A deceased art expert seemingly reappears in Japan, upsetting the plans of priestly diplomats. They fear, lest a ruthless schemer may have stolen his identity. How far will that possible super spy dare to go to subvert Church policy? The answer may be hidden in Vermeer’s celebrated paintings. Against a Cold War backdrop, friendship, religion, the fine arts, and ideology intertwine. Loyalties are tested, leaving the only alternatives of betrayal or sacrifice. In the Church under attack, the worst infiltration is sin. Safety then will start with repentance.
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1-990685-65-1 | pbk | $22.95 USD
ISBN: 978-1-990685-66-8 | hc | $29.95 USD
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A brilliant debut novel in an intriguing genre that could accurately be called ‘Vatican Noir’. The author’s detailed knowledge of the ecclesiastical backdrop and the artistic foreground make for a convincing ‘high resolution’ world in which ambition, morality, psychology, espionage and high drama intersect.
—Pierpaolo Finaldi, The Catholic Writers Guild
This stunning prose draws the reader into a world of intrigue and uncertainty where nothing is quite as it seems. This is more than just a novel, it is a haunting meditation on the significance of memory, identity, betrayal, guilt and the insatiable human yearning for the Truth.
—Fiorella De Maria, The Fr Gabriel Mysteries
A remarkable novel, a tale of Ostpolitik set in expertly orchestrated scenes alternating between the aftermath of Hiroshima and the collapse of Eastern European communism. Ingeniously interweaving the various strands of his fiction with real history, Japanese culture, Vatican diplomacy, Kim Philby's Soviet spy ring, and a penetrating analysis of art that makes painting come alive, this is not only a culturally sophisticated narrative, but a gripping read, full of human interest.
—Robert Asch, St Austin Review
A triumph of a novel. It is a startlingly broad canvas that crosses several continents, cultures and decades, unfolding for the reader subtle readings of both artistic masterpieces and men’s souls. It is a novel about the loss of the self, caused by the atomic blast of modernity and the lingering radiation of older ills. It is a novel about memory and about self-betrayal, suffused with a gentle but persistent sense of the need to recover spiritual responsibility in a world of pragmatic compromise.
—Dr Brian Sudlow, Catholic Literature and Secularisation in France and England