Archive for July 14th, 2012

The Columbus Affair

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

By Steve Berry

The Short Take:

I admit to being a huge fan of Berry’s Cotton Malone thrillers. However, I think I like this outing even more. The hero is no super guy, just a disgraced journalist contemplating suicide. Plus it includes a very intriguing and surprisingly complete “bad guy.”

Why?

Berry does the Dan Brown thing only he does it far, far better: Something from history or legend is sought after by modern forces for nefarious purposes. The hero tries to get there first. This thriller follows that pattern, with different parties searching frantically for something that may have been hidden in Jamaica by Christopher Columbus.

Berry excels at making you turn that next page instead of doing al those things you should be doing. He includes so many cliff hangers they happen within the chapters — not just at their ends. He does not turn you lose for a minute.

Protagonist Tom Sagan is a nice change from the usual hero, as well. He has no special skills or abilities beyond his nose for a good news story, and even that is out of practice. Bene Rowe, a shady Jamaican who hates drug dealers but doesn’t mind breaking the law himself, is another refreshing creation. This is no by-the-book bad guy but an interesting and complex character.

If you like thrillers at all, this book is for you. If you’ve been wondering if thrillers are something you might like, start with this book. I doubt you will be disappointed.

A Little Plot:

Tom Sagan has failed at everything: his career, his marriage, fatherhood. He is contemplating suicide when Zachariah Simon arrives and shows him a live video feed of his estranged daughter bound and being threatened by two thugs. Simon promises the girl will be released is Sagan signs a paper to have his father exhumed.

This is the beginning of an adventure that eventually sends Sagan racing to Vienna, Prague, and Jamaica; all the while, never quite sure who to trust or where to turn. And, that includes his daughter most of all.

For more about Steve Berry and his books, click here.

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