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Unholy Trinity [Paperback]

Paul Adam
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sept. 2 1999
Andy Chapman, Rome correspondent for a London daily, is intrigued by the brutal murder of a left wing priest, particularly when he discovers that an emissary from the Vatican had cleared his apartment of papers when his body was discovered but before the police were called. He turns this piece of information over to the investigating magistrate, Elena Fiorini, who inadvertently reveals to him that she is under pressure from her superiors not to pry too deeply into the motives for the killing. Such pressure only increases both Elena's and Chapman's desire to find out precisely what happened and why, a quest which leads them into the bowels of the Vatican's archives, to a clandestine meeting of a banned political party and back to the last days of Mussolini's dictatorship, when people changed their identities but only pretended to shift their allegiances.

A taut and serpentine thriller in the tradition of Robert Harris, in which the eternal city is as much a character as the people who inhabit it.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Artfully crafted and intricately layered, this thriller by a veteran British journalist/crime novelist moves back and forth between 1944 and 1945 and the present to imagine a complex web of modern neo-Fascist Italian extremism entwined with corrupt Vatican politics, all nicely set against an affecting love affair between a highly unlikely pair of still young--however prematurely disenchanted--professional adversaries. In a prologue set during April 1945, Mussolini's veteran aide de camp steals away from the convoy accompanying Il Duce in his futile attempt to escape and strikes out alone for the Swiss border, driving a truck carrying 10 heavy wooden boxes. The action then switches to present-day Rome, where 30-ish magistrate Elena Fiorini and British journalist Andy Chapman meet at the scene of the murder of a rebellious Catholic priest. Chapman's Italian journalist friend Enzo breaks a story linking the murder to neo-Fascists, and Chapman tapes a young street urchin who claims that a member of Parliament visited the priest just before his murder. When Chapman takes the tape to Elena, the chemistry between them leads to bed. During a rendezvous with Enzo to meet an informer who wants to talk, Chapman barely escapes with his life as he and the informer are ambushed. The trail leads to secret Vatican archives containing evidence of papal collusion with the high crimes of Mussolini and a modern-day revival of the Fascist Blackshirt movement reaching into high places. Unraveling a fascinating tapestry of pious deceit, Adams explores carnal frailty, broken vows and religious genocide as he adroitly connects the present-day action to Mussolini's fall from power.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The search for post-Communism enemies continues: for Adam, a British foreign correspondent who's also written for TV and published crime novels, the bad guys are a slimy crew of neofascists. The action begins when a controversial priest who feeds the homeless and criticizes Vatican wealth is murdered. Andy Chapman, a British reporter, finds evidence he turns over to prosecutor Elena Fiorini; the two are soon on a trail with roots in the final days of World War II. But this is far from an intellectual exercise: both are manhandled, and more dead bodies dot the landscape. That landscape is Rome, with its narrow courts and vast, echoing ruins; Chapman's fondness for Italy seems to express the author's opinion. Unholy Trinity is a lively, fast-paced thriller, with a bit of sex and violence to keep the pages turning. (Warning: one element of the plot turns on the Vatican's role at the end of World War II, so don't recommend this novel to Catholics unwilling to examine this issue.) Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, suspenseful novel about dirty secrets May 10 2004
Format:Paperback
"Unholy Trinity" opens in 1945, where the Fascist puppet state in northern Italy is collapsing, and one of Mussolini's lieunenants going into hiding. Then, in present-day Rome, a journalist and a magistrate invesigate the murder of a popular, left-leaning priest. They soon find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy to find Fascist gold from fifty years ago, and soon, they discover the Vatican itself is involved. Good storytelling about one of the darkest periods in Church history, and of the atrocities done to Serbs at Croatian camps. The action is believable, and the villains dispicable (one purs castor oil down our heroine's throat). It'll keep you guessing to the final page.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different view of Rome, The vatican & WW2 June 10 2002
By mike samuels - Published on Amazon.com
Excellent knowledge of The Eternal City, so good you can visit the places named, with a wiew of the Second World War that is not shown in "Band of Brothers" etc.
The book (un)intentionally gives clues to the problems in the 90's Balkans while still engrossing the reader in a superb plot with excellent characterisation.
For those who enjoy action/mystery/historical novels, with a regard for the Vatican as a political organisation with its encumbent machinations, this is an engrossing novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner par excellence Oct. 25 2004
By Belle du Jour - Published on Amazon.com
Two thumbs up for this compelling novel! It is a very good crime thriller that is totally addictive from page one. A mystery encompassing the murder of a maverick Roman Catholic priest, a shadowy group of neo-Fascists and corruption at the highest levels of the Vatican, Unholy Trinity brings these events to life, and then documents the efforts of a journalist and a committed public prosecutor to get to the bottom of the mystery. Paul Adam brings modern day Rome to life and demonstrates good knowledge of the somewhat arcane Italian legal system. I highly recommend Unholy Trinity, and trust other thriller fans will enjoy it as much as I did!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, suspenseful novel about dirty secrets May 10 2004
By Peter LaPrade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Unholy Trinity" opens in 1945, where the Fascist puppet state in northern Italy is collapsing, and one of Mussolini's lieunenants going into hiding. Then, in present-day Rome, a journalist and a magistrate invesigate the murder of a popular, left-leaning priest. They soon find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy to find Fascist gold from fifty years ago, and soon, they discover the Vatican itself is involved. Good storytelling about one of the darkest periods in Church history, and of the atrocities done to Serbs at Croatian camps. The action is believable, and the villains dispicable (one purs castor oil down our heroine's throat). It'll keep you guessing to the final page.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great airplane book. March 1 2006
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Adam has given us a tense, exciting thriller. It's fast paced but also interesting as I learned things about WWII, events in Ustashe, Yugoslavia and Ante Pavelic, leader of the Croatian Fascist movement, I had not known. The history doesn't bog down the action of the story. The relationship between Andy and Elena adds to the dimension. I did feel the ending was very abrupt and left a lot of loose threads, hence my lower rating. But it was still and enjoyable read and would make a great airplane book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unholy trinity Nov. 30 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The anti-Catholic and anti-clerical overtones get in the way of an interesting plot and a delightful tour of Rome and Italian lifestyle. The Vatican's role at the end of WWII could have be covered in a less prejudicial way. It would have also been helpful if the author sited some of the sources he used for his historical references.
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