This compares favorably to Jim Bishop's The Day Lincoln Was Shot (Harper, 1955).-- John Broderick, Stonehill Coll., North Easton, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141001838
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 636,927
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Cornwell is in the department of history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He is a regular feature writer at the Sunday Times (London) and the author and editor of four books on science, including Power to Harm, on the Louisville Prozac trial, as well as Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII and Breaking Faith: Can the Catholic Church Save Itself?

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