The story takes place in Mexico in the 1930s. Religion is outlawed, and a renegade priest is being prusued across the countryside. The priest is a "whisky priest" who is far from sinless. Yet, he does his duty in the face of danger--just wishing he would be caught and executed--to free him from the life of danger.
This was a very well-written book--could be Greene's best. The priest is a very well-rounded character--as are the minor roles, too. The subject is deep and the tension is high. The Catholic religion is a very important part of the book--but it isn't preachy or judgemental. I was rooting for the priest's escape as well as understanding how he didn't really want to escape, anymore. It was just his duty.