Conclave – Robert Harris

The best-selling author of Enigma and Fatherland turns to today’s Vatican in a ripped-from-the-headlines novel, and gives us his most ambitious, page-turning thriller yet–where the power of God is nearly equaled by the ambition of men.

The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on Earth.

Robert Harris’s new novel is a slick and fast-paced thriller. . . . The narrative begins at a breakneck speed and we have a ringside seat at the secretive meeting of the conclave. . . . One of the more entertaining aspects of Harris’s book is his blending of fiction with Vatican history which offers plenty of potential for arch comment. . . . [T]his entertaining and satisfying page-turner tells the tense story of the Machiavellian machinations of ambitious men, locked in a power-struggle that can only end in a puff of white smoke and power.” —Daily Express (four stars)