Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: CONCLAVE

Last year, I read a book of Robert Harris for the first time, not realizing that his treatment of Cicero's last years was the last of a trilogy. But I liked it enough to give Conclave a try, and it didn't disappoint. It is a novel of a papal conclave of cardinals, the gatherings that select new popes. It has much to recommend it--it is suspenseful, it is a subject that even non-Catholics find interesting, and the level of detail is informative without being overwhelming. There are also a few drawbacks--the number of plot twists seems a bit much and contrived, that serve as ways to eliminate the main contenders, the eventual winner of the contest is able to be discerned very early in the book, and I am getting very, very sick of suspense novels using the Islamic terrorist hordes as their villains. Harris deserves kudos for the twist on the obvious ending, though.

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