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Publisher's Summary

The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?

That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.

©2010 Scott Berry (P)2010 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike.” (David Morrell, on The Romanov Prophecy)
“Steve Berry gets better and better with each new book.” (The Huffington Post, on The Paris Vendetta)
“Controversial, shocking, explosive.” (Katherine Neville, on The Third Secret)

What members say

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  • Overall

Below average Berry Story

This is another Cotton Malone story involving ancient artifacts as keys to modern day political intrigue. This book is centered around China back to the time of the first emperor.Qin Shi and how artifracts are key to the succession to the leadership of China. As usual, Berry provides interesting historical facts about ancient China as well as the contributions of the Chinese to the world, the compass, printing, the zero, the compass, the stirrup, the abacus, the seismograph, the rudder, the parachute, and masts and sails to name just a few.

Cotton Malone is a former government agent turned bookseller. He and his companion Cassiopeia Vitt get involved in the battle for succession that takes from Europe to the tomb of the first emperor. However, the story is beyond belief, even for this genre. The story has the candidates for being the new China premiere travelling the world themselves and participating in break ins, thefts, shooting, murder, using government assets to kill civitilians etc...I love these political mysteries because I can suspend belief to get drawn tinto the story - but this story goes way too thend there are a lot of dead people in Europe and Asia and it's hard to figure out how anyone explains any of it...

The other annoying feature was that most of the main characters were chinese, but there were few times that any of them spoke chinese...or at least it was not clear to me. Also, the narrator indicated he was speaking chinese (or english with a chinese accent?) but speaking slowly and may take offense at this characterization if you are asian...

  • Overall


It was nice to learn about chinese history. Love the story line lots of action throughout the book. You never knew what was going to happen. the ending was great. An enjoyable read.

  • Overall
  • Bob
  • North Lauderdale, FL, United States
  • 12-12-10

An OK mystery novel and history lesson.

Not a bad mystery novel. It was definitely a history lesson and since I'm a bit of a history buff enjoyed the history lesson. It isn't a page turner but was interesting. The author's comments at the end of the book was very informative. It was well written and Scott Brick did a great job of narration.

  • Overall

Not Worth the Time

I managed to get through half the first part in the hope that the story would improve or even become interesting. It did not. The characters were boring. The story was boring. Not worth my time. Need I say more?

  • Overall
  • USA Buyer
  • COLDWATER, MI, United States
  • 12-08-10

Emperor's Tomb

Waste of time and money. Jumps around, too much needless history, slow read. In short, not worth they money at any price.

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Gardiner, NY, United States
  • 12-08-10

Couldn't finish listening

I typically love listening to Scott Brick, but between his overplay of the lines and the story that I just couldn't get interested in, I was bored to tears. I listened for about 4 hours and then decided I wasn't going to waste my time trying to get invested.

  • Overall


I have not read/listened to much that is called "Thrillers". But I did enjoy a few this summer and thought that I might give some more a try. This book never caught me. There was just too much action and not enough character development. Maybe this is some people's cup of tea, but for a person new to this kind of fiction, it was a real disappointment.

  • Overall

Note to author: Find another job

This is pure dreck. I bought it because it was in was on sale. Anyone with more than an eighth grade, maybe sixth grade, education should have something better to do with his/her life. If there was a rating below 1, I would have given that.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Beloit, WI, United States
  • 12-07-10

To Fragmented

An awful lot of jumping around with sub-plots, which was distracting. I found Mr. Berry's other books much more interesting.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Lousy book. To be honest, I haven't finished and probably won't.

Great history lesson, really limp plot and improbable premises. Move on, spend your money on something better.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful