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The Venetian Betrayal: A Novel (Cotton Malone) Paperback – Large Print, December 11, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews
Book 3 of 10 in the Cotton Malone Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Berry's predictable third novel to feature Cotton Malone (after The Alexandria Link and The Templar Legacy), Malone takes on another villain bent on world domination, Irina Zovastina, supreme minister of the Central Asian Federation, who's plotting to use a bioweapon to destroy Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Malone races around the globe trying to find the means to foil the minister, aided by longtime allies Cassiopeia Vitt, an enigmatic and deadly operative, and his former Justice Department boss, Stephanie Nelle. The answer may lie buried with Alexander the Great's remains. Both the good and the bad guys let their opponents live in circumstances that make no sense except to prolong the plot, and the genuine mysteries surrounding the death of Alexander the Great receive short shrift. Despite some pedestrian prose (He shook his head. Choices. Everybody made them), this international yarn, full of shoot-outs and explosions, won't disappoint fans of Berry's previous action-packed thrillers. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Locating the tomb of Alexander the Great has held a fascination for archaeologists and historians ever since his death in 323 BC and it makes perfect plot fodder for this action-packed thriller. Fast paced and engaging. Sunday Express Proves once again that he has a genuine feel for the factual gaps that give history its tantalizing air of the unknown New York Times Berry has gotten better and more ambitious with each of his books...the last 100 pages are as fast-paced as you are likely to find in a novel this year bookreporter.com 'Pure intrigue. Pure fun.' Clive Cussler on Steve Berry 'A major twist... the puzzles are so much fun... radical thinking of the Gospels that's sure to spark some lively debate ... pretty grabby stuff' Wall Street Journal on THE TEMPLAR LEGACY 'Complex and fast-moving thriller writing, delivered with a great deal of dash, and shades of The Da Vinci Code' Good Book Guide on THE TEMPLAR LEGACY Sexy, illuminating ... my kind of thriller. Dan Brown on THE AMBER ROOM 'Not to be missed. Anagrams and complicated symbology... a complex, well-written, and extremely readable story.' Library Journal on THE TEMPLAR LEGACY 'Writes with the self-assured style of a veteran' Dan Brown Steve Berry is a writer on the rise. David Morrell, author of NIGHTSCAPE and CREEPERS Conspiracies and plots abound ... Berry handles his thriller tradecraft skilfully, [and] his descriptions are stellar. Booklist on THE THIRD SECRET International intrigue, swashbuckling action, indestructible hero from the American South... Not to be missed. Kirkus Reviews, on THE ROMANOV PROPHECY --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cotton Malone
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print; Lrg edition (December 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739326988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739326985
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,190,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ellen VINE VOICE on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you aren't familiar with a historical timeframe, by the end of a Steve Berry adventure you will feel you are an expert in the field...
Berry's current outing deals with Alexander the Great - who died in 323 BC literally the king of the world. We know he was mummified and eventually was entombed in Alexandria Egypt - but the tomb was destroyed and his remains disappeared -
Cotton Malone is in the middle of a raging fire - that's how we found him in the Alexandria Link - which was about the Library of Alexandria - in Alexandria which was named that in honor of Alexander, so we have some synchronicity there -
The fire isn't just any fire - it is Greek fire - which was lost when the great civilizations were lost - but someone's got the formula and is using it - trying to find medallions circa 323 BC - they show Alexander fighting in India -
Enter Irina Zovastina, a politician who has united a lot of the 'Stans' and has a plan to take over other countries with germ warfare - She also thinks of herself as a modern day Alexander the Great and is in a quest to find Alexander's tomb and the long lost remedy Alexander's physician had used to instantly cure him -
Clues remain to find the tomb - history tells us that -
Where Alexander went, what he admired - all clues - what you will find is Zovanista is no Alexander -
But you will find a book that solidifies in the last half to be a great adventure - As always, Berry gives you a what-if scenario -
But much thought went into this adventure -
Cotton Malone is an excellent character with excellent supporting characters - Total package is thoughtful research by Berry coordinating history with cloak and dagger - Every Berry offering gives you more than just a spy book - you get in and play with history -
Good read -
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Format: Hardcover
I've read every book Steve Berry has published... so I know the guy can write. But not this time. I don't know if he was under pressure to make a deadline, or if he's just hoping to get Cotton Malone and Cassiopeia Witt optioned by Hollywood. The book suffers from just too much of a muchness... if one evil overlord's lair isn't enough, how about two? If one ancient secret hidden away for centuries isn't enough, how about three? If a double-cross or triple-crossing agent isn't enough, how about a quadruple-cross?

