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The Seville Communion, by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

January 11, 2016

The Seville Communion, by Arturo Perez-Reverte.  Mariner Books (2004),  375 pages.

A complicated mystery by a Spanish author set in Seville centered on the conflicts surrounding a small, ancient church which developers want to be abandoned so they can put the land to profitable use.

Arturo Perez-Revert is a prolific Spanish writer and journalist. His well-written novel combines suspense, moral dilemmas and a host of unique characters.

A highly skilled hacker manages to move through the Vatican’s security and put a message about a church in Seville onto the Pope’s computer, a church in danger where people have mysteriously died. Father Quart, a member of the Vatican’s investigation unit, is sent to assess the situations. Quart is an unusually handsome priest with a cool demeanor. When he arrives in Seville, he finds himself in the midst of competing factions. On one hand there is priest of the dilapidated church, an old man devoted to the old Roman Catholic traditions. Among his followers are others who love the church; his assistant, a nun who is repairing the church, and a duchess and her beautiful daughter. Opposing them are bankers who envision making high profits if the church is destroyed, among them the husband whom the beautiful daughter has rejected. Working under them are a trio of strange and incompetent drifters. Although committed to staying neutral, Father Quart is drawn into their struggles as he seeks to find what has happened and what will happen to the church.

This book was a gift and outside my usual reading choices. At times I struggled with the complicated plot lines and my own lack of familiarity with Spanish names and Roman Catholic terminology. The map, helpfully included, never seemed to have the places mentioned in the text. Yet I enjoyed the book’s surprises, its ironic humor, and the vivid pictures it presented of Seville. I appreciated the questions raised about competing loyalties and whether virtue should be sacrificed out of devotion to a cause or a person.

I recommend this book to mystery lovers who enjoy suspense, competing plot lines, and ethical quandaries.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 11, 2016 12:09 pm

    I hardly read mysteries but I’ve managed to read a number of books by Perez-Reverte. His stuff is well-researched and his writing is riveting. Thanks for the review.

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