A novel by Anthony Burgess
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
A novel by Anthony Burgess
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