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Publisher's Summary

Locating Alexander the Great's final resting place, unknown to this day, remains a tantalizing goal for both archaeologists and treasure hunters. Now the quest for this coveted prize is about to heat up.

After narrowly escaping incineration in a devastating fire that consumes a Danish museum, Cotton Malone, former U.S. Justice Department agent turned rare-book dealer, learns from his friend, the beguiling adventurer Cassiopeia Vitt, that the blaze was part of a campaign of arson intended to mask a far more diabolical design.

From the ashes of the USSR, a new nation has arisen: the Central Asian Federation. At its helm is Supreme Minister Irina Zovastina, a cunning despot with the single-minded desire to surpass Alexander the Great as history's ultimate conqueror. The Federation has amassed a harrowing arsenal of biological weapons, and only one thing keeps Zovastina from setting in motion her death march of domination: a miraculous healing serum, kept secret by an ancient puzzle and buried with the mummified remains of Alexander the Great, in a tomb lost to the ages for more than 1,500 years.

Together, Cotton and Cassiopeia must outrun and out-think the forces allied against them in order to unravel a riddle whose solution could destroy or save millions of people - depending on who finds the lost tomb first.

©2008 Steve Berry (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • W
  • Marina, CA, United States
  • 01-02-08

Ok, not great

A dictator, obsessed with Alexander the Great wants to find a cure for AIDS to help her dying lover. She also has amassed a sizable collection of viruses which she intends to use to bring the world to its knees.... Can she be stopped?

I found this story to be merely OK. Mostly because I just didn't care about any of the characters. The protagonists were rather bland, and the dictator, though evil, was just someone I felt sorry for. The story switches between various characters and they all were rather cardboard. I liked the backstory of Alexander the Great, but I felt some parts such as the crossbow wielding agent a bit silly and over-the-top.

Nothing that trully excited me. It lacked characters I could really connect with.

38 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • prescott, AZ, United States
  • 03-08-08

hard to follow

i am a very experienced many year memeber of audible and i found this book very hard to follow, the author switched between first and last names, and had almost no character development in the beginning for the listener to use later as a basis for their relationships with each other, i often got lost and had to re listen

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Slow and Confusing

Scott Brick is always an excellent narrator, but I found this book slow and confusing. Clarity comes at the end, but at the high price of listening to all the previous material.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Reader Betrayal

This is another story involving the interesting Cotton Malone. Part Indiana Jones, part Robert Langdon, part James Bond. Berry again spins a story around historical information that is very clever if not all that plausible. The clues and solutions to the ancient secret that are uncovered are not as clever as in his other books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dan
  • Fayetteville, AR, United States
  • 05-21-08

Not up to standards

The adventures of Cotton Malone are told in several Steve Berry books. He is an interesting thriller hero with a past in a highly secret federal service but retired to Denmark where he runs a small, peaceful rare book store. Peaceful except when Cotton Malone is called back to save the world once again. He always succeeds but needs the help of several friends from around the world. The Venetian Betrayal follows the formula with the villain being the dictator of a Mid Asia nation recently constituted and all the friends coming back to help. However hard this might be to believe, it gets a lot worse as Cotton and his friends have to stop an evil plot to spread biological weapons and in doing so find possible cures for some of the world's worst epidemics. When you add all this to the search for the burial grounds of Alexander the Great, it gets too much even for this genre. Read it if you have the time but there may be better ways to spend your time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pretty Good

This book wasn't a struggle to finish and had an interesting premise. It was not a book that I thought about for a week afterwards, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't waste your time or credit

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't imagine. It was so silly and disjointed and there was no character I could really care about.

What was most disappointing about Steve Berry’s story?

Where do I start, the plot was strange and felt ludicrous at many points, which really put me off.

What three words best describe Scott Brick’s performance?

I'm not a fan of his, but I suppose he tried his best.

What character would you cut from The Venetian Betrayal?

Everyone! The "hero" Cotton Malone doesn't even seem to have a starring role except in the last quarter of the story.

Any additional comments?

I don't like to give such negative reviews, but this was just so disappointing, and with a title like the Venetian Betrayal, I was hoping for something better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Venetian Betrayal

Creative and well written, but the character development was slightly shallow and difficult to become involved with. History was excellent and plausible, but the story was slightly predictable in its progress. Scott Brick, as always, was excellent. some of the writting was repetative , probably for the reader's benefits of reinforcement of information, but it was tedious on occasion. All in all, it was entertaining and an excellent read by Brick and his creative rendition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An Excellent Thriller

Steve Berry takes Cotton Malone on another outstanding adventure with nonstop action. Berry weaves a realistic tale through historical fiction proving that he does his research. Scott Brick is a master story teller as always.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Caroline
  • Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia
  • 05-14-17

Great Stuff

I so enjoy Mr Berry's books - any chance they could be made into movies??
I particularly enjoy the notes at the end 😎
Thank you