The Third Secret by Steve Berry (Fiction)

posted 28 Jan 2010, 03:28 by DP Durlston-Powell   [ updated 14 Apr 2010, 15:05 ]
Backcover blurb:

What is the third secret? It is rumoured to be a prediction so shocking that it has been locked away for over 80 years. Could this be what is drawing Pope Clement XV to the Vatican archive, night after sleepless night? When Father Colin Michener is sent on a secret mission to the highlands of Romania, he is pitched into a vortex of suspicion, deceit, murder and forbidden passion. Suddenly he is forced to face the very thing that has so distressed the Pope - and to unravel a mystery that will shake the world.

Books from the same author:
The Amber Room by Steve Berry (Fiction)

My thoughts:

This superb book is more than twice as good as the genre standard, Angels and Demons. With a plot firmly anchored in real life, as opposed to the sci-fi of bottles of anti-matter, Berry has produced a tale that has all the pace and twists of a great thriller coupled with a credible and convincing premise. Unlike the vast majority of novels about the catholic church, the Third Secret does not shy away from the question of God, but embraces it and so actually meets the blurb claim of being about a mystery that will shake the world. This is something that most similar titles fail to achieve and it is of immense credit to Berry's research that he has a book that stands head and shoulders above an increasingly crowded market. The main characters are very well crafted, although Katerina's motivation felt slightly weak and Father Ambrosi stands out for being the only 2-dimensional character, more akin to those from rival novels, in an otherwise compelling ensemble. But overall, it is the well planned and believable plot that really pulls the reader deeper and deeper into this book. Not the usual fare of international conspiracy and corrupted power that many plots rely on, but rather a story about the church's relationship with God and normal human motivations and failings.

Verdict:

By far the best novel of its field. If you like Dan Brown, you'll love this. If you don't like Dan Brown, this is the book to restore your faith!
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