Review: Conclave by Robert Harris

This is about as addictive as books get – I didn’t want to put it down. An ideal “Dad” buy for Christmas if you’re out of ideas.

The Pope dies, and 118 cardinals descend on the Vatican to elect his replacement, in a secret Conclave.

As the election unfolds, we begin to see the ambition, hypocrisy, and faith of the cardinals under the most intense scrutiny. This feels like the point of the book – in the end, cardinals have the same foibles as everyone else, it’s just theirs are hidden from the world for the most part.

I wouldn’t say there was anything exciting, or stand out about this book (even the plot is pretty simple – a succession of votes that are followed by a new twist in the tale), but it is incredibly addictive. In fact, I’d say its simplicity makes it more pleasing, if anything.



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