The explosive story begins in Washington and focuses on the most recent shipment of plutonium by Japan from Cherbourg to Nagasaki—a shipment that could produce three hundred Nagasaki-size bombs. A bizarre attack on His Holiness at the Vatican’s summer palace and the murder of a well-known cardinal in the Vatican hospital lead a much-loved and popular pope and an unloved and unpopular intelligence agency to form an unlikely joint venture to save a key priest at an obscure monastery near Kyoto. As readers, we are treated to a Japan no Westerner is permitted to see, and made privy to a Vatican initiative so daring it may not be revealed. The harrowing escapade of nuclear terrorists will succeed unless a handful of Americans and Japanese, aided by the Vatican, can discover who is behind the threat and stop them.
Wikipedia defines roman à clef (French for novel with a key) as “a novel about real life events that is overlaid with a façade of fiction. The fictitious names in the novel represent real people. The reasons an author might choose roman à clef format include writing about a controversial subject and/or reporting inside information (and) the opportunity to turn the tale the way the author would like it to have gone.”
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Published by Texas Christian University Press