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The Third Secret: A Novel [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Steve Berry
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14. Dezember 2007
Explosive in both its pace and its revelations, The Third Secret is a remarkable international thriller. Bestselling author Steve Berry tackles some of the most controversial ideas of our time in a breakneck journey through the history of the Church and the future of religion.

Fatima, Portugal, 1917: The Virgin Mary appears to three peasant children, sharing with them three secrets, two of which are soon revealed to the world. The third secret is sealed away in the Vatican, read only by popes, and not disclosed until the year 2000. When revealed, its quizzical tone and anticlimactic nature leave many faithful wondering if the Church has truly unveiled all of the Virgin Mary’s words–or if a message far more important has been left in the shadows.

Vatican City, present day: Papal secretary Father Colin Michener is concerned for the Pope. Night after restless night, Pope Clement XV enters the Vatican’s Riserva, the special archive open only to popes, where the Church’s most clandestine and controversial documents are stored. Though unsure of the details, Michener knows that the Pope’s distress stems from the revelations of Fatima.

Equally concerned, but not out of any sense of compassion, is Alberto Cardinal Valendrea, the Vatican’s Secretary of State,. Valendrea desperately covets the papacy, having narrowly lost out to Clement at the last conclave. Now the Pope’s interest in Fatima threatens to uncover a shocking ancient truth that Valendrea has kept to himself for many years.

When Pope Clement sends Michener to the Romanian highlands, then to a Bosnian holy site, in search of a priest–possibly one of the last people on Earth who knows Mary’s true message–a perilous set of events unfolds. Michener finds himself embroiled in murder, suspicion, suicide, deceit, and his forbidden passion for a beloved woman. In a desperate search for answers, he travels to Pope Clement’s birthplace in Germany, where he learns that the third secret of Fatima may dictate the very fate of the Church–a fate now lying in Michener’s own hands.

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  • Taschenbuch: 376 Seiten
  • Verlag: Ballantine Books (14. Dezember 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0345491688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345491688
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,4 x 10,6 x 3,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (9 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 500.281 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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For Steve Berry, it's a fortuitous coincidence that his third novel, a Vatican-centered conspiracy thriller titled The Third Secret, was published in the immediate aftermath of Pope Benedict XVI's anointment in Rome. While this exuberantly contrived yarn would likely have drawn an audience at any time, it benefits from coming before readers just after they've been primed with news reports about papal succession, the relative influence and legacy of pontiffs, and the increasing tug-of-war between Roman Catholic progressives and conservative traditionalists.

Set in the near future, Secret introduces Jakob Volkner--Pope Clement XV--a German "caretaker pope" who, nearing the age of 80, was elected as John Paul II's successor. But three years into his papacy, the thoughtful Clement has begun to quietly express skepticism about papal infallibility and the Church's restrictive dogma, and to make odd requests of his longtime secretary, Monsignor Colin Michener, an Irish-born but American-reared priest whose vows of celibacy have been tested--and found wanting. Clement has also made repeated visits to a guarded sanctum within the Vatican archives, where sacred and historic documents are stored. And he's dispatched Michener to Romania to locate an elderly cleric who, in the 1950s, translated three cryptic prophecies, purportedly offered by the Virgin Mary in 1917 to a trio of children in Fatima, Portugal. Those secrets have since been fully disclosed to the world. Or have they? That’s the question facing Michener in the wake of Clement's shocking suicide, as he pursues a twisted trail of clues, crimes, and religious forecasts from Rome to Bosnia to Germany, accompanied by his former lover, journalist Katerina Lew. But making any additional secrets known to the world will put Michener in confrontation with doctrinal reactionaries, led by Cardinal Alberto Valendrea, the Vatican's Italian secretary of state, who's determined to follow Clement as the Vicar of Christ--even if that requires inventing a few new sins and flouting a 900-year-old prediction of doom for the next pope.

Attorney-author Berry, praised previously for The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy, enriches The Third Secret with glimpses behind the locked doors of a papal selection process and knowledge of centuries-old Catholic prognostications that, while employed judiciously in these pages, nonetheless suggest a prodigious amount of research. He's less successful with his casting. Valendrea is a wincingly unnuanced scoundrel, and Ms. Lew achieves scarce definition beyond being a raven-tressed temptress to powerful prelates. Thankfully, Berry does better by Michener, who finds himself at a crossroads, carrying on in Clement's name even as he searches for confirmation that his own life of devotion and service has been meaningful. Although the secrets "revealed" in this tale seem more controversial than plausible, and a potentially intriguing subplot about the excommunication of a maverick priest ends up as a throwaway device, The Third Secret builds to a conclusion that is as suspenseful and stunning as it is inevitable. Have faith. --J. Kingston Pierce -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Praise for Steve Berry

The Third Secret

“Controversial, shocking, explosive . . . rich in a wealth of Vatican insider knowledge and two thousand years of Virgin Mary visitations. The Third Secret will change our view of the relation between religion and wisdom.”
–KATHERINE NEVILLE, author of The Eight

The Romanov Prophecy

“Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike. Fabulous plot twists.”
–DAVID MORRELL, author of The Protector

“Compelling . . . adventure-filled . . . a fast-moving, globe-hopping tale of long-lost treasure and shadowy bad guys.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

The Amber Room

“Sexy, illuminating . . . my kind of thriller.”
–DAN BROWN, author of The Da Vinci Code

