The Paris Vendetta: A Novel (Cotton Malone Book 5) cover

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Title: The Paris Vendetta: A Novel (Cotton Malone Book 5)
Author: Steve Berry
Number of Pages: (433 pages)
Publication date: Thursday November 19, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ASIN: B002PMVY1A
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Book Review

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steve Berry’s The Columbus Affair and a Cotton Malone dossier.

When Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile in 1821, he took to the grave a powerful secret. As general and emperor, he had stolen immeasurable riches from palaces, national treasuries, and even the Knights of Malta and the Vatican. In his final days, his British captors hoped to learn where the loot lay hidden. But he told them nothing, and in his will he made no mention of the treasure. Or did he?

Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone isn't looking for trouble when it comes knocking at his Copenhagen bookshop. Actually, it breaks and enters in the form of an American Secret Service agent with a pair of assassins on his heels. Malone has his doubts about the anxious young man, but narrowly surviving a ferocious firefight convinces him to follow his unexpected new ally.

Their first stop is the secluded estate of Malone's good friend, Henrik Thorvaldsen. The wily Danish tycoon has uncovered the insidious plans of the Paris Club, a cabal of multimillionaires bent on manipulating the global economy. Only by matching wits with a terrorist-for-hire, foiling a catastrophic attack, and plunging into a desperate hunt for Napoleon's legendary lost treasure can Malone hope to avert international financial anarchy.

But Thorvaldsen's real objective is much more personal: to avenge the murder of his son by the larcenous aristocrat at the heart of the conspiracy. Thorvaldsen's vendetta places Malone in an impossible quandary—one that forces him to choose between friend and country, past and present. Starting in Denmark, moving to England, and ending up in the storied streets and cathedrals of Paris, Malone plays a breathless game of duplicity and death, all to claim a prize of untold value. But at what cost?

Amazon.com Review

James Rollins Reviews The Paris Vendetta

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


Product Description

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steve Berry’s The Columbus Affair and a Cotton Malone dossier.

When Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile in 1821, he took to the grave a powerful secret. As general and emperor, he had stolen immeasurable riches from palaces, national treasuries, and even the Knights of Malta and the Vatican. In his final days, his British captors hoped to learn where the loot lay hidden. But he told them nothing, and in his will he made no mention of the treasure. Or did he?

Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone isn't looking for trouble when it comes knocking at his Copenhagen bookshop. Actually, it breaks and enters in the form of an American Secret Service agent with a pair of assassins on his heels. Malone has his doubts about the anxious young man, but narrowly surviving a ferocious firefight convinces him to follow his unexpected new ally.

Their first stop is the secluded estate of Malone's good friend, Henrik Thorvaldsen. The wily Danish tycoon has uncovered the insidious plans of the Paris Club, a cabal of multimillionaires bent on manipulating the global economy. Only by matching wits with a terrorist-for-hire, foiling a catastrophic attack, and plunging into a desperate hunt for Napoleon's legendary lost treasure can Malone hope to avert international financial anarchy.

But Thorvaldsen's real objective is much more personal: to avenge the murder of his son by the larcenous aristocrat at the heart of the conspiracy. Thorvaldsen's vendetta places Malone in an impossible quandary—one that forces him to choose between friend and country, past and present. Starting in Denmark, moving to England, and ending up in the storied streets and cathedrals of Paris, Malone plays a breathless game of duplicity and death, all to claim a prize of untold value. But at what cost?

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