• RRP: £15.18
  • You Save: £0.30 (2%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
A Thief in the Night: Lif... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Dispatched from the US -- Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Thief in the Night: Life and Death in the Vatican Paperback – May 2001


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£14.88
£7.75 £0.10


Product details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141001836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141001838
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 964,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Paperback. Pub Date :2001-5-1 Pages: 366 Publisher: Penguin America is currently looking to the family tosolve the ills of modern-day society This book provides parentswith the tools to instill character in their children - throughcaring. communication and. . example Includes chapters on empathy. helpfulness. fairness. caring. courage. respect. loyalty. and muchmore.Contents: ProloguePart IPart IIPart IIIEpilogueAppendicesIndex

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was dark, so dark, yet somewhere far away, deep in the night a bird was chirping. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Randolph Marshall on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the death of the 33-day Pope should read this book as it is the Vatican's side of the story. It was commissioned by John Paul II in order to quell rumors of foul play in the 33-day-Pope's death raised by David Yallop's best seller `In God's Name.' In exchange for Cornwell's promise to conclude the Pope died of a 'heart attack', the Vatican permitted him to interview those who had been in the papal palace the night the Pope died. The most important of these witnesses to Cornwell's conclusion the Pope died of'pulmonary embolism' was John MaGee who, by coincidence, at about the same time (1987) was made a bishop. One can only surmise this was a tit-for-tat deal.

Any member of the medical profession today will tell you it is impossible to determine the cause of an unwitnessed death unless the cause of death is obvious. The cause of a such a death can only determined by autopsy - something the Vatican refused to perform.

Much to his credit, Cornwell demolishes Yallop's motive: John Paul was murdered because an audit he ordered would have uncovered transactions connected to the Great Vatican Bank Scandal. Cornwell proves the first transaction in the scandal took place under the reign of John Paul II. That is, the audit could not have possibly uncovered transactions which had not yet occurred, This is consistent with the most recent investigation into the murder of the 33-day pope: Lucien Gregoire's The Vatican Murders:: The Life and Death of John Paul I proves the conspiracy that planned the great Vatican Bank Scandal was the same conspiracy that plotted the murder of John Paul I.

Nevertheless, `A Thief in the Night' is a well written book - a good read - a good example of how the Vatican works.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
Behind all the intrique and mystery surrounding the tragic death of Pope John Paul 1, Mr Cornwell manages to trace and speak to vital witnesses and comes to a conclusion not expected, and yet highly believeable.
A refreshing approach from the 'over the top' theories previously put forward, this book is well written, enjoyable and concise. As a Catholic, I hope in future that clerics within my faith are as honest as we mere mortals!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos on 7 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
An investigation by John Cornwell, an editor of the 'London Observer', into the mysterious circumstance surrounding the death of Pope John Paul I just thirty-three days after he assumed the papacy. The author answers ten specific questions about which there was disagreement with the Vatican, such as exactly when and where the pope died, and whether a secret autopsy was performed. It is written in step-by-step narrative format on the writers' investigation and his interviews appear to be the transcripts themselves. His investigation tends to lead to the conclusion that the Vatican Hierarchy was responsible for the popes' death through neglect of his medical well being. This book was written at the request of the Vatican and is a recommended read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A Vatican Book 17 Mar. 2006
By Johnathan Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
`

Anyone interested in the death of the 33-day Pope should read this book as it is the Vatican's side of the story. It was commissioned by Rome in order to quell rumors of foul play in the 33-day-Pope's death raised by David Yallop's best seller `In God's Name.' In exchange for Cornwell's promise to conclude the Pope died of a 'heart attack,' the Vatican permitted him to interview some of those who had been in the papal palace the night the Pope died. The most important of these witnesses to Cornwell's conclusion the Pope died of'pulmonary embolism' was John MaGee who, by coincidence, at about the same time (1987) was made a bishop. One can only surmise this was a tit-for-tat deal. (seatch Google: Bishop John MaGee).

A more recent book has the advantage of time - things we know today that we didn't know when these things happened. Lucien Gregoire's The Vatican Murders: The Life and Death of John Paul I employs what is known by the medical community today which was not known when Cornwell wrote his book. Any member of the medical profession today will tell you it is impossible to determine the cause of an unwitnessed death unless the cause of death is obvious. The cause of such a death can only determined by autopsy - something the Vatican refused to perform.

To conclude the Pope's condition of 'low blood pressure' contributed to the Pope's `heart attack' or, for that matter, 'pulmnonary embolism' may have been a sound conclusion twenty years ago, but not today. As late as 1987, when Cornwell wrote his book, it was believed that low blood pressure could be a factor in 'heart attack' or 'pulmonary embolism.' But, today, we not only know that low blood pressure is not a factor in 'heart attack' or 'pulmonary embolism.' Conversely, it materially reduces the risk of heart attack or pulmonary embolism. (Search Google: heart attack low blood pressure). John Paul's physical exam taken three months before his death showed a blood pressure reading of 102/61 - outstanding today for a man of sixty-five, but at the time considered low as `normal' blood pressure in 1987 for a man of 65 was 100 plus one's age - known to be dangerously high today."

