Title: The Vatican Connection by Richard Hammer
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Originally published some 30 years ago, The Vatican Connection is the true story of a detective’s long hunt for the truth in a case involving some serious Mafia figures. Not only does he have to compete with dangerous mobsters, but he has to battle against a bureaucracy which seems unwilling or unable to share his zeal for the investigation.
Perhaps it is a case of poor timing on my part, but I recently finished another book called God’s Bankers which covers some of the same territory, or at least some of the personalities. That book also has the advantage of being written more recently, with the benefit of hindsight, and more information.rely on.I guess coming from that standard, I was somewhat confused by The Vatican Connection, as it seemed to spend a long time getting to the point. I recall one mention early on of the Vatican, but about 2/3rds of the book is dedicated entirely to the tracking, and surveillance of the Mafia figures.
I guess I was expecting more of a connection to be drawn between the prime players behind the scenes, rather than a purely chronological retelling, which left me feeling a little like I was missing half of the story. The first 2/3rds of the book are, however, well-written, and felt like a gritty police procedural novel, rather than actual non-fiction, so from that point of view, the book is eminently readable. What drew me to the book was the promise of a Billion Dollar conspiracy, and because there was a lack of cohesion between the players in the conspiracy, I found it hard to follow, or see what the overall point was.
I think it’s a book of its time, an interesting read, but did not live up to its promise.