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The Alexandria Linkby Steve Berry
Synopses & Reviews
Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. State Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: "You have something I want. You're the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don't hear from you, you will be childless." His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone's Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.
A cradle of ideas — historical, philosophical, literary, scientific, and religious — the Library of Alexandria was unparalleled in the world. But fifteen hundred years ago, it vanished into the mists of myth and legend — its vast bounty of wisdom coveted ever since by scholars, fortune hunters, and those who believe its untold secrets hold the key to ultimate power.
Now a cartel of wealthy international moguls, bent on altering the course of history, is desperate to breach the library's hallowed halls — and only Malone possesses the information they need to succeed. At stake is an explosive ancient document with the potential not only to change the destiny of the Middle East but to shake the world's three major religions to their very foundations.
Pursued by a lethal mercenary, Malone crosses the globe in search of answers. His quest will lead him to England and Portugal, even to the highest levels of American government — and the shattering outcome, deep in the Sinai desert, will have worldwide repercussions.
"At the start of bestseller Berry's second thriller to feature Cotton Malone (after The Templar Legacy), Malone, a former employee of the covert branch of the U.S. Justice Department, is trying to lead a secluded life as a bookseller in Copenhagen. Unsurprisingly, that hope is short-lived when his son is kidnapped and his ex-wife, Pam, asks for his help in rescuing the boy. The abductors intend to force Malone to reveal what he knows about the survival of the legendary lost library of Alexandria, which may hold ancient texts that could undermine Israel's claim to biblical legitimacy. Malone and his allies get mixed up in Washington intrigue and double-dealing as they try to identify the high-level traitor seeking to use the secret sources to change the dynamics of the Middle East. Characters implausibly leave enemies unsecured, placing themselves in unnecessary jeopardy, while the notion that the texts could have the desired effect may strike some readers as too far-fetched. Predictable plots twists (like the growing rapprochement between Malone and Pam) and superficial treatment of the issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians are further minuses." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"As in the previous Malone mystery, contemporary issues and page-turning thriller elements combine with history in shocking ways. Fans of this type of thriller and readers who have already discovered Berry will not be disappointed." Library Journal
"Trite characters and a formulaic plot...get in the way, but Berry does make intriguing use of ancient history, and the action certainly zooms along. Fun reading if you keep moving and don't take time to digest." Booklist
"Berry has created a marketable hero, a cross between a bookish Indiana Jones and a more sympathetic Jason Bourne, who should keep fans eager for the next adventure." St. Petersburg Times
"For those in need of a comparison, think Jack Bauer and the hit television series 24....Berry's on a roll. And Hollywood must be paying attention." Los Angeles Times
"Dodgy history and patchy writing don't add up to a winning adventure. This is a passable but superficial exercise in suspense." Rocky Mountian News
"Fast action and wild plotting largely mask lackluster prose in Berry's latest what-if thriller." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages and sold in thirty-four countries. A lawyer who has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Russia, he lives on the Georgia coast. His newest novel is The Venetian Betrayal. Visit his website at www.steveberry.org.
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