It has all the hallmarks of a bestselling fictional thriller: espionage, conspiracy, a struggle against evil powers, undercover work by dark of night. . . but it’s all true. THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK tells the astonishing and heroic story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, the man dubbed "The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican". Fr. O’Flaherty organized a sophisticated team to save POWs and Jews from the Nazis in Italy during World War II. Paper.