The Last Pope [NOOK Book]

Overview

Almost thirty years after the world was stunned by the shocking death of Pope John Paul I, journalist Sarah Monteiro finds an envelope stuffed in her mailbox. The contents hold the key to uncovering the truth about that mysterious death. Drawn into a vortex in which deadly mercenaries, crooked politicians, and princes of the Church itself have formed an alliance of deception,...
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The Last Pope

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Overview

Almost thirty years after the world was stunned by the shocking death of Pope John Paul I, journalist Sarah Monteiro finds an envelope stuffed in her mailbox. The contents hold the key to uncovering the truth about that mysterious death. Drawn into a vortex in which deadly mercenaries, crooked politicians, and princes of the Church itself have formed an alliance of deception, Sarah must decide between revealing the truth and saving her own soul.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The election of Don Albino Luciani to the papal throne in 1978 threatens the Vatican status quo in this routine thriller from Portuguese author Rocha, his first novel.A John Paul I's views on papal infallibility and such controversial subjects as birth control, not to mention his resolve to clean house of those men of God who sullied the Roman Catholic church by financial chicanery with mob links,A lead to his murder soon after he becomes pope. In the present-day, London journalist Sarah Monteiro receives a letter implicating the pope's killers. The same shadowy band turns out to be behind the attempt on the life of John Paul II as well as the assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. Sarah struggles to stay alive and keep the evidence out of the wrong hands amid predictable action sequences and hairbreadth escapes. An author interview at book's end claiming that John Paul I was actually murdered is sure to please conspiracy buffs. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Portuguese writer Rocha centers his thriller on the unexpected death of Pope John Paul I on September 29, 1978, only 33 days into his papacy. The author, who claims to have met the man who killed the pope (identified only as J.C.), ties the conspiracy to the clandestine Masonic lodge Propaganda Due (P2) and its grand master, Licio Gelli. Like Gelli, many of Rocha's characters are historical figures, including most of those implicated in Vatican scandals of the time-American archbishop Paul Marcinkus, chairman of the Institute for Religious Works (the Vatican bank), the mafia banker Michele Sidona, and P2 member Roberto Calvi (aka God's Banker) of the Banco Ambrosiano, found hanging from the Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982. The pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Jean-Marie Villot, himself a Mason, an excommunicable offense, is also implicated in the crime. Before the novel's unsatisfactory conclusion (and the epilog supposedly written by the man who killed the pope), P2 will control the London office of the CIA and have a hand in most of the other conspiracies of the time. Unbelievable action (the fictionalized contemporary elements of this tale), shallow characterization, and banal narration limit the effectiveness of this Da Vinci Code wannabe. The author's annoying habit of trying to create suspense by referring to characters only as "this man, the fat man, the old man, the speaker, the subject, the pursuer, the assistant, the servant" adds to the confusion. For conspiracy addicts only.
—Ron Terpening

Kirkus Reviews
The mysterious death of Pope John Paul I and the evil machinations of real-life figures from Vatican bank scandals enmesh a pretty Portuguese reporter and her mysterious defender. Crowds of cynical cardinals, malevolent archbishops and grasping members of the shadowy Italian Masonic lodge P2 complicate the time-skipping plot of this thriller debut by Portuguese TV and film writer Rocha. His attempt to sort out the unanswered questions raised by the London murder of banker Roberto Calvi and the brief papacy of Albino Luciani skips back and forth between the pope's last days in the 1970s and the present. Lovely international reporter Sarah Monteiro arrives in London to find in her pile of mail an envelope stuffed with an unexplained list of names, including her father's. The list was sent by a Vatican prelate who swiped it from the archives and slipped it in the mailbox seconds before being iced by an assassin with the run of St. Peters. The killer is an operative reporting to the cabal of highly placed government, church and business figures whose Masonic alliance has allowed them to swindle and bamboozle their way to riches and political power. In their unholy work, they had and continue to have the wholehearted assistance of the CIA, which lends invaluable technical assistance to their manic effort to regain the purloined information and keep it from the public. The late pope had learned about the shady financial dealings of Paul VI's American advisor, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, and had been planning to clean house. As soon as Sarah reads the list, more bodies drop, and they continue to drop as she sorts things out with the help of a handsome turncoat agent with a mysterious past. Thenovel, an international bestseller, is nearly as messy as the actual bank scandal it draws on. Agent: Laura Dail/Laura Dail Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440637452
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/14/2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 179,100
  • File size: 595 KB

Meet the Author

Luís Miguel Rocha was born in Oporto, Portugal and worked for many years in London as a television writer and producer. He is the author of the international bestseller, The Last Pope.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    Even the Pope would think this book is god awful.