Yet, Cornwell's book is a fundamental part of any investigation of this man's mysterious death as he interviews the most important witnesses to the events of the time except, of course, Yallop's star witness Sr. Vincenza - who by divine coincidence had died in the meantime.

All witnesses agree on one point, "he was sitting up in his bed wearing his glasses reading papers held upright in his hands." That he did not pull the bell cord that hung a whisker to his right which or press a service button an arm's length to his left which would have brought the Papal Apartment guard and did not drop his papers points to murder.

Nevertheless, `A Thief in the Night' is a well written book - a good read - a good example of how the Vatican works. I believe Cornwell to be a man of impeccable integrity when he wrote it twenty years ago. Yet, at the time the medical community did not know what it knows today. I think if he were to rewrite it today - if he does I will be first in line - he will come up wih a different conclusion.

Strongly recommend is the most comprehensive book I have yet come across on the assassination of John Paul I:

The Vatican Murders: The Life and Death of John Paul I
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Not much of a revelation 17 Feb. 2002
By Fanoula Sevastos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When Pope John Paul I died suddenly after only 33 days into his Papacy, conspiracy theories and rumors of murder erupted because of inconsistencies in the Vatican's statements. Officially, the Pope died of a heart attack, but there were conflicting stories as to who found the body, what time the body was found, what time the Pope died, which spawned further questions outside the Vatican about things like why there was no autopsy, why the embalming began so soon, etc. And as time went on, the murder-conspiracy theories got really out of hand.
John Cornwell, who also wrote Hitler's Pope, investigates these allegations as an independent journalist, ten years after the fact. He interviews all the major Vatican players, gains access to the current Pope, and learns very little new information. Except that there is all sorts of confusion about aspects of that night which seems to be inherent to the way the Vatican is run, not specifically to why this pope died. Cornwell ultimately comes up with his own theory of what happened that night.
Each chapter is pretty much a transcript of one of Cornwell's interviews. It goes something like this: I arrived here, had to get through red tape, finally got permission to talk to so and so, and this is what they said to me: transcript. I found it pretty uninspiring.
If there is any interest to be found here at all, it's the glimpse you get into the Vatican. One of the advantages of having so much of the book be in other people's words, is the immediate access the reader has into the personalities that make up the Vatican. There is so much gossip going on it and so much back-stabbing, at times it feels like a soap opera. As far as Cornwell's investigation goes, it's pretty wimpy. Yeah, he talks to a bunch of people, and he does find out some interesting tidbits that clear up a few minor points up, but all in all, there was very little here to warrant a book. He should have written a magazine article and been done with it.
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
a coverup of sorts 6 Aug. 2005
By brent howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A "Thief in the Night" was commissioned by the Vatican (1987) to quell the rumors stirred up by David Yallop's masterpiece "In God's Name" (1983). The author was allowed by John Paul II to interview several people who were in the Papal Palace the night his predecessor died. The primary witness

interviewed is John MaGee - at the time of the Pope's death he was John Paul's secretary.

That John MaGee was elevated to the rank of bishop a month after he gave his interview with John Corwell is telling evidence that a payoff or at the very least a conflict of interest was invloved in his testimony. The author concludes everything that the Vatican wants him to conclude concerning the death of John Paul, including the absolute conviction that the Pope died of a heart attack. Since no autopsy was performed it is impossible to conclude what he died of as his death was unwitnessed - only one of two Popes in the two thousand years of Popes whose death was unwitnessed.

If you want a more riveting tale of the times "In God's Name' is a much better choice. If you want all of the facts and circumstances surounding the mysterious death of this Pope then "Murder in the Vatican" by Lucien Gregoire is the only choice - the latter is also the only existing complete biography of this good man written by a man who knew this Pope.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
More of a Novel than an Investigative Report 20 May 2008
By Lori Pieper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This, Cornwell's first book on the Vatican, has been given a comparative amount of praise compared to his other misinformed screeds, including the atrocious "Hitler's Pope." But in fact "A Thief in the Night" is just as bad as the others. Even many Catholic reviewers took it at face value, especially since the subject (what happened in the Vatican the night John Paul I died) had never been covered by someone relying on tape-recorded interviews with eyewitnesses. David Yallop's previous sensational best-seller on the subject "In God's Name,' had been almost completely undocumented. But does reliance on eyewitnesses testimony mean what Cornwell reports is genuine?

In short, no. In fact, Cornwell's record is no better in this book than it would be in "Hitler's Pope." Cornwell's lies begin with the way his book was researched and written. He says that he just happened to be visiting the Vatican researching another subject in October 1987 when Archbishop Foley practically begged him to drop what he was doing and write about the death of Pope John Paul I. Not only is this entirely contrary to the Vatican's usual methods, Archbishop Foley and the Vatican have repeatedly denied that they commissioned the book. And though he does do something to counteract the absurd conspiracy theory about John Paul I's death put forward by David Yallop, Cornwell did the Vatican and the Church no favors with his work.

