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The Voynich Cypher (Cryptology Conspiracy / Intrigue Thriller) [Kindle Edition]

Russell Blake
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When a sacred relic is stolen from its subterranean guarded vault, Dr. Steven Cross, amateur cryptographer, becomes embroiled in a deadly quest to decipher one of history's most enigmatic documents - a 15th century parchment written entirely in unbreakable code: The Voynich Manuscript. Stalked by secret societies and aided by the daughter of a murdered colleague, a trail of riddles catapults Cross from England to Italy to the Middle East, where a Byzantine web of ancient secrets leads him to a revelation so profound it will change the world order.

The Voynich Cypher is the second novel featuring Dr. Steven Archer Cross. The first is the Zero Sum trilogy omnibus.

~ ~ ~

Q & A with Russell Blake

Q: What is the Voynich Manuscript that is the basis of your novel?

RB: The Voynich Manuscript is a medieval manuscript from the fifteenth century written entirely in a cypher - a code that has withstood the decryption efforts of the best minds in cryptography. Rare book dealer Wilfred Voynich discovered it in 1912 among the possessions of a recently deceased Jesuit General in Italy, and ever since it surfaced it's captivated the imaginations of cryptographers for a century. It is one of the true mysteries of modern times, and remains as enigmatic as when it first saw the light of day.

Q: How would you describe the book?

RB: It's a treasure hunt, mystery and adventure, in the tradition of Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, Dan Brown's work, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I love the way the book turned out, even if it is a departure for me. I have wanted to write a book like this for a long time, but never found a suitably inspirational idea until this one forced its way into my consciousness. This is a book that will polarize readers. Some will hate it because of the religious implications, and view it as heretical. Others will love it. I don't think there will be much in between.

Q: This is the second book featuring Dr. Steven Cross. Tell us about him.

RB: Dr. Cross first appeared in my Wall Street thriller, Zero Sum, as the protagonist. Only the first half of that story he was Dr. Steven Archer, but was forced to change his name and adopt a new identity to avoid being killed. Voynich is a continuation of that story, and picks it up 5 years from where Zero Sum left off. I've always liked Steven - he's an interesting mix of Zen sensibility and American entrepreneur, with some academic thrown in. I thought the mix was a novel one - a former soldier who never fit in or felt comfortable in his skin, who meditates and is into martial arts, but is also mildly OCD and takes up esoteric pursuits - fundamental analysis, watch collecting, cryptography. I like the character because he's so atypical - hard to pin down or pigeonhole. He's funny, but scary smart in a detached way, and while brave, is also fearful of connection in the real world. My hope is readers will find him in Voynich and then go back and see the story of how he evolved in Zero Sum.

Q: Who is The Voynich Cypher targeted at? Who's the ideal reader?

RB: Smart, hip, demanding readers who want a meal, not a snack. For me, so many of the adventure thrillers fall flat, their authors seeming tired or out of things to say. This is a robust book written to satisfy at a number of levels, and as with all my work, creates more questions than it answers. My goal is to create a rush of an adventure unlike anything most readers can find elsewhere. It's a breakneck, unflinching juggernaut of a book, and I think anyone who enjoys this genre will be happily surprised by the quality and depth of the story, characters and writing.

The Voynich Cypher is approximately 100,000 words in length, and features Dr. Steven Archer Cross from Russell Blake's Wall Street thriller, Zero Sum.


Editorial Reviews

Review

USA Today Bestselling Author

As Seen in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and The Times!


