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The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry
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's review
May 15, 2012

it was amazing

The Columbus Affair
Author: Steve Berry

The circle of life does not always follow the round path that we hoped it would. At times the circumference might bear some jagged rips and turns leading us in many different directions and veering on an entirely different course. Christopher Columbus took three journeys and hoped that each would bring him the riches and recognition promised him by those paying his way. But, falsehoods, deceits and lies were told and the end result was Columbus lost more than just money, riches and promises. Columbus demanded what was promised be returned but Kings and Queens often held all the cards and Columbus was threatened with a trial and prison if he continued with the ranting, ravings and demands. But, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand had other plans in mind for him when he was granted a reprieve and once again given funds to embark on a fourth journey to the New World. What happens during this journey, who suffered at the hand of his mighty sword and what he found that he hoped would stay buried forever as author Steve Berry reveals the facts and events of the Columbus Affair.

Tom Sagan was a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter that learns that his circle of life will lead him down a path that will spiral into areas that he never wanted to be. Writing articles about many places most would never want to visit, some dangerous most war-torn regions recognized for his outstanding journalistic skills he never thought it would all come to a crashing end. From 1504 to the present we learn of the many tribes, killers and thieves in Jamaica past and present and the abuse some took at the hand of not just Columbus but others too to gain power, prestige and find out just what Columbus found and hid over 500 years ago. One article exposing him would destroy his life and his career making him not only a pariah in his family but unable to get any type of job anywhere at all. But, that was about to change. Tom decided the only solution to his problems was to pull the trigger. Before he could take perfect aim and possible end his life someone comes to his door and would change the course of his circular path forever. One controversial report would expose him as a fraud and his life, his professional career and his word would no longer be valid or heard. But, one man Zachariah Simon would change all that when coming face to face with Tom. What would you do if your daughter was being held prisoner but she really never forgave you for what she thinks you did? But, not everything that you see sometimes is real and what you think might be another illusion.
Zachariah Simon taunted Tom until he relented. Recounting his failures, successes and threatening to hurt his daughter was his way of reeling him in to his lair. One simple request would change everything. For some reason he wanted Tom to have his father’s body exhumed the price: his daughter’s life. A video that was quite convincing and a young girl’s stare cold and calculating. Alle’s eyes seemed to speak volumes to Tom. The chill she radiated was colder than an ice glacier and the deceit more diabolical than a terrorist’s bomb.

Reminding Tom of his heritage and where he came from plus his parent’s devotion to the Torah and being Jewish is the reason why this man was there since being a Jew was everything to him. Why still remains to be revealed and what else is hidden will surprise the reader as I continue my review of The Columbus Affair by New York Times best selling author Steve Berry.

Bene Rowe entered the Jewish cemetery for one purpose to find a grave. Bene and Simon were partners but one was cheating the other. First, Bene had to get to the bottom of a situation that he thought he had handled. Simon had information that he never received and Bene was about to even the score.

The Christians were the only ones allowed to enter the New World at first. But, proving themselves unable to colonize the Crown brought in and turned to the Jews. They came to Jamaica and became merchants, traders and more. Finally, they were the only ones that remained. Bene also relates to the reader and learn that the widow of one of Columbus’s sons was a wise and smart woman who brokered a deal with the Spanish King that would change it all. Rather than continue with her lawsuit suing the King and asking for the return of the Capitulations of the Santé Fe, which would have granted Columbus’s family full control over the New World she agreed to drop the suit for Jamaica. With control of Jamaica came control or power over the church thereby having the Catholics in Jamaica under the control of the Columbus family and not the king thereby also keeping the inquisition or inquisitors out and allowing the Jews to live freely. But, there is much more as it is thought that Columbus hid a cache of gold in Jamaica. The Jews welcomed England’s rule and were allowed to live and worship freely and in return helped the island flourish. Coming back to the present we learn that Bene was snapping pictures on a smart phone for Simon to see. A symbol of a pitcher on a grave would be their starting point to getting what they wanted.

Just where does his daughter fit in you won’t believe as she helped create the scene and orchestrated the events almost the way she wanted her father to view them. The author then shares some important history related to the Jewish people, the destruction of the second temple, the Romans and the part they played in the most horrific tragedy that took place in 70 CE. This is part of the reason why he is there. For 1940 years the treasure has been gone. What if after all these years a Third Temple was built? This is Alle’s dream or desire. Just who was Columbus and is the information related fact or fiction when he learns that Columbus was what many Jewish people were conversos. Some converted to Christianity to stay alive but worshipped the Torah at night in the safety of their homes. Remember this important fact that Columbus sailed before midnight on August 2, 1492 and all Jews had to leave Spain by August 3. The author shares the back-story of how Alle came to work with Simon and the information that led him to her. But, a sharp warning is given to her as she learns that all that she might believe in is just a ruse to use her as a pawn in a bigger plan. Where does her heritage come into play since converting and becoming a Jew? Just how will the documents she buried in her grandfather’s coffin play an important part?

Remembering why he and his father were estranged provides some understanding of the problem but what really sparks the reader’s attention is just how and why he was taken down and the reason behind it. One article that he wrote would haunt him forever and when warned to back off he did not. Would two countries that are enemies unknowingly work together to bring down one reporter? If so why? Columbus buried three crates in the new world. There is a lost mine. There lies the mystery.

Bene has the deeds to many lands and having them translated enlightens not only Bene but the reader as to who else is involved and why. Abraham and Moses Cohen: One a pirate and the other an entrepreneur but both brothers. But, Alle is taken by before Simon can enact his real plot and although Tom gets what his father had buried with him he has stay alive in order to sort it all out. Everything is not always what is seems as Alle learns and Tom would soon find out. One man who duped them both and one father who felt he was racing the clock to save his daughter and much more. Bene is searching for the Lost Mine and Tom just wants to preserve what his father buried.

The players are in place and the stakes are high as each side wants what one man wanted kept secret and what Columbus did not want found: the Temple Treasure. Imagine finding the three holiest objects in all of Judaism. Alle knew that only a Levite knew the location and whatever was buried with him would lead them to the treasure. Two Hebrew letters that when placed together mean Here Lies. The significance of the X: where the treasure might be and the mark of Columbus. From Austria, to the United States, Jamaica and many other places author Steve Berry takes the reader on a journey back in time that might solve a mystery over 500 years old.

One Levite holds the key to the finding the treasure. The power in that is explosive. To protect Israel at all costs and create a nation that would finally stands alone and not have an Arab problem and exist is the goal. But, will that ever happen? As Alle and Tom clash even further there are many working behind to bring them together but each with their own separate agendas. Leading to Prague, Jamaica, Austria and Israel this thriller will take you back in time to where it all began as Bene searches the archives in a museum leading him to Cuba and learning some hard truths. So, where does the Magellan the Billet fit in and what was Brian’s real role? Author Steve Berry gives the reader much pause for thought and much to think about before it all draws to a dramatic close.

The final fate of many you will have to read for yourself. An ultimatum that would restore his life as it was before. Where the answers come from you won’t believe as Tom and Alle face a challenge that will decide their final fate. A choice that would forever change it even more. Steve Berry has not only honored the memory of Columbus and so many others but he has brought something special to light for the Jewish People. What is the fate of the Temple Treasure? That is a secret!

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