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am 9. Mai 2006
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. Wenngleich ihm das nicht so gut gelingt wie einem Dan Brown oder Stephen King, ist der Roman dennoch sehr spannend geschrieben.

Warum nur fast perfekt? Nun einerseits ist das dritte Geheimnis irgendwie nicht perfekt eingearbeitet, es ist schwer das zu beschreiben, aber es kommt nicht das große Aha heraus, wenn man es liest und es will sich auch nicht in den Kontext einfügen. Andererseits sind die abschließenden Handlungen nicht stimmig, ich will hier nicht näher ins Detail gehen, um nicht zu viel zu verraten. Insgesamt ist es aber dennoch ein wirklich gutes Werk, das vor allem die ganze Zeit über die Spannung halten kann. Selten noch habe ich noch ein Buch so schwer aus der Hand gelegt wie dieses.
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am 28. April 2006
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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am 25. April 2006
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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am 11. Mai 2006
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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am 12. April 2009
Anyone who is addicted to religious conspiracies, who enjoyed "The Da Vinci Code" will feel right at home with "The Third Secret" as Steve Berry plunges us right into Vatican politics, secret handshakes, betrayals and the like. Anyone who thought that men of God were holy, pius, good people are obviously very naive. Berry portrays them as backstabbing treacherous rich SOB's with agendas, people who wouldn't hesitate to sell their soul to the Devil if it would advance their cause. The Vatican probably read this book and barfed up a lung.

The plot is this. In 1917, the Virgin Mary reveals herself to three children in Portugal. She gives them a message but the Vatican suppresses this message throughout the decades and refuses to release it to the general public. Everytime there is a new Pope, that Pope goes into the Secret Archives, reads the Virgin Mary's 1917 message and instantly orders the message sealed again. What's in the message that shakes the Pope full of fear?

"The Third Secret" introduces Pope Clement XV who begins to have doubts about papal infallibility and the Church's restrictive dogma. So he asks his papal secretary Father Colin Michener to go to Romania and locate the priest who translated the Virgin Mary's Portugese messages into Italian in the 1950's. He also asks for help in getting the Virgin's message out to people.

When that priest turns up brutally murdered afterwards, events start to quickly spiral violently out of control. A reactionary cardinal, who is also the Vatican secretary of state and Clement's most bitter enemy, is determined to expose what Clement is trying to do, while at the same time eventually become Pope himself. He doesn't want the Virgin's message to be made public and will do whatever it takes to destroy the message. Even if it means dispatching a killer of his own.
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am 13. Januar 2007
I did read the book within a few days as it is well worded, well plotted and makes you want to read on.
While I liked Dan Brown` s Da Vinci code (not his other books) better, the books can be compared to each other and should entertain and attract a similar audience.
What made me think is what I would call a certain foreseeability and mainstream-"cheapness" of the plot:
- be careful - some spoiling might follow -
while I am not offended as a Catholic nor as a politically Conservative, I am still waiting for a modern novel where traditionalists are not villains but the heroes, where members of the higher clergy are not superevil but perhaps really supergood, where "modernists" who publicly support open homosexuality, favor women as priests and oppose celibacy are really the ones with sinistre motives threatening the world as we know it - just for a change, for all of today` s movies, novels, plays, but also all the nonfictional writings like Berry` s Third Secret heavily tend to work otherwise.
The plot COULD have been constructed so that the third secret of Fatima was about the church having been right in its 2000 years, about God wanting a certain hierarchy in the world with each of us at his place and with his own duty, about some things being right and others wrong as we long thought the Bible told us, about a strong pope crowned with the papal tiara as a symbol wielding the power of millions of true believers worldwide being exactly what God wants - and all such stuff. That would have been at least equally thrilling and a REAL suprise to us readers.
Do you get my meaning? Environmentalists, Modernists, Leftists, Homosexuals, Emancipationists and so on being just GOOD is not so very original a notion in today` s fictional and non-fictional art. Surprise me next time, Mr. Berry?
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am 30. Januar 2010
The Third Secret I would call a masterpiece. Once the plot is running it is a pageturner par excellence. Berry wrote a book where I as reader struggled to recognize fiction and reality. Having little knowledge about the catholic church I have to confess that it might be as it is described. Nevertheless it is fiction and one shall not forget about this fact.
Intrigues were part of the catholic church as long as it exists. Berry made a got plot out of one of this stories.
Father Michener is shown as a human being. A very reliable priest for his Pope he executes the Pope's whishes and learns something about the church. His way going from Rome to Romania, from being a priest to be in love to a woman.
I wish you lot of fun while reading.
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am 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 Amazon.de. 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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am 28. Oktober 2008
seems to be the Vatican and its politics and secrecy. What can top this than a conclave! Centered around the conclave the reader finds an action packed thriller that never slows down. It is a persuasively written, fact based fiction. Of course, The DaVinci Code springs to one's mind but Steven Berry can hold this own among the major thriller writers. I did enjoy reading this book very much. I only rate it with 4 stars because I found the revelation of the third secret a bit flat. But the action till then is superb! Already looking forward to the publication of Berry's 4th book.
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