"
A sadistically good writer."
- The Kindle Book Review

"Russell Blake writes with a brisk intensity and pulse-pounding power. Jump in and hang on for a nonstop thrill ride." - Scott Nicholson, Liquid Fear

"Blake at his best!" - Steven Konkoly, Black Flagged Redux, Black Flagged, The Jakarta Pandemic

"The Voynich Cypher is a fast-paced, intelligently written story with twists & turns that kept me up late at night turning pages. I was as hooked by this book as I was by the Da Vinci Code -- if you liked Da Vinci, The Voynich Cypher has the same flavor -- I urge you to pick it up. A must read for any suspense lover." Melissa Foster, bestselling author of Chasing Amanda, Megan's Way & Come Back to Me

"A taut roller-coaster ride featuring plenty of intrigue, suspense and mayhem; not to mention the kind of good-versus-evil conflicts that can only arise out of institutional religion gone bad. If you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, this book's for you!" John L. Betcher, bestselling author of the James Becker Thriller Series

"The Voynich Cypher is a breakneck-paced thriller that will give fans of the likes of the Da Vinci Code a dose of Russell Blake speed, mixed with gut-twisting international intrigue & suspense."  David Lender, bestselling author of Vaccine Nation, Bull Street, The Gravy Train & Trojan Horse

About the Author

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Chicago Tribune, Russell Blake is the USA Today bestselling author of thirty action thrillers, including Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, the Zero Sum trilogy, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, Requiem for the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET - Ops Files, JET II - Betrayal, JET III - Vengeance, JET IV - Reckoning, JET V - Legacy, JET VI - Justice, JET VII - Sanctuary, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, and BLACK To Reality.

Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related.

Blake is co-author of The Eye of Heaven, with legendary author Clive Cussler. Blake's novel King of Swords has been translated into German by Amazon Crossing, The Voynich Cypher into Bulgarian, and his JET novel into Spanish and German.

Blake writes under the moniker R.E. Blake in the NA/YA/Contemporary Romance genres. Novels include Less Than Nothing, More Than Anything, and Best Of Everything.

Having resided in Mexico for a dozen years, Blake enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns. His thoughts, such as they are, can be found at his blog: RussellBlake.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 585 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Reprobatio Ltd (February 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007C9190C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,099 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING Cryptography Thriller August 4, 2012
By Lisa N.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For anyone who is a fan of Dan Brown like books, you will absolutely LOVE Rusell Blake's book. The lead character Dr. Steven Cross, is an amateur cryptographer who gets pulled into a quest surrounding a 15th century relic. The story is filled with suspense, code breaking, travel around the work with just right amount of violence and romance. This is one of the best code breaking books I have since reading Da Vinci Code. I have purchased the rest of Russell Blake's book and can't wait to read more. ABSOLUTELY Worth Your Time!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book June 23, 2012
By Kevin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First i am not the kind of reader that picks apart grammer etc. I let the story come to me and take it in for what it is. That said i loved the story and the characters. Once i started i could not put it down and finished in two days of reading. This book is every bit as good as Dan Brown and comes close to Steve Berry in my opinion. So if you like this genre you will like this book. On to my third book King of Swords by Blake next.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blake Provides Lean, Clean Action And So Much More! April 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I had not previously read Russell Blake and found his novel The Voynich Cypher one that immediately caught my attention and literally pulled me through the book in a day of reading! I love fast, action-packed adventure. When you can't stop reading because you want to immediately know what is going to happen, then there is no hesitation in making it a must-read for action lovers like me...

But it was the story itself which drew me in. Yes, I love to read or watch movies about lost treasures... Do you? What I found quite thrilling was that the manuscript does exist and has yet to be deciphered. Will it be? Should it be?

What is intriguing is that, often, these hunts are for documents that have a religious origin and usually relates to something that should "never" be known by the entire world. Somehow that makes it more sinister to me--and I, along with many others, wonder what it is that must be hidden...

