Author: Tom Fox
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: October 8, 2015
The Vatican Cathedral is packed to the rafters as Pope Gregory XVII leads the congregation in mass. A cloaked stranger steps suddenly and fearlessly towards the altar and commands the wheelchair-bound Pope to stand.
The miracle stops the world in its tracks. Who is this stranger?
More miraculous events follow and as the Vatican retreats and closes its doors to the world, journalist Alexander Trecchio and police officer Gabriella Fierro set out to find an explanation that might calm an increasingly hysterical nation.
Because the question on everyone's lips is what the stranger's arrival might mean...and whether it finally heralds the End of Days.
A stranger walks into St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican City, strolls by the Swiss Guard right to the crippled Pope and commands him to stand...This is just one of the miracles happening around Italy in the short period after the stranger's stroll down the nave of the basilica.
Those who cry fraud are promptly silenced, but there are two, an ex-priest turned journalist and his unrequited flame, a police inspector, that won't back down no matter what.
Is the stranger truly miraculous or just a good con-artist, how to explain the other "miracles" and just who is holding the strings...And why.
What caught my eye while browsing in the fiction section in the airport bookstore, was the promise of being left breathless as while reading Dan Brown's Robert Langon novels. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver on that promise.
It was slow going from the start, only picking up pace (slightly!) when there was a murder, shooting, or a run-for-your-life situation, the quasi romance angle thrown into the mix was utterly unnecessary, unbelievable, and a complete waste of pages, only adding to the book's snooze-factor.
The suspense had much to be desired in the originality department—it sounded rehashed and refurbished, more along the lines of "been-there-read-that", the pacing was (as mentioned) slow as hell (when it should've gone out with the bang at the end, it fizzled out with a whimper), and the whole talk of miracles and speculation as to the true nature of the "stranger" rather annoying for a non-believer.
I simply wasn't convinced. Needless to say I couldn't care less about the minuscule cliffhanger in the end that promises more in the "electrifying sequel".
Don't make promises you can't keep.