The Secret Cardinal: Praise

The Secret Cardinal


“Grace builds a suspenseful head of steam as Kilkenny and friends overcome twists and obstacles in a dangerous race against Liu’s [Chinese Ministry of State Security] forces.”

Publishers Weekly

“Grace’s spinning web of international intrigue makes for a gripping read, and the character of Yin provides a look at the power of one man of faith against incredible obstacles.”

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.”

—Editor’s Choice, U.S. Catholic Magazine

“A deft blend of fact and fiction…The Secret Cardinal exceeds its entertainment value by raising awareness of China’s persecuted underground Catholic Church, which has been illegal for more than a half century.”

—2007 Book Pick, National Catholic Register

“Only rarely does a book make your jaw drop. Tom Grace’s THE SECRET CARDINAL is such a novel. It is as riveting as it is shocking and revelatory. Here is a story of corruption, politics, murder…all tangled around a secret war waged in the most surprising place of all: behind the walls of the Vatican. A political and religious tour-de-force that should be read by everyone.”

—James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Judas Strain

“…an exciting thriller and an informative one as well.”

Catholic News Service

“…a gripping and realistic story that doesn’t leave any loose ends.”

—St. Anthony Messenger

“[Grace] keeps us reading with a combination of solid characters and fast pacing. Fans of high-flying adventure will enjoy the romp…”


“Tom Grace has written an intelligent and intriguing thriller with characters worth rooting for and a welcome twist — no gratuitous sex or over-the-top violence. 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, and a story that shows what precious gifts faith and freedom really are.”

The Bookreporter

“Tom Grace delivers another multi-faceted thriller starring ex-navy SEAL Nolan Kilkenny. This time around, Kilkenny is tasked by the dying Pope with the rescue of a Chinese Roman Catholic Bishop who has been imprisoned for decades for the crime of practicing his faith. The deep sense of spirituality that runs through The Secret Cardinal serves to distinguish it from most other titles in the field. If there is such a thing as a literary thriller, Grace has cornered the market.”

—Mark Justice, Horror World

“This is a tale torn from today’s headlines…[The Secret Cardinal] should have great appeal to those who enjoy intelligent, thought-provoking escapism.”

The Lansing State Journal

“Attention Mr. Bond, James Bond, please move aside for a new special operations hero. He’s Nolan Kilkenny, an ex-Navy SEAL and the creation of bestselling author Tom Grace in The Secret Cardinal.”

Catholic Online

“Grace has done a wonderful job weaving in and out of an all-out techno-thriller on the one hand and an intricate religious thriller on the other.”

CBA Retailers & Resources Magazine

“Calling all suspense enthusiasts! Here’s a Catholic-themed yarn by a bestselling author of the same caliber as Tom Clancy!”

Faith & Family Magazine

“If you like the pace of TV hit 24 and the skulduggery of Spooks, you’ll love [The Secret Cardinal].

Peterborough Evening Telegraph (UK)

“Kilkenny’s latest escapade is a fabulous thriller…[a] suspense filled action-packed tale.”

—Harriet Klausner, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and BooksnBytes reviewer