I received a free e-copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
Blaming the Catholic Church for the death of his wife, filmmaker Henry Hawkins is determined to make an exposé revealing the Church’s responsibility. Not divulging the true intentions of his documentary, Henry’s quest leads him to Rome where he’s promised access to the Vatican by its highest ranking cardinal, Silvio Contini, the Secretary of State of Vatican City.
After arriving in the Eternal City, Cardinal Contini reneges on his agreement to meet with Henry. Refusing to have his plan compromised, Henry devises a bold scheme to get behind the impregnable walls of the Vatican to confront Contini. However, when the pope suddenly dies a quirk of fate throws Henry into a whirlwind when he is isolated in the inner sanctum of the papal conclave where he covertly records the secret election process and clandestinely films Contini’s unscrupulous method of eliminating papal candidates for his own agenda. Henry’s obsession to avenge the loss of his wife is put in jeopardy when his tapes are stolen and he discovers that if Contini is elected pope he will alter sacred Church doctrine, thereby destroying the meaning of his wife’s death and all that she believed in.
To prevent this, Henry must reclaim his tapes while ultimately deciding whether to smuggle them out of the conclave and use the information they reveal to make his documentary, or exploit them to the voting cardinals to stop Contini’s election thereby upholding the dignity of his wife’s beliefs.
About the Author:
PAUL CROSS is an award-winning screenwriter, actor, director and producer with many feature films including OPERATION TERROR, and SEVERE VISIBILITY, and television movies such as STUDS LONIGAN and AMAZONS to his credits. He is also the writer/director/producer of the award-winning documentaries, FOLLOW the LEADER and WEST END STORY. His novel A COUNTERFEIT PRIEST is the basis for his screenplay by the same title. Paul lives in Hollywood, California. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0189237/ Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in the Catholic Church and I left it long, long ago but religion as a whole still fascinates me. When this book was offered to me for review I was intrigued. The premise gave away a little of what was to come. I will also note that from the time I took the book to review to the time I actually read it the author sent me two revisions. I only read the final result so I don’t know what the earlier versions were like.
Henry Hawkins is a documentary film maker mourning the loss of his wife who was a very devout Catholic. The how of her death is revealed very slowly over the course of the book and I must admit that it just didn’t feel valid to me. But then again I’ve never been that devout a Catholic. It also seems a pretty silly reason to want to destroy the church but hey, we need something to drive plot.
The descriptions of the inside of the conclave were fascinating even if some of the action therein was a bit farcical. Priests are after all men and subject as much to the same feelings as other men; jealousy, lust, and they hunger for power. All of that is in evidence in the conclave as well as pure devotion to and love for the members of the church. You will also find a bit of greed, avarice and corruption – it’s what makes the world go ’round, right?
The story progresses as Mr. Hawkins finds his way into the Vatican – I won’t spoil how but there is the title. He learns much about the powers that be behind the Pope and the making of a new Pope but does he learn enough to seek the peace he needs? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. It was a diverting read for the most part with several well developed characters. Some remained stock and left me wanting more but overall it was a nice diversion from my usual historical fiction.
You can purchase A Counterfeit Priest on Amazon.com