Title: The Columbus Affair
Author: Steve Berry
Review: This is a very good book, fast moving and the action never stops. Although, putting my prejudice of loving everything Steve writes aside, he weaves a story that could be entirely plausible. The book also draws upon the interplay between a daughter and her estranged father, that won’t resolve itself until near the end of the book.
The 1st chapter introduces us to Tom Sagan, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, now disgraced and accused of fabricating a story. We learn in the 1st chapter, that he tried to clear his name, but there was a cover up, protecting the people who brought him down, so he comforts himself with ghost writing, which pays well and keeps his name out of the news. But, then he decides life is not worth living, if he can’t be a reporter.
As the story opens, Tom is putting the gun to his head to end his life. Simon shows up at the door of Tom’s parent’s old house, where, he has gone to end his life. Simon shows Tom a video that so horrifies him, it causes him to give up his idea of suicide and go on a quest that will change his life and the life of his daughter forever.
In the next chapter we are introduced to Béne, who is a great man, at least in his own eyes. Life is cheap where he lives and cheap to him also. If someone crosses him, he simply turns them loose to get off his island as best they can, but a few minutes later he also turns loose his hunting dogs “and they never eat what they don’t kill themselves.” Through a series of circumstances, he also becomes involved in the hunt for the truth about Columbus, but the part he plays, given his character, is a surprise to us all.
“Zachariah Simon has the look of a scholar, the soul of a scoundrel and the zeal of a fanatic.” I don’t know that I agree with this description of him, it seems a bit too easy on him. I would describe him as a cruel user, a terrorist and one who thinks human life is not worth his “quest.”
Zachariah Simon is the impetus that causes Tom Sagan to go on a quest that his father wanted him on, many years ago. It is a dangerous game they play, especially Tom’s daughter, Allie.
While each of the characters are on the quest for a different reason, in the end, they all come together to discover the truth about who Christopher Columbus really was and what has been hidden for centuries, in the caves of Jamaica .
Excellent read! Eileen
Publisher: Published May 15th 2012 by BallantineBooks
Quick Review: 5 out of 5
Why I Read It: Purchased at a local bookstore.
Synopsis: A mysterious and ruthless billionaire, eminent international politicians, and a covert arm of the American government—all are linked by a single puzzling possibility:
What if everything we’ve been told about the discovery of America is a lie? What if that lie was designed to hide the secret of why Columbus sailed in 1492? And what if that 500-year-old secret could violently reshape the modern political world?
Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when one of his stories from the Middle East is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile—haunted by bad decisions and a shocking truth he can never prove: that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger who forces Sagan to act—and his actions attract the attention of the Magellan Billet, an elite and top-secret corps of the United States Justice Department that deals with America’s most sensitive investigations. Sagan finds himself stuck in the center of an international incident, the repercussions of which will send shudders through not only Washington, D.C., but also Jerusalem. Coaxed into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, unable to distinguish friend from foe, Sagan is forced to Vienna, Prague, then finally into the Blue Mountains of Jamaica—where his survival depends on him rewriting everything we thought we knew about Christopher Columbus.
Author Biography: Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series featuring The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, and The Templar Legacy. He also has three stand-alone thrillers: The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room ---- and two e-book original short stories, The Balkan Escape and The Devil's Gold. He has 12 million books in print, which have been translated into 40 languages and sold in 51 countries. Steve's road to publishing was long and arduous, spanning 12 years and 85 rejections over 5 separate manuscripts. He's also an accomplished instructor, having taught writing to audiences across the globe. When Steve's not writing, you can find him either on a beach, a golf course, or traveling --- discovering more things lost --- thinking of the next novel. He lives in the historic city of St. Augustine, Florida. Steve and his wife Elizabeth have also started a foundation, History Matters, dedicated to aiding the preservation of our heritage.