Dr. Stephen Cross had developed an interest in older documents, many of which had been coded for secrecy and he had become a cryptographer. Later after he had started his own computer business, he had created several programs that could be used in deciphering such documents. He had studied the Voynich manuscript and had become somewhat of an expert with what was available. In fact, he had a working theory on this obscure document which had been written entirely in code. It wasn't surprising then that Winston Twain, considered one of the most respected cryptologist in the world had contacted him in response to Cross' letter. Twain had been working on the same manuscript for the past 30 years, and was curious about what Dr. Cross had in mind, especially since he had himself rejected what Cross seemed to be working on...
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just my kind of thing April 21, 2013
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
OK, I admit it, I eat this stuff up--Dan Brown, National Treasure, that kind of thing. I'm not even really sure why, but it's my favorite kind of conspiracy--religion, treasure, mystery, cover-ups, traitors, hot pursuits. I could read that kind of book all day (sometimes I do!). This is a great example of the genre. Genuine mystery, enough research in there so you learn something and are convinced, and enough action and plot twists to keep it thrilling. Nothing extraneous in this story--if it's in the book, it's there for a reason. Classic Blake.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping adventure story. February 23, 2012
By Carol P
Format:Kindle Edition
I couldn't put this down once I started reading it. I loved the atmospheric opening in southern England, and from there on followed Steven and Natalie as they try to find out what led to her father's death.

They find out that there is much more at stake once the plot begins to unfold and have to keep one step ahead of several pursuers with a vested interest and cynical intent. Then we begin to realise exactly why the scroll was so important. The ending is very well set out, and dare I say, believable. One that I'll read again to see what clues I missed first time round. Very skilfully contrived: 10 stars.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read April 30, 2013
By Idano
Format:Kindle Edition
Kept one guessing around each turn. If you liked Da Vinci Code, you'll enjoy this as well. Try it out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. April 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It kept my heart going all the time. I would sometimes quit reading as I had other things to do and I felt tired as the book was so intense.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down!!!! July 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is another great book by Russell Blake. Has more twists and terms than a slippery eel! I was a military cryptographer and this book is dead on!!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I enjoyed this book very much. I would recommend this book if you like stories like National Treasure.
Published 4 hours ago by Greg
4.0 out of 5 stars Always a good read
As always Russell Blake is supreme in his mystery & action presentation.
Always a good read
Roy
Published 21 days ago by Roy
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good and easy read, suspenseful, but plot is too far reached.
Language simple.
Published 1 month ago by MayNZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
Just finished this book, it is the first one I have read by Russell Blake, and I am looking forward to reading many more.
In this book we meet Dr. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PWG
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really interesting concept. hard to put down. thought provoking ending
Published 1 month ago by Paul J. Nagy
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting
Russell Blake is a master at his craft and this book is an excellent example of that mastery. Incredibly intelligent, fast paced, interesting...riveting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maria Snell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book was interesting and kept up on the edge of ur set
Published 1 month ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Steven Cross is my book boyfriend.
This was one of those books that I kept saying just one more chapter and then I'll go to sleep, but I could never find a good place to stop. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kim Cano
5.0 out of 5 stars Cyphers are an alien concept to me, This was ...
Cyphers are an alien concept to me, This was full of all the intrigue Blake brings to a novel with a clue here and there that one doesn't realize is important until it starts... Read more
Published 2 months ago by paintergirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
LOVED IT!
Published 2 months ago by HMR426
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More About the Author

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Chicago Tribune, Russell Blake is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, including Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, Requiem for the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET - Ops Files, JET II - Betrayal, JET III - Vengeance, JET IV - Reckoning, JET V - Legacy, JET VI - Justice, JET VII - Sanctuary, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, and BLACK To Reality.

Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur (animal biography) and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related.

Blake is co-author of The Eye of Heaven, with legendary author Clive Cussler. Blake's novel King of Swords has been translated into German by Amazon Crossing, The Voynich Cypher into Bulgarian, and his JET novel into Spanish and German.

Blake writes under the moniker R.E. Blake in the NA/YA/Contemporary Romance genres. Novels include Less Than Nothing, More Than Anything, and Best Of Everything.

Having resided in Mexico for a dozen years, Blake enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns. His thoughts, such as they are, can be found at his blog: RussellBlake.com

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