Friday 26 August 2022

A Pius Man - Declan Finn - The Pius Trilogy Book 1

A Pius Man
The Pius Trilogy Book 1
Declan Finn
Silver Empire
ISBN 9781482553895
eISBN 9781370225095
A Pius Man - Declan Finn - The Pius Trilogy Book 1

Note: This book is currently out of print. The author is now working with a new publisher. But it is such an excellent read I am still writing a review of this edition. It will be updated with link to the new edition when it releases!

This is a brilliant book! The further I got into it, the more I was hooked. It is an amazing read. It is excellent as fiction and as presenting historical fact. It reached a point where I could just not put the book down. In many ways it reads like Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy on steroids, And it puts the works of Dan Brown to shame for research and integrity. At the end he gives several references for works that support it as presented in this story and also several opposing views. The authors not at the end is excellent he states:

“The history here is completely true, with the exception of Pope Pius XII sending assassins after Hitler and his upper echelon. Most of the arguments that have been presented in real life, for and against Pius XII, have been inserted into the book. The author of Hitler's Pope, for example, really did backpedal about Pius, turning his attention towards Pope John Paul II not long after the Pope died in 2005. At least one source used false documents by a convicted forger, and yet other researchers have used real sources, leaving out data that exonerates Pius XII—some have argued deliberately.

The discussion of the Soviets’ policy toward religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular is well documented. Rolf Hochhuth’s play, The Deputy, which first accused Pius XII of supporting the Nazis, really was supported by the USSR. Try The Sword and the Shield by Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrews for the history between Rome and Moscow. Andropov’s plan to separate the Church of Rome from the American Catholic Church is real—the details, obviously, are made up. The list of people whom the Soviets had supported is real, and is longer than is portrayed in the novel. Additional material can be taken from the works of Robert A. Graham, SJ. The Mikhailov family is, to my knowledge, a complete fabrication, though the history around them isn't.”

And also:

“The Goyim Brigade, anything on a “new” Knights Templar, or Vatican Intelligence, is completely a product of my deluded imagination. Any and all similarities between the characters in the book and real people are completely miraculous. If any of them are real, I would like to meet none of them in a dark alley anytime soon. And they are probably hired as Vatican Ninjas.

Everything political, and referred to in past tense, is true—about the Soviet Union, the United Nations and their resolution against Israel, legal action against the Church in the United States, etc. The analysis of those facts is purely that of my characters, who are, again, paranoid by profession.”

This was the eighth story I have read by Declan Finn in the last 3 months. I have read the first 5 in the Saint Tommy Series, the first in the White Ops Series, and now the first in this series. And I cannot but put the pieces together between this series and one far in the future the White Ops books. Many of his works are coming back into print with a new publisher. And some new volumes in those other two series. But I can state emphatically that readers are in for a treat when this story and series is back in print. I have been greatly impressed by all I have read that he has written. But back to this story, the description of this story is:

“As the head of Vatican security, Giovanni Figlia must protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day. The Pope's latest project is to make Pius XII, "Hitler's Pope," a saint. Things haven't gotten better since the Pope employed American mercenary Sean Ryan.

Then a body fell onto the Vatican doorstep.

Soon, a pattern emerges-- people who go into the Pius XII historical archives are dying. Each time, a priest has been in the background-- a priest close to the Pope. One of the victims was an al-Qaeda operative, drawing Scott "Mossad" Murphy of Israeli intelligence to Rome.

Now, Ryan, Murphy and Figlia must 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 if Hitler's Pope was a Nazi collaborator, or a pious man.”

This story has it all guns, bombs, plots, historic fact and a pope like one we need! The story races from nearly beginning to end. Starting with a murder then the assassin being taken out the story is off to the races. Nearly all the agencies from real life are represented and a few of Finn’s imaginings. This story is masterfully written. It has amazing characters. An excellent plot and pace. It is an action thriller, but the story has a purpose. It is a much better novel than many I read when I was younger, and even some I read today that are read just for entertainment purposes. I came away from this book with a deep desire to read more by and about Pope Pius XII and an ever greater commitment to read all the work s of Finn.

Last year I found I had a few books from Karina Fabian that I had purchased back in 2011 on my Kindle that I had not got around to reading. Like this those two are being rewritten and out of print. This was another long forgotten gem. If I had read it when I originally picked it up, I would not be playing catch up with over 35 books by him still on my to be read list! 

This story reads like a cross up of James Bond with the TV Series The Fall Guy, set in and around the Vatican, with a generous dollop of history, a lot of action. And All kinds of government agencies.  

I hope the new editions of this and other of the 5 books in the trilogy are reprinted soon. I know I will be recommending it often. And if you just cannot wait, track down a used copy, you will not be disappointed. I have been more impressed with each volume I read from Finn, and this one was amazing! I look forward to many more great reads from his most creative pen!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Declan Finn:
Love At First Bite Series:

Other books:

Anthologies contributed to:
Luna: Planetary Anhtology Series Book 2
Supernatural Streets
Starflight: Tales From The Starport Lounge
Mercury: Planetary Anthology Series Book 4
Venus: Planetary Anthology Series Book 5
Mars: Planetary Anthology Series Book 7
Places Beyond the Wild: A Z-Day Anthology
Shoot the Devil: Ten Tales of Humans Defeating the Demonic
Fantastic Schools, Volume 6

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