With all of the talk about picking the next Pope and the top secret Conclave, the process in which the Cardinals elect their new leader, I’m feeling the urge to go back and read one of my favorite metaphysical/conspiracy thrillers, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. If you like mysteries and conspiracy theories and books about the Illuminati and other top secret organizations, you’ll enjoy this book. If you saw the movie, let me tell you, the book is much better. And with the Catholic Church being in the news right now, choosing their next leader, the book is once again timely.
The book centers around the story of a Harvard symbologist named Robert Langdon (played in the movie by Tom Hanks), who is hoping to stop the top-secret society Illuminati from using a powerful substance to destroy Vatican City. When the book begins, a Pope has died and the Conclave is about to take place to elect his successor. However, the four cardinals who are most likely to succeed the Pope are also missing. After the cardinals start turning up dead, the protagonist sets out to figure out what the Illuminati is trying to do and stop them before anyone else is murdered and secret information held by the Church and other top-secret groups is used for evil purposes.
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The book was my introduction to the process of electing a Pope, and having read it, I’m better able to follow all of today’s goings on. The book also describes the secrecy that’s characteristic of organizations like the Vatican, something that’s also pretty evident today. If you’re looking for a page-turner, give it a try.