Giovanni Figlia's job is straightforward: protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day. His latest project: make "Hitler's Pope,” Pius XII, a saint. But when people who have gone into the Vatican archives start dying, a whole new world of problems emerge. And each time someone dies, a priest has been in the background; a priest close to the Pope. It's a mystery with too many suspects: the American mercenary working for the Vatican? The Egyptian cop coordinating for the Pope's trip to Cairo? Or the priest who's mysteriously well trained in combat? Also, since one of the dead researchers was an Al Qaeda asset, Mossad and German intelligence arrive in Rome. Soon, they must all 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 the mystery of Hitler's Pope to find out whether or not he was a Nazi collaborator, or a pious Man.
Every historical reference can be footnoted (literally, the first draft had footnotes in it). Almost every reference is either directly related to the plot, or related to a vital element. Every time history is brought up, it is kept as concise as possible, without a trace of being pedantic or lecturing to the audience. Instead, it's treated as other tales told within the context of the novel—as much as any character's back story would be.
At the end of the day, despite the history-heavy elements of the story, A Pius Man reads like the usual political techno-thriller, with history slipped in between gunfire.
A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller
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