Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Book Review: The Devil Will Come by Glenn Cooper

The Devil Will Come
by Glenn Cooper
Arrow Books
3.5 Stars
Reviewer Purchased copy.


A terrifying secret.A shocking discovery has been made deep within Rome's ancient catacombs. One that the Vatican is determined must never be made public – for the sake of all mankind.

A deadly conspiracy.But there are others who want to keep the truth hidden for far more sinister reasons, others who believe that not only are the church and the faith of a billion at threat, but life as we know it is about to be destroyed – for ever. And only one woman – a young Italian nun – can save us...

The nightmare is about to begin...


I've read and enjoyed Glenn Cooper's other books and am eagerly awaiting the next book in the Library Trilogy. As with his other novels, the book is fast-paced, filled with interesting characters and divides the narrative between different timelines, in this one that is ancient Rome, present day Rome and Elizabethan England.

The modern day story deals with the death of the pope and the election of a new one as well as the discovery of skeletons in the catacombs of men, women and children who all seemed to suffer some terrible fate. They all had one thing in common besides the manner of their death - they all had tails. Who were they? Why were they killed and are their descendants still around today? And what has the prophecy of Malachy, twelfth century Irish saint got to do with it all?

I don't mind a book changing timelines but with this one the parts on ancient Rome were my least favourite and the weakest in the book. They didn't seem to be part of a novel, but more of a history report and that let it down for me. There were lots of historical facts, but we were told them, not shown them. I couldn't get to grips with the characters in that part, they were just names on a page to me.

The parts on Elizabethan England were my favourites, there we got more inside the heads of the characters, especially the playwright, Christopher Marlowe. It was interesting having a nun, Elisabetta, as the lead character in the modern day parts and I really liked her. She is sympathetic without becoming a token female in distress who has to be saved, here it's Elisabetta doing the saving.

An interesting read let down a bit by the execution of the parts in ancient Rome.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby

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