“Magnificently engrossing, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun.”
–CLIVE CUSSLER, author of Sacred Stone

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein fast perfekter Vatikanthriller 9. Mai 2006
Von R.S.
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Steve Berry hat mit seinem 2005 erschienenen Werk ein interessantes Thema aufgegriffen. Er verbindet in seinem Werk die Geschichte der römischen Kirche mit den Weissagungen des Malachias und den Marienerscheinungen von Fatima und Medjugorje. Nun wissen Sie vielleicht, dass der Vatikan das dritte Geheimnis von Fatima im Jahr 2000 gelüftet hat, um hier Spannung zu erzeugen unterstellt Berry, dass die Veröffentlichung unvollständig war. Das ganze siedelt er in ein Intrigenspiel rund um eine Papstwahl an. Sein Protagonist ist der persönliche Assistent von Clemens XV (dem Nachfolger Johannes Paul II). Dieser Papst kommt hinter die Tatsache, dass die Veröffentlichung des dritten Geheimnisses unvollständig war und wird mit dem vollständigen Text konfrontiert. Dies stellt ihn vor eine Gewissensprüfung der er nicht standhält. Nach seinem Freitod soll sich sein Assistent darum kümmern, dass alles den richtigen Weg geht. Währenddessen greift ein Machthungriger, vor keiner Sünde zurückschreckender italienischer Kardinal nach der Herrschaft über die Katholiken um das Vaticanum II rückgängig zu machen.

Sprachlich ist Steve Berry ein herausragendes Werk gelungen. Er hebt sich deutlich von der vereinfachten Sprache der meisten Thriller ab. Völlig untypisch für einen Thriller haben seine Personen wirklich Tiefgang und sind nicht ausschließlich einer Kategorie zuzuordnen. Sein Protagonist hat Schwächen, sein Antagonist auch gute Seiten (wenngleich man zugegebenermaßen sehr genau danach suchen muss). Der Aufbau des Buches ist sehr gut gewählt, größtenteils versucht Berry auch durch laufende Schauplatzwechsel die Spannung zu erhöhen.
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Unausgeglichen 28. April 2006
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Das Negative vorweg: bis ca zur Mitte des Buches wirkt die Geschichte hölzern und überladen, die Motivation mancher Charaktere unverständlich, danach verbessert sich aber die Situation und einige Dinge werden klarer. Ab der 2. Hälfte dann präsentiert sich eine spannende Geschichte über das "was wäre wenn", die sich gut liest und zum unweigerlichen Ende führt. Gut und gründlich recherchiert, mit spannenden historischen Querverweisen. Schade um die Anfangsschwierigkeiten.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Steve Berry's Third 25. April 2006
Von Grover
Berry's third novel manifests the usual Berry characteristics. He has done extensive research on the inner workings of the Vatican and studied Fatima and related occurences of purported appearances by the Virgin Mary. Berry has said that he seeks to inform as well as entertain; this was certainly true of his two previous novels which reflected substantial research on Czarist and World War II Russia, and it is true here as well. Another Berry characteristic is that his lead characters almost invariable do actions which are so patently stupid that the reader wants to scream--but I guess that is how you get a plot. Like his previous novels, the story moves along at a good clip, although at 372 pages the novel struck me as a bit too long. Berry knows how to write good suspense and keep the reader engaged. Serious Catholic readers may not find the novel suitable, since Berry paints a view of the Vatican much akin to that portrayed in "Godfather III," with abundant plots and counter-plots, and clearly makes clear his disagreement with a number of key and currently controversial elements of Vatican policy. Interesting topics handled well and with much skill. Try``The Quest``von Giorgio Kostantinos.Dank
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5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I'm a very avid reader. 11. Mai 2006
Von L Murray
One of the best books I've ever read in my life of 35 years. First, let me say that if you are Catholic and are not inclined to be open-minded, you probably shouldn't read it, since you will probably be offended. However, if you are open to possibilities and different viewpoints, this book can't be beat for questioning traditional Catholic practices, such as celibacy for priests. The plot opens around the events that took place at Fatima, Portugal in the early 20th century. Three peasant girls were visited by the Virgin Mary and told three secrets, two of which were immediately made public, the third not revealed until 2000. It is this third secret which is the focus of the book, that is, the part of the secret which wasn't revealed by the Pope at in 2000. The main focus of the book is that there are only three people left alive who know the entire contents of the third secret, one of which has great ambitions of becoming Pope. The current Pope and an aging priest in Romania are the other two. The ambitious Cardinal is out to ensure that the rest of the secret isn't revealed. This is all I'll say, lest I ruin the book. I will say that it is at least the equal of DaVinci Code, if not better. However, while the DaVinci Code was more of an Indiana Jones story, the Third Secret is a little more political. Bottom line: Also try 'Quest' von Giorgio Kostantinos.A super buch--this book gets five stars all the way.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen The Third Secret 22. September 2010
What can I say, usually I don`t read a book twice, this time it is a little different. I had borrowed this from our libary a year ago and read it, not realizing this I ordered it last month from I am as thrilled with the story reading it the 2nd time as I was the first time.Again Steve Berry`s research into the workings of the Vatican and the Church politics are both amazing and from what I know very through.How he was able to find some of his information was astounding, I was raised catholic with 12 years catholic education and I have lived over 18 years in the state of Georgia not far from where Steve Berry grew up, I find him to be an extra ordinary writer. As of yet none of his books have dissapointed me.
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