This book was a bit of a change from The Covenant of the Flame. Both would fall into the “religious whodunit” category but the other book was a really fast-paced thriller with a lot of history [based on actual groups but fictionalized]. This book is much slower paced and has a bunch of made-up history that seems somewhat real. The main character is a priest who works for the enforcement and policeman arm of the Pope’s crew in Vatican City. He’s ultra-straight-laced and very good at his job. He has to go sort out a situation in Spain where a small church with a crazy priest is in danger of being closed down by lack of parishoners and the greed of developers. Of course, there is a beautiful woman and a mysterious story and a lot of other interesting characters hanging on the periphery like many of Perez-Reverte’s stories.
The mystery in this one doesn’t pack quite the punch of some of his others, particularly the Flanders Panel, but the settings and characters are richer and, as always, the language is lovely and makes you pine for a place you hadn’t previously been aware existed.