Monday, March 18, 2013

The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry (Spoiler Alert)

My latest read is called “The Paris Vendetta” by Steve Berry.  Goodreads link is here:

 Now with this book I ended up having the same bad luck that I had with the book that I read before this one, it happened to be part of a series of books, the book I picked up being part a sequel. The only difference is that the previous book I read happened to be Book 2 while this one happened to be Book 5. I will make the exact same rant that I made in my previous book review, will it kill the publisher to simply write on the cover that the book is part of a sequel or a series. I hate picking up books that are in the centre of the series. Again, I cannot say how accurate my review is going to be as when you unfortunately pick up a book which happens to be in the middle of the sequel you do not get any background information or introduction of any sort regarding the characters so it is only when you are half way through are you actually in a position to pinpoint who is who and recognize the relationships each character holds with the other characters involved.

Anyways, to the book. Steve Berry is a well known best selling number one author, international and New York Times, who writes thriller books. Even though he has a few stand alone books most of his books belong to the Cotton Malone series, a series out of which the book being discussed today happens to be the fifth installment.

Not only was this book a thriller, it was also historical fiction. Historical fiction is a genre that I really like and in the case of this book, the historical fiction of this book especially fascinated me as it revolved around Napoleon and I personally have been very fascinated by European history, having studied it in my O Levels. In the book I got to learn about Napoleon’s coding system of sending messages to people based on texts, his stance on war and debt, how he ended up selling Louisiana to the Americans and about his time in exile and possible causes of death. Unfortunately, as it happens to be the case with all books of historical fiction, the authenticity and the accuracy of the information given is unknown. It is very likely that everything I read on Napoleon just happened to be products of the author’s imagination, who knows.

Cotton Malone, an agent with the US State Department, is on assignment in Copenhagen, Denmark along with a special agent, Sam Collins. They are on the case of a mysterious organization called the Paris Club. It is like one of those Illuminati type organizations, having the top world financial “big guns” amongst their group of members. The belief of the Paris Club is that whenever a society is facing unrest in terms of a war or the threat of terrorism, financial transactions shall be carried out in such a way that if you have the knowhow, you easily end up in millions, if not billions. The leader of the Paris Club even tried to carry out a few 9/11 style attacks on some historical Parisian monuments in order to achieve this aim but the French air force managed to prevent that from happening, they acted at the right time.

A individual in the centre of this whole conspiracy is Lord Ashby. Everyone wants him, in the sense that everyone is like after this guy. Cotton Malone wants him because the American government thinks that he can lead them to a wanted terrorist. Cotton Malone’s friend Henrik wants him as Henrik thinks Lord Ashby hired the person who killed his son. Eliza, founder of the Paris club, thinks Lord Ashby is a trusted member but actually he was a traitor following his own agenda.

In conclusion, the only drawback that I found about this book is that it happens to be part five of a series of books. Other than that, it is excellent. Backstories to the characters are given about the characters in such a way that you can tell that this is why this person is like this today. And the book is loaded with so much conspiracy that is like one conspiracy appears to be coming to a close, three more appear. When I was done reading the book, I actually took time to think about all the conspiracy. This book really makes you think. And it is very well written. And if European history and/or Napoleon are areas of interest for you, then that is an added bonus.

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