Friday, September 27, 2013

A Pius Man by Declan Finn

As the head of Vatican security, Giovanni Figlia must protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day.  The Pope's latest project is to make Pius XII, "Hitler's Pope," a saint.  Things haven't gotten better since the Pope employed American mercenary Sean Ryan.

Then a body fell onto the Vatican doorstep.

Soon, a pattern emerges-people who go into the Pius XII historical archives are dying.  Each time, a priest has been in the background-a priest close to the Pope.  One of the victims was an al-Qaeda operative, drawing Scott "Mossad" Murphy of Israeli intelligence to Rome.

Soon, Ryan, Murphy and Figlia must join forces to unravel the mystery around the Vatican, as even the man Giovanni is supposed to protect looks like a suspect.  To get out of this alive, they must discover if Hitler's Pope was a Nazi collaborator, or a pious man.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  And it certainly is, if you can get past the beginning.  There are just so many different people from so many different agencies and so very much information jammed into the beginning that it's difficult to stay focused.  Although all of the beginning information is necessary, it's trying to a reader who just wants to get to the story.  We start off with a big bang, literally, and then we're stuck in Information Overload Land for awhile.  Once we get out of there, we do find an exciting story that's fun to read, with characters that I eventually came to enjoy.

Though I wasn't in love with this book, I have to admit I'm impressed with Declan as an author.  He didn't just write the book, but has developed an entire fictitious world around it.  Several of the chapters have a website you can go to in order to learn more about a character or situation, or to simply read a short story.  It always ties in with the chapter that you've just read.  I love that Declan has taken his dedication to this world to the next level.  I am always certain that the next book will be far more enjoyable since we've already been introduced to the cast of characters.

For more information, visit Declan's Pius Man blog.  He has a wealth of information, not only on himself and the book, but on fascinating culture as well.  *insert Spock wave here*

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