    The premise, assasination of a sitting Pope, intrigues the buyer. Perhaps in the original Portuguese edition it reads better. The text is replete with redundancy and the dialogue so artificial that I was forced to give it up afer thirty pages. Impossible to read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    GIVES NEW MEANING TO ¿FAST PACED¿

    This book is unrelentingly fast paced accentuated by the short chapters. The protagonist, Sarah Monteiro, a newspaper reporter, is running for her life because she holds a partial list of the membership of a secret organization (P2) and clues to its involvement in the murder of Pope John Paul I. It is somewhat frustrating to determine the true importance of this list as the characters bandy this back and forth throughout the <BR/>book. <BR/><BR/>There is very good characterization of complex characters and their motivations. Sarah Monteiro may be the character that is least real. The characterization of John Paul I; his intended changes, the personal beliefs ascribed to him, his humility, devotion, determination and courage is refreshing. This book should have ended one chapter earlier than it did after a well executed surprise twist. The last chapter reduces the impact and is more puzzling than forceful. The epilogue supposedly written by the primary villain and murderer of Pope John Paul I makes little sense. A leader of a secret organization dedicated to maintaining anonymity at all cost is unlikely to write an epilogue to a book about his secret organization. The author¿s assertion in a question and answer section after the epilogue that a Portuguese cleric at the Vatican verified that his storyline of Pope John Paul¿s murder and the activities of the P2 was accurate was interesting even if it came across as braggadocio. This fast paced thriller that may well contain elements of truth is a good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Couldn't Finish

    I tried. But I got lost with all of the anonymous characters, the multiple names of the popes, and all of the "historical" background of the story. I just made 100 pages and that was a struggle. I too, think that perhaps something was lost in translation. Disappointing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    A Must Read

    This is a very very good book. Easy to read and easy to get in to. You get into the book from the first chapter. The only thing is you need to realize that the chapters that are about Pope John Paul I go backwards in time. I couldn't put the book down and wanted to know what was would happen in the next chapter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    engaging Papal thriller

    In 1978 with the death of the Pope, the College of Cardinals meets in the Vatican to elect his successor. The Cardinals are divided into two extreme camps between traditionalist Cardinal Agosto Mancini and change agent Cardinal Ignatius Heriot. Thus an unacceptable comprise Cardinal Don Albino Luciani is chosen to sit as John Paul I on the papal throne. He makes clear his intention is to clean up and out the House of God everywhere a little over a month later, he dies with rumors he was murdered for his ethical cleansing campaign especially to end church-mob ties. A second College of Cardinals session elects Karol Józef Wojty&#322 a of Poland as Pope John Paul II. --- Three decades later London journalist Sarah Monteiro receives a letter that insists Pope John Paul I was murdered and the attempts to kill his successor were from the same conspiratorial group who also killed Sweden¿s Prime Minister Olof Palme. However, Sarah assumes this is a hoax worth checking into, but soon believes the accusations are true when several attempts to assassinate her occur. Due to the grace of God she lives, but fears her days are numbered in single digits. --- Conspiracy fans will relish the constant power struggle within the highest levels of the Catholic Church. Luis Miguel Rocha builds his exciting story line upon the underlying premise that Pope John Paul I was murdered. The look back to behind the scenes shenanigans by the competing Cardinals in 1978 is fascinating whether one accepts Mr. Rocha¿s assertion or not. The present scenario with Sarah on the run is more action-packed, but not quite as interesting as three decades ago is. Still thriller fans will enjoy THE LAST POPE wondering how acrimonious poisoning politics even enter the selection of who will wear The Shoes of the Fisherman (by Morris West). --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A bad Dan Brown knock-off

    Reading this book is like reading a bad knock-off of the DaVinci Code meets Angels and Demons. Sarah is sent a list of names from the mysterious P2 and multiple groups try to capture her to get the list. Meanwhile, Raphael, CIA/P2/traitor, comes to her rescue. I kept waiting for the book to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Good book, difficult read

    I liked the plot, but there are too many characters, and useless information. I gave up reading this twice because it was so choppy. But I'm glad I finished it. Interesting turn of events.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    One to make you ponder the past

    The characters were all well done, the plot was great, and the reason why are all in here for you to wonder if "that's not really how it happened" read this book and then you can decide for yourself.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Reality? Fiction? Both? Disturbing, and a Must-Read.

    This book transfixed me. An avid reader as well as an English and history teacher, I find few authors and/or books that are fresh or gripping or on a short "must-read" list of recommendations to friends. This book is all of these. The action itself, and the story that unfolds, would alone be sufficient for a "thumbs up," but the idea that the events have, apparently, at least some basis in point of chilling fact, makes me want to run out and buy "The Last Pope" for one and all to share. This book provokes thought in addition to providing entertainment...but it is the thought that lasts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Amazing Story

    I love books that deal with the Catholic Church and conspiracy theories surrounding it. The Da Vinci Code is probably one of my all time favorites. But The Last Pope is right up there with it now. It is a great story surrouning something that happened not too long ago and that not too many people know about. The story moves quickly without losing the reader and has a lot of twists and turns. The letter and Q&A at the end really added to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    pope

    Good story. Thrilling. Interesting thoughts. Bought back a memory of watching that whole thing on tv. Nice read.

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  • Posted December 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Conspiracy Thrills

    This book reads quite well as a thriller, and the intrigue involving men of the cloth appeals to our own doubts that all is as it appears to be. Much of the story appears implausible, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a plot to murder the pope. We will have to wait for history to figure that one out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2011

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    Posted January 31, 2011

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted September 7, 2010

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    Posted June 24, 2010

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2010

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    Posted June 17, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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