The Road to Gandolfo

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For the actual pope named Francis in 2013, see Pope Francis.
The Road to Gandolfo
Shephard - The Road to Gandolfo Coverart.png
The Road to Gandolfo first edition cover.
Author Michael Shepherd
Country United States
Language English
Genre Crime novel
Publisher Dial Press
Publication date
January 1975
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 258 pp (first edition)
ISBN 0-8037-5920-7
OCLC 1175301
813/.5/4
LC Class PS3562.U26 R6 1975
Followed by The Road to Omaha


The Road to Gandolfo is a story by Michael Shepherd (a pen name used by Robert Ludlum) about General MacKenzie Hawkins ("The Hawk"), a military legend and Army veteran. He defaces an important Chinese memorial as a result of being drugged by a Chinese general and is later kicked out of the Army. Seeking revenge, he plots to kidnap the Pope Francis I and hold him for ransom of $400 million, one dollar for every Catholic in the world.

The only person who can stop him is Sam Devereaux, an army lawyer who rescues the Hawk from China but subsequently himself gets trapped in the Hawk’s plan. The story revolves around how Hawkins executes the mission with amazing precision and discipline along with his band of seven provocateurs and the unexpected reaction by Pope Francis.

Additional information[edit]

Unlike the usual books by Ludlum, this one tends to be overwhelmingly humorous. There is a sequel to this story called The Road to Omaha. The character MacKenzie Hawkins is also mentioned fleetingly in Robert Ludlum's novel The Bourne Identity, where he is mentioned to have previously served in Burma.

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