Theology and Politics Collide in Reality-Inspired Cold War Thriller
When Pope John Paul I died of an apparent heart attack in September 1978—just 33 days after his election—the United States and the Soviet Union went on high alert.
The United States could loosen communism’s stranglehold on Eastern Europe if a non-Italian successor is chosen to lead the Catholic Church. Conversely, the Soviets are determined to keep an Italian in the papacy. A dangerous competition ensues as the two countries aim to further their own interests while limiting those of the other party. CIA and KGB agents infiltrate the Vatican as Cold War tensions mount amid the backdrop of a hastily arranged conclave to elect a successor.
Meanwhile, back in the states, army officer Carter Caldwell is sent to persuade American cardinals to wield their influence in the conclave. He meets beautiful CIA analyst Katherine O’Connor. Carter can’t get her out of his mind, although plenty of problems demand his attention.
Before the conclave is over, the Sistine Chapel will be bugged, a spy in the Vatican’s kitchen will be murdered, and CIA and KGB operatives will exchange gunfire. As the most important figure in the Catholic world is finally chosen, one question remains: Will he survive long enough to become pope?
Conclave from Tom Davis weaves an in-depth thriller where Catholic theology and Cold War politics collide. The result is a gripping, fictionalized retelling of what might have happened as these real-world events unfolded.
Was the election of non-Italian Cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II in October 1978 somehow orchestrated through the US’s covert influence on the papal conclave? Today, his election is viewed as a turning point in the Cold War—just 13 years later, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Warsaw Pact disintegrated.
Author Tom Davis is a retired army officer and corporate executive. After graduating from West Point, he had numerous assignments and experiences in the army, including commanding an artillery battalion in Operation Desert Storm, being a key advisor to a Secretary of the Army and several Army Chiefs of Staff, and serving as an Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at West Point, where he taught International Relations, Political Science, Economics and Middle Eastern Affairs. He served a brief tour in the Department of State as part of the Palestinian Autonomy negotiating team, where he heard a story that inspired Conclave.
After retiring from the army, Davis had a successful career with General Dynamics Corporation. He has written numerous articles and editorials for major newspapers on a wide range of topics, and has published major studies on federal budgeting and the management of the nation’s national security programs. His previous book, 40 Kilometers Into Lebanon, analyzes the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He holds degrees from the US Military Academy at West Point and Harvard University. He retired from General Dynamics in 2013, and is currently the Forrestal-Richardson Industry Chair at Defense Acquisition University and an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School.
Conclave has captured the attention of an independent film company based in Germany and has been converted into a screenplay for future development into a six-episode mini-series.
For more information, please visit www.tomdavisauthor.com.