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?
©2009 Steve Berry; (P)2009 Random House
"All the Berry hallmarks are here: scale, scope, sweep, history - plus breathless second-by-second suspense. I love this guy." (Lee Child)
This is perhaps Berry's best effort in the Cotton Malone series. Thrilling from the get go, most of the story takes place in France during the present day with a story tie-in to the age of Napoleon Bonaparte. Cotton is put in the position of having to support one series friend and betraying the other series friend. The brunt of the story is the usual treasure chase, but in this outing, it is the strength of the characters that shines through. Berry's writing in this series entry is top notch.
I don't understand all the negativity. I enjoyed the book. Scott Brick read this like he does everything else I've heard him do. I guess you either like him or not. I know a narrator can make or break a book. I had some difficulty in the first third of the story, but got into it after that. Maybe the problem was SB narration but feel there was just too much "setup". If You like Scott Brick's narration style, and a decent mystery, you will enjoy this one.
I disagree with the people who didn't like the narrator. I thought he was very good. The story was extremely suspenseful. It was a typical Cotton Malone adventure with characters from Berry's other books. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
The rapid switching every several paragraphs among parallel but related parts of the story make it at times incomprehensible for audio. Besides, the story was weak and foolish and the mulitple accents spilled over across different characters.
I am a hugh fan of Steve Berry and have been waiting for the release of this book as my Christmas treat. Very disappointed. The story felt contrived, the characters disconnected from previous books. Don't waste your time, money, or credits.
This book was a thorough letdown. While the story was packed with endless historical references, the characters we have come to know in Malone and Thorvaldsen were like strangers in Berry's latest effort.
The story lines changed with such abruptness that the listener needs a moment to figure out what is happening. This was a tale that took forever to go nowhere.
I've read the previous reviews and cannot understand why so many have slammed Scott Brick (SB) for his narration - which I have always found excellent.
I think many people who like a book read to them in a drab manner don't deserve the ability of this narrator and should listen only to those books that are read poorly.
Personally, SB rocks and brings even a bad book (which this one is not) to life!
As far as the book is concerned, I found it 'ok', but a bit repative in places. Good plot though and more or less worth the read.
This is the first time I have been completely driven from an Audible Book by the narrator. The "dripping tonal nuances" became just too much. I should have heeded the warnings of other readers.
I have listened to perhaps 200 books over the past few years, and I've never had to stop and delete before. I tried and tried but didn't get past the first 45 minutes. Scott Brick is horrible. The same unbelievably annoying lilt to each sentence. Awful attempts at a French accent, and failure to let the story speak for itself. I spend time before selecting each book and was looking forward to a new author and an interesting story. Disappointing. Would like to have my credit restored, and will NEVER download another Scott Brick narration!
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