Steve Berry

The Columbus Affair

"Berry is the undisputed master... "


Tom Sagan is peering down the barrel of his own gun. He's lost everything he cared about: his job, his daughter, his wife and his reputation. What hurts him more than anything else is the knowledge that his Pulitzer Prize winning career as a journalist was sabotaged by persons unknown. He can't prove it but he knows what they have done. Before he can pull the trigger a mysterious stranger interrupts him.

Zachariah Simon has Tom's estranged daughter held captive and he is after something only Tom can provide. It's the key to a mystery centuries old which if solved could have a massive impact on the modern world. The two men engage in a dangerous quest which takes them from Vienna and Prague to the Blue Mountains of Jamaica before they square off against each other. Along the way they both make discoveries which will change their lives forever.

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Steve Berry's name alone is a byword for intelligent, educational thrillers which inform the reader as well as entertaining them. 'The Columbus Affair' is a wonderfully informative action novel where every sentence is either there to make your pulse race or your knowledge increase. The plot is actually straightforward but the way that Berry drip feeds information and has his characters withholding details from each other adds to the air of mystery. The intertwining of historical facts and artefacts with modern politics gives the story another edge although it is a commonly used one. However for me Berry is the undisputed master of the sub-genre despite a certain Mr. Dan Brown outselling him. The characters are established with an artisan's eye but it was only the duplicitous Béne Rowe I really warmed too. Such is the volume of knowledge and action imparted the characters were almost lost in the background of the story. Also the switching viewpoints could catch an unwary reader out. To get the full value from 'The Columbus Affair' I recommend that readers allow themselves time to read a good number of pages in each go as this style of novel does not suit being read two or three pages at a time. The readers who do this will be rewarded with a first class thriller, which while not as good all round as his Cotton Malone series is still a bloody good read.

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