To Kill The Pope: An Ecclesiastical Thriller by Tad Szulc | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
To Kill the Pope: An Ecclesiastical Thriller

To Kill the Pope: An Ecclesiastical Thriller

by Tad Szulc
     
 

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From the author of Pope John Paul II: A Biography comes a chillingly authentic conspiracy thriller based on actual, never-before-revealed facts surrounding the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.

"One moment, the white-clad figure, holding on to the iron bar at the back seat of the white Jeep with the left hand, was blessing the faithful in a

Overview

From the author of Pope John Paul II: A Biography comes a chillingly authentic conspiracy thriller based on actual, never-before-revealed facts surrounding the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.

"One moment, the white-clad figure, holding on to the iron bar at the back seat of the white Jeep with the left hand, was blessing the faithful in a slow, circular motion of the right hand as the vehicle advanced gently through the human mass filling St. Peter's Square in the Vatican under the azure-blue sky of the May afternoon. The next moment, the figure in white was slumped, seemingly lifeless, in a pool of crimson blood sloshing in the rear of the Jeep..."

In May 1981, in the middle of the slow tour among pilgrims on St. Peter's Square, Gregory XVII, the beloved but often controversial French pope, is shot at close range. The would-be assassin is quickly caught and identifies himself as Agca Circlic, a Turk belonging to a terrorist group. But the recovering Gregory XVII -- who has both deep faith and a philosophical turn of mind -- is not satisfied with Circlic's arrest and sets out to discover who really wants him dead. He arranges to recruit Tim Savage, an American Jesuit and former CIA case officer, who soon discovers that the plot to kill the Pope originated not in the Middle East but very close to home.

To Kill the Pope is a fictional treatment of the real-life assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. In the course of researching his acclaimed biography of the Pope, Tad Szulc uncovered the truth about the conspiracy. The fictional format was chosen because, out of deference to his top-level sources, he could not reveal real names or disclosespecific details. This information -- including actual CIA testimony before United States Senate committees, the Agency's internal reports, French Secret Service involvements, and findings by Italian courts and Interpol -- forms the basis for a shocking thriller that sheds new light on a key event in recent history.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Guide to New Fiction
An "interesting and intriguing" ecclesiastical thriller from the biographer of Pope John Paul II that raises a never-before-disclosed conspiracy theory behind the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981. Our booksellers called Szulc "a very good storyteller."
Library Journal - Library Journal
While researching his biography of Pope John Paul II, former New York Times correspondent Szulc came upon a conspiracy theory behind the 1981 assassination attempt. Pursuing this theory, he offers a fictional treatment of that event, with the French Pope Gregory XVII falling victim to the attack. Five years after Italian authorities have concluded their investigation of the Turk who wounded the Pope, Gregory XVII asks former CIA operative Tim Savage, now a Jesuit and scholar of Islam, to track down the people behind the plot. Savage follows a trail from Rome to Istanbul to Paris to southern France, discovering along the way that the plot to kill the Pope originated not with Muslims or foreign intelligence services but much closer to home. This is an intelligent novel, more detective story than thriller, which reads like a series of lessons in Church history, including a fascinating journey through the process of becoming a Jesuit. Recommended for all public libraries.--Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Debut thriller by a veteran nonfiction writer, newsman, and pope-watcher (Pope John Paul II: A Biography, not reviewed). Szulc says he turned to the novel for this time out mostly to protect his story's sources. At the heart of his tale is the very real attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981—and the very secret Holy See investigation into the circumstances surrounding it. Szulc's fictitious pope is the sophisticated Frenchman Gregory XVII, his sleuth the reluctant American Father Ted Savage. Five years have passed since the narrow escape, and the Turkish hit man who fired the three errant bullets is in jail serving a life sentence. That being so, the Italian police have said finito and gone on to more fertile investigations. It's occurred to Gregory and the people around him, however, that papal security might well depend on matters still unresolved. Such as: Was it a case of a lone, crazed gunman? Or was it a conspiracy, and if so who were the conspirators and was their failure permanently discouraging? Father Ted, a onetime CIA operative, understands why he's been tapped for "this most confidential mission," but he doesn't like it one bit. And he's right not to. The truth, when it finally emerges, turns out to be dangerous internationally and disruptive personally in ways he never could have imagined. An array of determined and highly placed people are engaged in cover-up—at least one of them in the Vatican itself—and to them utter ruthlessness in support of conviction amounts to an obligation. Szulc (Chopin in Paris, 1998, etc.) flounders some as a novelist—underdeveloped people, awkward dialogue—but his research is abundant andpersuasive... . Vinci, Simona WHAT WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT CHILDREN Trans. by Minna Proctor Knopf (176 pp.) Jun. 7, 2000

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684837819
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
06/01/2000
Series:
Lisa Drew Bks.
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.21(d)

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