Many of those interviewed for the book, including Marjorie Weeke, Sister Irma Dametto, and the Pope's niece, Lina Petri, as well as Cornwell's two main witnesses, Don Diego Lorenzi and Bishop John Magee, John Paul I's secretaries in the Vatican, have denounced Cornwell for his MANY errors and misinterpretations of fact.

To begin with, Cornwell did poor research: he tells us that Albino Luciani was a good and holy but intellectually incompetent bishop, ill-equipped to deal with the problems of the modern world and completely unsuited to be Pope. He managed to do this in a simple 3-5 pages of summary scattered throughout his book. He has one or two quotes, which he completely twists around, but he could have completed the "research" he did in about 5 minutes flat and still had time left for a cup of coffee. He evidently never read any of Luciani's abundant writings as a bishop and cardinal, never read any of the around two dozen biographies of him published in Italian and almost completely ignored the public record of his deeds as Pope, not to mention his speeches and audience talks, all of which had already been translated into English at the time he was writing. All of these would have given him a very different picture of Luciani's qualifications to be Pope. The many different subjects he addressed from Marxism and liberation theology to birth control, test-tube babies, the problems of moral theologians, the relationship between faith and culture and the responsibilities of artists and the way he addressed them are abundant proof of how qualified he was to address the problems of the modern world.

As for the one in-depth interview he did with someone who knew Luciani her whole life, his niece Lina Petri, he ignores her portrait of her uncle as a man of great moral strength and integrity when he himself comes to judge his character. His only other source is a bunch of gossipy Vatican monsignori who made fun of John Paul I, but who clearly never met him in their lives, while those who did work closely with him in the Vatican, Cardinals Casaroli and Caprio were not interviewed, though they told an entirely different story.

I myself have documented Cornwell's distortion of his written sources by mistranslation, very similar to his technique in "Hitler's Pope." And there is very good evidence that he distorted and altered his interviews as well.

Two very important items: In his attempt to show that John Paul I was almost suicidal, Cornwell records Don Diego as saying that the Pope had said "thousands of times" during his papacy, "Sometimes I ask the Good Lord to come along and take me away." I myself have met and interviewed Don Diego, and have exchanged a number of letters with him. In 1990, after Cornwell's book came out, he wrote in answer to my question as to whether this statement was true: "Only on one occasion (it was at the end of the evening meal) I heard the Patriarch saying: "Every now and then I ask the Lord to take me with him." In other words, he never heard him say this as Pope. And something he said before becoming Pope should certainly not be quoted as evidence of his state of mind while Pope.

As further proof of John Paul I's desire to die, Cornwell cites a published statement by Sister Vincenza describing a conversation with the Pope. The original text is an article in the periodical Humilitas, the original Italian text of which I have. Cornwell completely mistranslated it to make it say things that aren't in the original. He has the Pope telling the nun: "Look, Sister, I should not be sitting here in this seat. The Foreign Pope is coming to take my place. I have begged Our Lord." The original reads in a correct translation: "You see, it isn't I who should be sitting in this chair, but a foreign Pope! I had asked (avevo pregato) the Lord for it." That is, he had asked this of God before and during the conclave, at which he had actually voted for a "foreign" cardinal, Aloisio Lorscheider of Brazil. The emphasis on "begged" is also added to the original. It was not a request to die.

Cornwell speculates feverishly about the torn sleeves on the cassock the secretaries dressed the Pope's body in; he thinks it must mean that his body was moved after death. But all this speculation was also based on a mistranslation - his niece Lina had only said his sleeves were wrinkled!

Put this all together and you have here one very unreliable investigative report. I attribute the intrusion of so much fantasy into this so-called nonfiction book to the fact that the author is also a novelist. At any rate, it is a complete injustice to Pope John Paul I and to those inside and outside of the Vatican who got suckered into being interviewed for it.

The best book on John Paul I so far in English is The Smiling Pope: The Life And Teaching Of John Paul I
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Startling Investigatve Report 27 Sept. 2002
By rodboomboom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cornwell admirably and intensely approaches the task some ten years after the event, of sorting out the rumors and innuendos surrounding the sudden death of the 33-day pope, John Paul 1.
All of his extensive look into this quagmire called the Vatican can be summarized by his words: "The whisperings, the rumors, the theories--farfetched, sensational, fantastic--all serve a purpose: they deflect attention from the most obvious and shameful fact of all; that John Paul I died scorned and neglected by the institution that existed to sustain him." (pg. 336)
This well capsulizes what his peering into the event surfaced. Amazing inner look at this huge, off-limits to most of us, major religious institution.
His analysis his thorough, he wants evidence that is credible. He sifts out things well, and strings them together to make sense, or breaks up strings which won't hold together.
The stuff with the Vatican Bank and its director is shameful, and Cornwell discloses this with dignity, yet allows real inner struggles to be seen.
Worth the read. His hypothesis of what occurred from his investigation is fascinating, and has all the signs and tastes of close to the truth.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback