As you probably guessed from my last post I’m a sucker for Amazon Kindle freebies. Over the years I’ve helped myself to a ton of public domain books, mostly great works of literature but also vintage stuff in the fields of history, religion and philosophy. On top of that, from time to time I’ve downloaded a number of giveaways, one of which is Shawn Raymond Poalillo’s 2019 crime/action novel The Vatican Cop. Figuring I could apply it towards the European Reading Challenge, Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge (COYER) and Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge and with nothing to lose I gave it a shot.
After a priceless holy artifact is stolen and the priest entrusted with its safety is brutally murdered U. S. Dept. of Homeland Security Special Agent Michael Poe is ordered by the White House to assist the Vatican in its recovery. Deputized as a temporary Gendarmerie of the Holy See by none other than Pope Francis, Poe and his stunningly gorgeous Vatican-assigned investigative partner Giada Ferrari search for answers. Refusing to be stonewalled by higher-ups, they doggedly pursue leads, risking life and limb battling a deadly team of well-armed American mercenaries. As more priests are murdered and the two investigators begin suspecting they’re being double-crossed signs point to a 75 year old shadowy cabal pulling the strings. First thinking the Pope was overly dramatic when asked to solve the crime for the “sake of humanity” Poe soon realizes those behind the killings must be stopped at all costs.
A fast-paced thrilling tale featuring an American male lead character paired with a beautiful European female battling murderous adversaries, age old conspiracies and Vatican intrigue set mostly in Vatican City, Rome and environs could easily be called a Da Vinci Code knock off. (Even so, it wouldn’t be the first time somebody took Dan Brown’s formula and ran with it. Paul L. Maier’s 2011 The Constantine Codex immediately comes to mind.) But considering what I paid for this novel, I certainly can’t complain.