The Portuguese international bestselling author of “The Last Pope” died at the premature age of 39 last March, a victim of cancer. He is the first and currently only Portuguese author to have made it onto The New York Times’ bestseller list back in 2009.
The author worked for many years in London prior to publishing his first novel in the television industry as a screenwriter and producer. Interestingly, the author was better known for his works outside his native Portugal.
His second book in the Vatican series, “The Last Pope” recounts the mystery surrounding the death of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I. He was appointed as the Pope on 26th August 1978 and suddenly died 33 days later; his reign was, and still is, the shortest in papal history. The story involves the Italian Freemasonry.
The Vatican has not responded to Rocha’s Vatican series, but the author recounts a strange occurrence involving the Church: “I had a curious request last year for two copies of the book in Portuguese, from a journalist who works in the Vatican. It seems the copies were for someone important who sees the pope every day. That person confided to the journalist, off the record, that everything in the book is true. It’s good to know. Though I do have my suspicions, I can’t say who this person was - perhaps a cardinal or a bishop. There aren’t a lot of Portuguese people in the Vatican. But it’s overwhelming to know that they respect the work, and that’s the main reason the Church hasn’t reacted or reacts with silence.”
Rocha’s novels are available to purchase in the UK from Waterstones and online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.