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The Third Secret: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Nov 27 2007

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (Nov. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345504402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345504401
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Visions of the Virgin Mary, secret documents and politicking in the highest echelons of the Catholic Church—Berry (The Amber Room) combines combustive elements in this well-researched thriller. In 1917, the Virgin Mary revealed herself to three children in Fatima, Portugal, disclosing three secrets to the eldest, Lucia, who shared the first two secrets soon after their revelation but left the last to be disclosed upon her death. This third secret was released to Pope John XXIII in 1960 and made public by Pope John Paul II in 2000... or was it? The novel's stolid protagonist—Msgr. Colin Michener, longtime secretary to Clement XV, the novel's near-future successor to John Paul II—has reason to doubt the accuracy of the public version of the secret. Beleaguered by radically dogmatic cardinals and bishops, the embattled Clement XV also appears distressed by recent knowledge of secret documents regarding the Fatima messages. Before his inexplicable suicide, Clement sends Michener to Romania in search of a Father Tibor, who translated the third secret for Pope John XXIII and may hold the key to its mystery. Also on the case, if a step behind, is the ambitious and traditionalist Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Valendrea, with an eye on the papal throne. Da Vinci Code fans hungry for more may want a taste of this. Agent, Pam Ahearn. 10-city author tour. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Berry, fresh off his success with The Romanov Prophecy (2004), turns to secrets of the Catholic Church. Set primarily in present-day Vatican City (with a dramatic side trip to Medjugorje), the story has as its hero Father Colin Michener, favored aide to Clement XV, a caretaker pope. Waiting impatiently for Clement's job is Cardinal Alberto Valendrea, a traditionalist who, like Clement, knows there is an explosive secret about the Fatima prophecies that is yet to be disclosed. Conspiracies and plots abound as Valendrea's hunger for the papacy and his fanatical desire to suppress the secret lead to murder. All the while, Michener must try to figure out what God wants of him--and then decide if he's able to do it. Berry handles his thriller tradecraft skillfully, his descriptions are stellar, and of special interest, he offers a vivid re-creation of the majestic conclave, in which the College of Cardinals elects a new pope. Characterizations, however, are not quite as strong; Michener's former girlfriend is particularly ill-defined. But the story is its own reward. The contents of the explosive prophecy prove suitably shocking, if unlikely, and the surprising ending keeps the tension intense until the last pages. Readers won't be disappointed. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lawyeraau TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 26 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an immensely entertaining thriller that revolves around the third secret of Fatima, as well as Vatican political intrigues, murder, and mystery. It is a fast-paced, plot driven thriller. So strong is the plot that the fact that the book is short on character development will not disturb the reader one whit. The plot will keep the reader compulsively turning the pages of this skillfully plotted book. While the book may disturb some readers, due to the depiction of some its clerical characters as power hungry and capable of murder, one should keep in mind that this is a work of fiction. Besides, priests are people, too, and, as such they are, no less than the rest of us, subject to temptation.

Central to the plot is the papal secretary, Monsignor Colin Michener, who has served the elderly Pope Clement XV for many years. They have an almost father-son relationship, and Monsignor Michener has noticed that the Pope has been acting a little strange lately, making numerous visits to the papal archives. It seems that the Pope has become obsessed with the third secret of Fatima, as he has been given some new information related to it. Consequently, he decides to send Monsignor Michener to Romania on a very special mission, as it appears that all is not what it seems.

Meanwhile, back at the Vatican, political intrigues abound, as Cardinal Valendrea, avaricious and power hungry, plots on becoming pope when Pope Clement XV goes to meet his maker. Cardinal Valendrea is extremely conservative and traditional in terms of his agenda for Catholicism. He loathes Pope Clement XV and his stance on many of the issues confronting Catholicism today. He will, therefore, resort to any means necessary to secure that which he most desires.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 24 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is rife with misconceptions about the Catholic Church and is a disappointing read for anyone with even the slightest understanding of marian apparitions. The suspense builds until finally, near the end of the book, the missing portion of the "third secret of Fatima" is revealed. The problem is that the missing portion of the secret is preposterous and unbelievable, making the climax of the book a disappointment.
I am surprised that best-selling author Steve Berry would produce a book that is so poorly researched. He has lost credibility with me and I will never read another of his books.
Beyond betraying the author's ignorance of the Catholic Church, the book was poorly edited and had many typos. At one point, the name of even one of the main characters was misspelled!
While many would find the book's suspense compelling, I thought reading it was a waste of time.
If your looking for a great religious/mystery thriller, try 'The Quest" by Giorgio Kostantinos, Dan Brown has commented on it.
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Format: Hardcover
The third Secret by Steve Berry should appeal to those who loved the Da Vinci Code and A&D, but also to those who found the Dan Brown books lacking or disappointing.
The subject matter is similar as both books are thillers that deal with the Catholic faith and present theories or "What If" scenarios that are both intriguing and scandalous as they challenge the very foundation on which the church was built.
Vatican secrets and corruption abound in both cases as a world is exposed to which few are privy. Throw in some action and romance for good measure and you have the recipe for page-turning thriller.
The difference that Steve Berry's book provides is better writing and character development. The story doesn't come out of the gate with as much fervour or pace as a Brown offering, instead, the trade-off is a stronger story and a more fullfilling payoff in the end.
The third secret itself is kind of predictable and some would say anticlimactic, but I would suggest that the secret isn't the payoff in the end, but the repercussions, consequence and the "what happens next?" is infinitely more fullfilling.
I will definitely seek out and read another book by this author.
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By LorannaL on April 12 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a cradle Catholic this story did not shake my faith in the Church but rather reinforced my belief that there are good men within and change for the better can and will occur. The Virgin Mother has always been someone I'v always respected and have never doubted she was blessed to bring God's message to his people. Women have a role to play in the Church and as Steve Berry so eloquently wove his story of a far better Church that should and can be. A must read and a phenomenal story I wish becomes the Truth
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What an incredible book. Once you start reading it, you won't be able to set it down. I even got yelled at by my boss for reading the book on company time. I've read it 4 times and each time is like the first time. There is alot of information to process so get ready be blown away. It's awsome. Also, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can understand how some people might enjoy this book and I'll admit that there were some decent plot twists. But I couldn't get over the fact how I hated most of the characters and I couldn't find a way to justify half of their actions. The plot itself builds and has little payoff in the very end. I don't think it's worth the time reading. It definitely was not worth mine.
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