Forget "Angels & Demons" - Read "Death of a Pope"
Here's the book jacket description:
Juan Uriarte, a handsome and outspoken Spanish ex-priest, seems to be the model of nonviolence and compassion for the poor and downtrodden. So why is he on trial, accused of terrorist activities? His worldwide Catholic charitable outreach program is suspected of being a front for radicals. The trial is covered by Kate Ramsay, a young British reporter, who sets out to uncover the truth about Uriarte and his work. She travels with him to Africa to see his work first hand but soon finds herself attracted to him.
Meanwhile an international conspiracy is growing, one that reaches into the Vatican itself. When the death of Pope John Paul II brings about the conclave that will elect Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, a terrorist plot involving blackmail, subterfuge, and mass murder begins to fall into place... a plot that could spell disaster for the Catholic Church and the world.
Piers Paul Read's powerful tale combines vivid characters, high drama, love, betrayal, faith, and redemption in a story of intrigue, church espionage, and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the world the Papacy. The Death of a Pope races toward an unexpected and unforgettable conclusion.
Amazon has it. Right now, in fact, it's only two spots behind Dan Brown's new book (hint, hint). Ignatius Press has also posted the full itinerary of his (impressive) ongoing book tour. I see that he's coming to DC at the end of the month.
"Death of a Pope" is near the top of my list of to-read books after my studies this semester end. It will be a nice change of pace, I think, to read about popes without having to make sure that I have their dates of reign and major written works memorized. ;)