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June 20, 2019 | Rome, Italy

The Color of Blood

By | 2018-03-21T18:27:39+02:00 June 29th, 2005|Recent Reviews|

By Brian Moore

Harper Perennial, 1988 (2005). 208 pages.

Graham Greene, a Catholic by conversion, stopped short of writing overtly religious thrillers. He played caroms instead. Moore, a fifth-gear Belfast Catholic who adopted Canadian citizenship, has no such qualms.

Set in the Cold War with a fictional version of Karol Wotyla’s Poland squarely in the middle, his novel (short-listed for the Booker Prize) is a jolt. The kidnapping of Moore’s Cardinal Bem dispenses with normal conventions in that it’s not clear who wants Bem silenced: the zealous church or the atheist state. Bem’s personal crisis, how he fathoms the events around him, makes this a devout book. The plot makes it a thumping thriller. The best, then, of church and state. Among the most astute postwar Catholic writers, Moore died in 1999.

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