Throw in some boats and an orange dive watch, and this book could have been churned out by Clive Cussler. And that's not a compliment. "The Venetian Betrayal" would probably make a fun movie, but it's not a very satisfying book.

I hope that Berry chooses to give his Malone series a rest for a while and goes back to stand-alone books like "The Amber Room" and "The Romanov Prophecy."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're familiar with Steve Berry, you know that there's no way possible to read his novel and be bored. His books start moving, twisting and turning and just don't stop. In fact, in this book, one of the bad guys changes sides so many times; you're never really sure exactly where it all ends up... even when the book is finished and the problems & plotline solved.

The premise of this book is that Alexander the Great's tomb is within reach and the good guys are out to stop the bad guys from getting to the tomb and getting the goods to rule the world. Well, not exactly, just kill the world, but hey it's close enough in fictionland. The major evil-doer is obsessed with Alexander the Great, his mummy and the draught said to cure anything that ails the person who might drink it.

Cotton Malone is paired up with Cassiopeia Vitt to solve a world class problem. This time Cassiopeia has the complex problem and Malone is more or less pressed into service by his friend and mentor Thorvaldsen. The adventure starts in Copenhagen, but quickly runs to Venice and then to the Fictional Central Asian Federation (think Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan) and a far western portion of China.

The twists and turns in this book are truly amazing. Seriously, following the plot line from one place to another is truly exhausting. Berry has out done himself; I think he's taken the running all over the planet to a whole new extreme. The great thing about this is that so much is going on; the reader can't possibly solve the riddle. The bad thing about this is that there's so much going on that the reader risks losing interest in the whole thing. I found, in several places, that I simply began not to care what was going on at all and just reading to get finished with the whole thing.
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Format: Hardcover
After reaching a peak with The Templar Legacy, I thought Mr. Berry slipped a little with his last outing, The Alexandria Link. Fortunately, he seems back on the right track with The Venetian Betrayal. If this one doesn't quite live up to The Templar Legacy, it certainly was much more fun for me than the last one.

Back for his third outing is one of my favorite characters in thriller fiction, Cotton Malone, that spy-turned-bookseller-turned-reluctant-hero. This novel also sees the return of many of Mr. Berry's regular cast of characters, including some of my other favorites like Cassiopeia Vitt and Henrik Thorvaldsen. In fact, at this point, Mr. Berry is well into creating his own little alternate universe, peopling the White House and Vatican with his own characters and changing the geopolitical landscape to suit his needs.

For those of us that have followed Mr. Berry's progress, it works fairly well. Not that you have to read previous novels to enjoy this one but it doesn't hurt. What's new this time out is the Central Asian Federation, a new mega-state of former Soviet Republics like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan ruled by an interesting new character, ruthless and intelligent, Irina Zovastina. It is her obsession with finding the tomb of Alexander the Great that drives the plot forward, taking us from Denmark to the borders of China.

Zovastina seeks the tomb for the political power associated with a claim on this world conqueror; however, there is another reason to seek the tomb. Apparently, there is a miraculous cure associated with the tomb which brings in the interest of an international pharmaceutical company (which also produces biological weapons). But I don't want to unravel too much of the plot. There are many layers here and Mr.
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