Tuesday, November 23, 2010
That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn. -- Ballantine
I have read a few of Steve Berry's books in the past, and I've always found them to be great political thrillers. I was pretty certain that my dad, Booking Pap Pap, would love them too! So when I recently got the opportunity to review Mr. Berry's latest Cotton Malone novel THE EMPEROR'S TOMB, I thought I'd first give the book to him. Here are his thoughts;
THE EMPEROR'S TOMB, a political thriller, is my first Steve Berry novel. The book begins with Cotton Malone receiving an email informing him that his good friend Cassiopeia Vitt is being tortured and will be killed unless he delivers an important artifact. Vitt had been trying to find the kidnapped son of a Russian geologist living in China. Malone soon joins forces with a Russian agent, Victor Tomas and the U.S. Justice Department to save Vitt. As a result Malone and Vitt become involved in something much bigger – the struggle between two politicians vying to become ruler of China.
Berry takes the storyline from Europe to China where the reader learns about the tomb of Qin Shi, China’s first Emperor and the Terra Cotta Warriors, the many inventions and innovations of ancient China, the times of Chairman Mao and the role of eunuchs in the history of China. An ancient secret that may be hidden in Qin Shi’s tomb could potentially change the balance of power in the world. All these factors are neatly woven into the storyline that starts with a simple kidnapping and ends with the two candidates for China’s leadership face to face in a life and death struggle. The story twists and turns throughout as Berry keeps the reader guessing as to whom Malone and Vitt can trust. Chases through the tombs, several fires and plenty of killings keep the action moving for the reader.
I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading other Steve Berry books. The author did however make several references to Cotton, Vitt and Tomas being involved in past cases and as a first time reader I was sometimes left in the dark.
The ancient history of China creates a terrific backdrop for this thriller and the reader is not only entertained but receives a great history lesson. I found it interesting and informative that Berry provided notes at the end of the book to separate fact from fiction.
I recommend The Emperor’s Tomb to anyone who enjoys a good easy-to-read suspense thriller.
Thanks to Booking Pap Pap for his review and to Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for sending a review copy.