"The Death of a Pope" by Piers Paul Read (Ignatius Press, 2009)

I've enjoyed Piers Paul Read's other books, so thought this would be a good read.  It was and it wasn't.  Quick and easy - sort of a Catholic thriller set around the death of one pope and election of another.  Good setting and Read knows his Catholic stuff.  But, the book needed to be fleshed out more.  Characters lacked depth, and as with most thrillers, the ends tied together all too easily.

The plot centers around the possibility of terrorist activity in Vatican City when hundreds of thousands of Catholics are in St. Peter's Square watching for white smoke.  Nice time to set off a bomb, either by ISIS or others who would like you to think that ISIS in involved.  That situation is not something that occurred to me, but I'm sure it has to the Vatican and the Roman police. We live in such strange times.

The Death of a Pope is a good beach read.