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The Secret Cardinal

A Novel of Suspense
ISBN-10: 1593154569
ISBN-13: 9781593154561
Also available:
Mass Market Paperback
$24.95 US · $30.00 CAN
Rights: US & Canada
Published: September 2007
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About the Book

Inspired by true events, masterful storyteller Tom Grace delivers his most provocative novel yet. In The Secret Cardinal , ex-Navy SEAL Nolan Kilkenny returns in an adventure that races from the grandeur of the Vatican across the vastness of Asia, ultimately involving China, the Mafia, and the conclave of cardinals that will elect the next pope. When Kilkenny is invited to Rome to consult on the functioning of the Vatican Library, he is still grieving the death of his wife and son and welcomes the distraction of the seemingly simple assignment. But Pope Leo XIV has a startlingly different task in mind for him. In a private audience, Kilkenny learns of an unreported atrocity committed against the underground Church in China and its link to Yin Daoming, the long-imprisoned Bishop of Shanghai who has served thirty years of a life sentence in a Chinese laogai for refusing to renounce the Church of Rome. The aging pope then reveals the dangerous truth about Bishop Yin, a secret that he has kept for over twenty years. Decades of diplomacy have failed to end China’s persecution of the Catholics loyal to the pope, or to free Bishop Yin. The pope wants Yin free and asks Kilkenny to devise a plan to accomplish this seemingly impossible task. With help from the U.S. president, American Special Forces, and the C.I.A., he assembles a team of ten men and one woman that will use some of the most advanced weapons, aircraft, and computer technology to execute this extraordinary mission.


The Secret Cardinal is a deft blend of fact and fiction…a suspenseful tale rich with intrigue, unexpected turns and gritty characters.”
The National Catholic Register

“The deftly plotted novel gives a close-up view of the inner workings of the Vatican in electing a Pope, along with a dazzling display of the latest high-tech military hardware and software. The Secret Cardinal is a suspense-filled work of fiction about faith, hope, sacrifice and forgiveness…”

“A political and religious tour-de-force that should be read by everyone."
—James Rollins, bestselling author of The Judas Strain

“Grace's spinning web of international intrigue makes for a gripping read.”
Library Journal

"Like The Da Vinci Code, this story features plenty of Vatican intrigue and several gory murders. But in The Secret Cardinal those representing the Catholic Church are the good guys."
US Catholic (Editor’s Choice)

“Grace builds a suspenseful head of steam as Kilkenny and friends overcome twists and obstacles in a dangerous race against Liu's forces.”
Publishers Weekly
Tom Grace
Angela Carson Photography
About Tom Grace
Tom Grace, the best-selling author of the Nolan Kilkenny novels, is also an architect with a lifelong fascination with science and technology and a passion for storytelling. Grace mined his professional architectural experience with private technology companies and university research labs in crafting his first three novels, Spyder Web , Quantum , and Twisted Web . His interest in space led to Bird of Prey , and his indignation at China’s persecution of Catholics who maintain allegiance to the pope inspired his fifth novel, The Secret Cardinal . Like the hero of his novels, Grace is a University of Michigan graduate, enjoys scuba diving, martial arts, running marathons, and reading a good book. He resides with his wife and five children in Michigan.

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