In the Name of the Father

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

News reaches the Vatican that Andropov is planning another assassination attempt on the Pope. An archbishop, a priest, and a cardinal decide to engineer Andropov’s demise before the Soviet leader has an opportunity to issue the Pope’s death order. The three holy men make and carry out this decision without their beloved Pope’s knowledge.

Mirek Scibor is the assassin, driven by a secret hatred of Andropov to do the Vatican’s work, though he is an atheist who has great contempt for the Church. Ania Krol, a nun devoted to the Pope and the Church, poses as Mirek’s wife to prevent Soviet suspicion. Mirek is physically attractive but an emotional iceberg. Ania is beautiful and intelligent; she is repelled by Mirek’s amorality.

As they make their perilous journey from Rome to Moscow, Ania and Mirek fall in love. Despite the odds, Ania and Mirek are grimly determined to survive this terrible adventure and find some way to live happily ever after.

Author Quinnell seems to believe that he must constantly affirm Mirek’s masculinity and Ania’s vulnerable femininity. If Mirek is not having sexual intercourse, he is thinking about it, or wondering why he is not thinking about it. When he is not in the forefront, the priests are worrying about Ania’s sexual safety, or Soviet agents have just discovered the healthy size of Mirek’s genitalia. Meanwhile, border guards and Polish secret police cannot help staring at the swell of Ania’s breasts or the curve of her calves.

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER is a piece of violent pornography barely disguised as a spy thriller--a book which the reader will do well to avoid.