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The Amber Room: A Novel Paperback – November 27, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
First-time novelist Berry weighs in with a hefty thriller that's long on interesting research but short on thrills. Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler and ex-husband Paul are divorced but still care for each other. Rachel's father, Karol Borya, knows secrets about the famed Amber Room, a massive set of intricately carved panels crafted from the precious substance and looted by Nazis during WWII from Russia's Catherine Palace. The disappearance of the panels, which together formed a room, remains one of the world's greatest unsolved art mysteries. Borya's secret gets him killed as two European industrialists/art collectors go head to head in a deadly race to find the fabled room. Searching for Borya's killer, Rachel and Paul bumble their way to Europe, where their naivet triggers more deaths. Berry has obviously done his homework, and he seems determined to find a place for every fact he's unearthed. The plot slows for descriptions of various art pieces, lectures and long internal monologues in which characters examine their innermost feelings and motives in minute detail, while also packing in plenty of sex and an abundance of brutal killings. A final confrontation between all the principals ends in a looming Bavarian castle where Rachel is raped. All the right elements are in place, but the book is far too long and not as exciting as the ingredients suggest. Readers may end up wishing Berry had written a nonfiction account of the fascinating story of the Amber Room and skipped the fictional mayhem.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Give this man credit: whereas most lawyers who decide to write a novel stay fairly close to home, Berry, a Georgia trial attorney, wanders far off the beaten path. Although his debut novel features a trial judge as its central character and opens with a pretty typical courtroom scene, it soon steps outside the courtroom--way outside. When Judge Rachel Cutler's father dies under suspicious circumstances, he leaves his daughter tantalizing clues to a decades-old secret: the Amber Room, an exquisite treasure that, so the legend goes, was appropriated by the Nazis when they invaded the Soviet Union. Now, to find out why her father died, and who's responsible, Rachel (with her ex-husband, Paul) heads off to Germany, where she hopes to find the truth about the Amber Room. Based loosely, very loosely, on certain historical events, the novel is plotted cleverly and written with style and substance. A welcome change from the usual legal-thriller fare from wanna-be Turows. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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