His Eminence Death (The Inquisitor, Book 4)
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Back in the 1960s and early 1970s, series character novels about vengeance seeking action heroes such as the Executioner and the Destroyer became popular shortly after the revival of the old Nick Carter character as a modern day spy. Getting into the mix was one "Simon Quinn," whose tongue-in-cheek series of Dell originals focused on Francis Xavier Killy, the Vatican's hit man. The six Inquisitor novels were all written by Martin Cruz Smith, not much of a secret as they are copy written in his name. They are fun to read, and often reveal subjects and concerns that will pop up in his later novels under his own name, such as Gorky Park.
In this fourth book in the series, Killy – a lay brother in the tertiary order of Saint Dominic, Militia Christi, and operative of the holy office of the Inquisition – finds himself in trouble when he sets off to protect a Cardinal from an assassin. The book answers the questions, Why does this cardinal carry a gun?; why does an African statesman prey on a holy man?; and why does Killy face off against a one-eyed and one-armed ghost?