insert Rod Serling voice over here

The Alexandria Link by Steve Berry; 2007; $25.95; 462 pages; Ballantine Books, New York, NY; 978-0-345-48575-5; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 2/26/15-2/28/15

Only one man knows the location of the ancient Library of Alexandria, repository of much of the knowledge of the ancient world.  Only one man, Cotton Malone, knows where that other man is.  To force Cotton to reveal what he knows his son Gary is kidnapped and held to force Cotton to find the link to the library.  The action moves all over the world, involves the British, the Americans, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the executive branch of the American government and all sorts of duplicitous behavior by almost everyone involved.  A economic cartel that has existed for hundreds of years wants to find certain documents with in the library that would wreak havoc on the world’s religions and create chaos.  Cotton relies on his allies foreign and domestic to rescue his son and to keep the knowledge within the library from being used for nefarious purposes.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  Steve Berry deftly weaves together history, intrigue and deception to craft a thriller that could well be taking place as you read this.  I really enjoy the weaving of real history into the narrative.

What is with the title of the review?  I can imagine Rod Serling saying, “imagine a world where all the wisdom of the ancients still exist, but only one man knows where it is.”

 

World Domination Now and Then

The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry; 2007; $9.99; 558 pages; Ballantine Books, New York, NY; 978-0345-48578-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 2/4/15-2/7/15

Cotton Malone, bookstore owner in Copenhagen, gets sucked back into the world of government covert affairs.  The action spans the European-Asian continents moving from Copenhagen to Venice to Afghanistan and spans from the time of Alexander the Great to now.  A despot in Eastern Europe is obsessed with finding Alexander’s body and is attempting to recreate his conquering of the world.  Meanwhile a pharmacologist has found a cure for a worldwide virus but isn’t releasing it because he won’t make enough money and is involved in helping and working against the despot.  Double and triple agents abound and people keeping each other in the dark.

Did I enjoy it?  Yes, it was an exciting adventure that spanned centuries and traveled all over the world.  Plus it featured a cameo by Painter Crowe from James Rollins’ Sigma Force books.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Alexander the Great tried to conquer his world during his lifetime and now another ruler is trying to do the same thing.

What if states could become their own nations.

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry; 2014; $27.00; 429 pages; Ballantine Books, New York, NY; 978-0-345-52657-1; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, St Johns; 7/29/14-7/31/14

A letter and document is passed from President to President, from Washington to Lincoln that maybe  a codicil to the constitution of these United States.  Lincoln swaps it to the church in Utah in exchange for a promise to stay out of the civil war.  Now someone else has found out about the document and the swap and wants to use it to secede from the Union and become their own nation.  Cotton Malone, Luke Daniels and a few others are tasked with preventing the breaking up of the United States.  The action ranges from Denmark and the Continent to Washington, D.C. to deep within a mountain in the Rockies.   The two central points of the story are Salt Lake City, Utah and the White House.  The story is so deeply rooted in history that it is hard to know what is true and what Mr. Berry made up, until you read the author notes at the end.

Did I enjoy it?  Yes I really enjoy these stories rooted in history that have some implications today.  James Rollins is also a great author at doing this.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  There may be a document floating around that the founding fathers wrote during the Constitutional Convention that explains some more of their thoughts about forming the nation and what they thought the states rights were.