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The Paris Vendetta: A Novel (Cotton Malone) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010
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James Rollins is the author of six thrillers in the bestselling Sigma Force series (Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Black Order, The Judas Strain, The Last Oracle, and The Doomsday Key); the movie novelization, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; and several stand-alone thrillers. Read his guest review of The Paris Vendetta:
I’ve known Steve Berry since the beginning of his career. Back in 2002, he approached me to read his first novel, The Amber Room, for a cover blurb. The book’s description definitely intrigued me, hinting at a story involving lost treasures, historical mysteries, and characters both compelling and repellant. Still, I turned the first page with a skeptical eye, wondering how a debut author would fare with such a big story. But within a matter of pages, skepticism faded, and awe rose. I read that book in one long sitting and closed the cover and thought: This guy is going to have a huge career. So, of course, I was happy to provide a blurb for that book. By the way, another struggling author was also impressed with the novel and described it as "my kind of thriller--a globe-trotting treasure hunt with exotic locales and ruthless villains." That little-known author was Dan Brown.
As years rolled by, my first gut reaction to Steve’s writing proved prophetic. His career rocketed after that first book as he produced story after story of nail-biting adventures that spanned the world: from the Russian steppes to the Egyptian desert to the icy caves of Antarctica. He’s since become branded as the king of intrigue, a master at folding ancient mysteries into ripped-from-the-headlines adventures. His books have dealt with Vatican prophecies, cures for AIDS, lost ancient libraries, even the discovery of a lost civilization. Over the years, he’s gathered a huge international following, climbing bestseller charts around the world.
So I picked up his latest book, The Paris Vendetta, and eyed it again with a bit of jaded skepticism. Surely he must have run out of steam. Who could keep producing masterworks of such precise plotting, complicated characters, and heart-pounding adventure year after year? So I settled into my favorite chair and turned the first page of The Paris Vendetta. Within a matter of paragraphs, I was riding with Napoleon through the scorching Egyptian desert, climbing the Great Pyramid for a midnight rendezvous, and discovering something earth-shattering was afoot. But what was it? A few pages later, his main character, the resourceful Cotton Malone, struggles to survive a firefight in his bookstore in Copenhagen. I found myself holding my breath, wincing as the suspense grew as taut as an assassin’s garrote, and quickly became embroiled in a conspiracy that trailed back centuries.
As I read that book, the hours vanished. Pages continued to fly by. And once again I was hooked. No, more than hooked... I was lost. In the end, that is the true magic and mastery of this man’s writing, the true reason he has become the king of intrigue. You don’t just read a Steve Berry novel. You live it. --James Rollins
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Henrik sends apparently fired Secret Service Agent Sam Collins to break into the Copenhagen bookstore owned by former United States Department of Justice (DOJ) operative Cotton Malone. The grieving Dane hopes to obtain Malone's cooperation to help bring down the killer Lord Ashby who has ties to a financial cartel the Paris Club planning an assault on the global economy for avaricous gains that the DOJ hopes to counter. The starting point in the plan is a plot to destroy a landmark that could kill hundreds; war is usury profitable for the finance community.
With terrific ties to Napoleon in Corsica and an exciting action packed story line, the latest Cotton Malone thriller (see The Charlemagne Pursuit) is a fun read. Filled with twists and over the top of the Eiffel Tower villains, fans will enjoy Malone's newest retirement caper mindful of War, Inc and If Looks Could Kill although not a satire. Malone teams up with a grieving angry father and a First Amendment conspiracy buff to thwart the latest capitalist plot to have the masses finance war with money and blood so the affluent can make outrageous profits.
I don't see any problems with some of the shortened chapters, afterall they clearly avoid chapters crammed with too much.
There are also points where it really drags because it Steve will go into the travelogue mode and overdescribe some details about geography, history or architecture. Not a bad read but not a great read. I like a thriller to put me a bit more on the edge of my seat.
If you like some thrills and some history I'd recommend this book for you to read.
This is another quest for something valuable, in this case the fabled "lost treasure" of Napoleon. The quest takes us to various interesting places, but most prominently to Paris, where most of the action is centered.
A few new characters for the "good guys" are introduced (and I suspect we may read about them again in the future), and there are the usual coterie of "bad guys". The plot may be a bit "out there", but the book is a very good way to spend a few pleasant hours, finish the book, and wait expectantly for the next Cotton Malone book.
Also, I have to note one of my pet peeves about international intrigue books with American main characters. It annoys me to no end when American characters on foreign soil are always the heroes while the locals are given minor background roles. While American security personnel do have some clout with it's allies, I have no doubt in my mind that the French authorities would ever allow an American agent to virtually "call the shots" much less be the first to look upon a lost treasure of Napoleon.
Solution? Mr. Berry selects Napoleon Bonaparte, an ancient seer, a prophetic and magical book, an alleged treasure, and a descendant of Pozzo di Borgo (a Count, who Berry describes as "instrumental" in leading to Napoleon's downfall) in order to fill the glaring hole in his novel. And in the Writer's Note section, Mr. Berry describes most of these elements as ones of his own invention. Really? These additions are strikingly similar to those found in The Secret of Kings, written by a woman who is truly a descendant of the Count (not the Duke, aka Wellington) most responsible for Napoleon's downfall. I wonder if the real Eliza Larocque received remuneration for so many coincidences? Her work of fiction predates 2008.
Next, the idea to bring in new characters, who will no doubt show up in future Steve Berry works, clutters this story. The flashbacks about Sam would have been better saved for his next appearance. (However, I'm guessing Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Recently discovered Steve Berry. I'm really enjoying his novels. I love the way he separates fact from fiction at the end of his books!Published 11 days ago by Renee B. Smith
Fabricated plot too far fetched. Repetitive close calls of hero nonsense.Published 1 month ago by Ronald O. Albertson
Keeps you evolved start to finish, this is the first book that I took the time to read the authors notes.Published 1 month ago