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Prior to a papal conclave in Rome, a cardinal heads to Malta in search of an ancient document. Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone is also in Italy, pursuing lost letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini — a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta. Meanwhile, a sect within the Knights, the Secreti, plans to influence the conclave. Teaming with Magellan Billet agent Luke Daniels, Malone races the cardinal, knights, and Secreti to find what has been lost for centuries — culminating in a confrontation at the Vatican, where the pope’s election hangs in the balance.