Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008 Book 4: Lazarus

Book #:4
Book Title:Lazarus
Author:Morris West
Publisher:Wings Books (Random House)
Pub. Date:1993 (my version); 1990 (original)
Started:January 12, 2008
Finished:January 19, 2008
Time to Read:7 Days
Back Cover / Inside Flap:"A deadly game where everyone has a secret agenda - and no one is quite what they seem...

THE POPE. An iron-fisted reactionary who conspired in the downfall of his predecessor earned many enemies in his climb to the top. Now he must face his own day of reckoning...

THE DOCTOR. He is first a surgeon - second, a Zionist, bitter over Rome's refusal to acknowledge the Jews. Performing heart surgery on the Vicar of Christ, he vows, "I want him to owe me his life..."

THE ASSASSIN. By day, he is a businessman. By night, he leads the Sword of Islam. Now his greatest hour draws near..."

Review:When the Pope is discovered to have a heart that is a ticking time bomb, he entrusts his life to the best surgeon around - but one with such ideological differences that even a patient-doctor relationship seems nearly impossible. When the surgery is a success, the leader of the Roman church is granted a new lease on life, and faces it as if Lazarus departing the tomb. Certain entities are eager to ensure that his new attitude does not impact the future of the church...or the strengthening of a relationship between the Vatican and the state of Israel. Along the way, the story line covers defrocked priests, mismatched couples, and heartwarming stories of hope.

This is the final book in the Vatican Trilogy, and it definitely ends with a bang. The problem is, however, that the entire novel is so invested in building anticipation towards the tragic event that may come, that when it does come, it's anti-climatic. Not a bad book - interesting sub-plots and well-developed characters, but I think that there was too much time invested in building the reader up towards the destined events. It is very interesting that although the first two books in the trilogy really make no mention of tying together, this one makes mention of characters in both - and at times, that mention seems forced, as if West is trying to drive home forcibly the point that the books are related.

Readers, there are a few twists however, including one triumphant and one quite sad - although some things will be seen from miles away, there are still some surprises left to the wind.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


1 comment:

The Mama Bear said...

Sounds TBR list is very long right now though, so when I would get to it I have no clue.
I also have a stack of books that are research for my own novel.
Oh, I don't recall if I mentioned it, but I have you linked as a sister site to my book review site. Hugs,