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The Seville Communion (Panther) Paperback – 18 Feb 1999

11 customer reviews

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Paperback, 18 Feb 1999
£3.74 £0.01

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press; New edition edition (18 Feb. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860465536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860465536
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,078,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arturo Perez Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full time. His novels include THE FLANDERS PANEL, THE CLUB DUMAS, THE FENCING MASTER, THE SEVILLE COMMUNION, THE NAUTICAL CHART, THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and the bestselling CAPTAIN ALATRISTE series. In 2003 he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. His website can be visited at

Author photo (c) Jon Barandica

Product Description

Amazon Review

In The Flanders Panel, Spanish novelist Arturo Pérez- Reverte set his elegant literary mystery in the heady worlds of high art and competitive chess. His next novel, The Club Dumas, was a magical brew of antiquarian books, satanic manuals and fallen angels. P&ecaute;rez-Reverte's third thriller translated into English moves from fallen angels to fallen clerics as he explores the labyrinthine politics of the Roman Catholic Church. The Seville Communion begins in the Vatican with a hacker code- named "Vespers" breaking into the pope's personal computer and leaving a cryptic message: "In Spain, in Seville, there is a place where merchants are threatening the house of God and where a small seventeenth century church kills to defend itself..." Pérez-Reverte then introduces his flawed hero, Father Lorenzo Quart, a valuable operative in the Holy Office's Institute for External Affairs (known as "the dirty works department," by some members of the Curia). It's his job to go to Seville, investigate two mysterious deaths at Our Lady of the Tears and discover the identity of Vespers.

Once in Seville, Father Quart finds himself collar-deep in intrigue: There is the wealthy banker who wants the land the church stands on and his beautiful, estranged wife who will do anything to thwart him. There is Father Ferro, the fierce parish priest and Sister Gris Marsala, an American nun and architect, both intent on saving Our Lady of the Tears. There are also three endearing villains-for-hire who steal every scene they are in. P&ecaute;rez-Reverte skillfully weaves murder, mystery, and corrupt politics--both sacred and profane--through his story before arriving at his trademark unpredictable ending. The Seville Communion lacks some of the passion and quirky originality that infused both The Club Dumas and The Flanders Panel; his protagonist, Father Quart, is burdened by being described as devastatingly attractive--"like Richard Chamberlin in The Thornbirds but more manly;" the object of his reluctant affection, Macarena, is perfectly stunning and neither is as interesting as the secondary characters who populate the book. Fortunately, the supporting cast, ranging from a washed-up boxer to an impoverished duchess, is delightful, the story is well-crafted and well-written, and Seville itself casts a spell over the proceedings making The Seville Communion an entertaining way to spend a few hours. --Alix Wilbur


"One of those infrequent whodunits that transcend the genre. . . . [with] page-turning pace and vivid characters. -Time "The master of the intellectual thriller is not an American or British writer, but Spaniard Arturo Perez-Reverte, one of the most creative and devilishly complex authors of the '90s. This is a beautifully and intricately written noir in which unique plots and counterplots abound. Perez-Reverte should be lauded for his originality and his richly drawn characters." -San Francisco Examiner "An elegant thriller that is as much about the elusive quest for happiness as it is about solving the murders. Beautifully translated, this is a book to be savored. It is as rich and complex as the best of the golden sherries produced in the wineries around Seville." -The Denver Post "With a vivid eye for place and personality, and an ability to provoke deep questions, Spain's bestselling author weaves an indelible tale of love, faith and greed that will keep readers shouting ole!" -People (Page-Turner of the Week) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific intelligent thriller. Lorenzo Quart is a member of the Vatican thought police - handsome, stylish, slightly distant and aloof - think George Clooney in a dog collar. He is sent to investigate some mysterious goings on in a decaying old church in Seville. A major bank wants to buy the church for redevelopment. Against them are the church's old curmudgeonly priest; the sexy wife of the lead banker; and the American nun dedicated to restoring the church. Two people have died - accidentally or murdered? - in the church. Quart finds himself in deeper than he ever could have imagined. The book starts slowly but gathers pace. It isn't just a mystery. It also deals with the life of a cleric - the temptations of sex, and the threat to inner faith; and with the clash in Spain between the thrusting new European ethic and the traditional Andalucian values of church family and old money. It also is wonderful in evoking the beauty of Seville - you want to be there sipping a fino sherry in a cool bar and gazing deep into the eyes of Macarena Brunner (the beautiful bankers wife)/Lorenzo Quart (the handsome priest)(delete according to taste).
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
My first thought on finishing this book was that it was so much better than The Dumas Club, which is the only other of the author's books that I know. I found the end of The Dumas Club rather lame and completely unsatisfying, a real disappointment after the earlier mystery and intrigue. Not so The Seville Communion - it was a well written story all the way through and it held my attention from first page to last without any trouble. I found the character of the protagonist interesting - a James Bond figure in a dog collar, with a rosary in one pocket and a set of brass knuckles in another, but a character drawn not so as to be unbelievable at all - and, indeed, that whole unknown, rather shadowy side of the Church into which the book leads the reader at times, and which must surely exist in the real world. Read it and enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Philip Hurst VINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
There are two principal characters in this novel: Father Lorenzo Quart, worldly, sophisticated official of the Vatican's most secretive department, and the city of Seville, superbly recreated on the page by Perez-Reverte. The minor "low-life" characters are worthy of a Shakespearean comedy -- one thinks of Dogberry. This is a novel of atmosphere and detail rather than plot, which while inherently intriguing does become rather stretched at the last, but the novel remains highly enjoyable. One might wish that the author had not felt it necessary to highlight the supposed flaws in Fr. Quart's otherwise deeply attractive persona (he must the most handsome Catholic priest ever to wear a clerical collar), and the central plot's denouement is barely credible, but they are details that do not detract unduly from the real centre of the novel, Seville itself. The incidental insights into the workings of the Vatican are illuminating, and often amusing: the author is clearly no fan of the Polish contingent that surrounds the Pope. Just the thing for a long train journey or a grey, wet weekend.
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Format: Paperback
In this absorbing mystery set in Seville, author Arturo Perez-Reverte depicts the all-too-human ecclesiastical hierarchy--from an elderly local priest in a small church of declining population, to the Vatican, the Pope, and the Institute of External Affairs (IEA), in charge of investigating crime and violations of priestly protocol. Fr. Lorenzo Quart, representing the IEA, is sent to Seville to investigate when a hacker leaves a message on the Pope's private e-mail claiming that two recent deaths in seventeenth century church suggest that the church "kills to defend itself."

Our Lady of the Tears, a Baroque church undergoing restoration, is sitting on some of the most valuable land in Seville, and the archbishop and a local bank, working with the Saudi government, are determined to close it and sell the land. Its irascible, elderly priest, an American nun/architect, the seventy-year-old duchess whose family has endowed the church, and her gorgeous daughter Makarena are just as determined to keep the church open. Matters become more complicated when one of the bank employees, heavily in debt, hooks up with a former prize fighter, a gypsy singer, and a slick operator, to force the church to close.

The ambition of the archbishop, the susceptibility of Fr. Quart to the wiles of Makarena, the stubbornness of the elderly priest of the church, the infighting within the Vatican, and its deal-making all show the human frailties of the clergy and add to the complexity of the developing mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Pen on 6 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An entertaining and engrossing book. Although the main character is a Catholic priest, we are not treated to too much religious pomposity; the machinations of the papal hierarchy was interesting. All the characters were interesting and the three comedy 'villains' were almost Shakespearean. It held my attention to the last page. Great
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