This story is not so much about the death of Pope John Paul II as it is about the events surrounding the election of his successor. The central character is Juan Uriarte, a Basque who has recently been acquitted of charges of terrorist activity. He now works for Misericordia, an international aide organization. He wants to make sure that the most liberal Cardinal he knows is elected Pope. And above all, he doesn't want someone like Ratzinger elected :) Kate Ramsey is a reporter who covered Juan's trial and has now become infatuated with him. She becomes unknowingly involved in his plot to affect the Papal election.
Add to the story Kate's Uncle Luke, who is is a Priest in the Vatican, and David Kotovski, who is an intelligence guy who posed as a reporter during Juan's trial, and is keeping a very close eye on him since his acquittal, and this is a multi-faceted story whose various sub-plots are very nicely woven together. I like an involved plot, and this was a fairly sophisticated story, but not so much as to make it hard to enjoy. And I did enjoy it very much.
I highly recommend this book; an excellent story.