Does Cotton Malone ever get to be behind the counter of his book store and actually sell a book to anyone? If so what would the book be and to what famous figure or character would he sell it? Fun thought? Well, since he didn't sell any books this again, what exactly did he do with his bad self ?
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.
The good stuff first, and understand I am giving this five stars; I love the character. Cotton and company are just excellent characters and the dialogue is just really good. I admit to the fact that character driven fiction is my thing and this is right in my wheelhouse. Steve Berry has crafted a truly awesome character in Cotton Malone. The plotline was fun, filled with history and interesting tidbits. One can tell that Mr. Berry did some homework before penning this novel, and the Writer's Notes clarified a few things for me at the end; I was grateful for them.
The running gag about Cotton not getting the opportunity to sell books is fun. Maybe Mr. Berry can pull a Clive Cussler and be the guy that gets to buy the books from him in the next novel or do something that involves his non-profit organization, History Matters (As a prize, use the winner's name in the novel, just an idea). Side note: I think that some of Mr. Berry's readers have to be men and once a guy reads the ritual of the ancient brotherhood, well let's just say that is all you need; it sticks in your head. I don't need to have that reinforced throughout the novel, Ouch!!
Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into thirty-eight languages and are sold in forty-two countries. He's a lawyer, who has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Russia, and lives on the Georgia coast. He's currently at work on his next novel.