Nancy Oakes's Reviews > The Charlemagne Pursuit

The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
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's review
Sep 17, 08

bookshelves: escape-reading, gave-away
Read in September, 2008

Cotton Malone was a secret agent for the US, but has now retired. Now that he's retired, he's decided that his next act will be to see if he could find out what happened to his father over some 35 years ago, when his dad was commander of a submarine mission for the US Navy. Malone gets his hands on a report and realizes that everything he and his mother were told by the government was not true, especially the part where the sub was supposed to have had its final mission in European waters. He gets his ex-boss, Stephanie, to help him out by sending him the file on his father's death, and this starts sending alarms all over Washington DC. Of course, with any story featuring Cotton Malone, he's not limited geographically, so he starts a quest for the truth which takes him to Europe and then, of all places, to Antarctica.

I've read a lot of books by this author not featuring Cotton Malone (The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy and The Third Secret) and The Templar Legacy, which is the first of the Cotton Malone Books. The Alexandria Link and The Venetian Betrayal are sitting on my shelves ready to be read. I don't feel that not reading the previous two Cotton Malone books caused any problems, so this book can definitely work as a stand-alone entry even though this is a series.

There is definitely a lot of nonstop action both abroad and simultaneously on the home front. If you've read anything by Steve Berry before, you know that this is one of the hallmarks of his stories, along with a very twisted plot involving several players. I happen to like this kind of never-a-dull-moment action and I really enjoy books where the hero has to solve some kind of puzzle or decode some sort of cypher. I also enjoy books where actions in the past have a great deal to do with what's going on now. That's why I keep buying Steve Berry's books when they are first released. When I want some good escape reading, he's generally at the top of my list. In the Charlemagne Pursuit, his characters are not deep, but they're generally good, bad, or you're not sure. Just when you have someone figured out, things change, and the plot twists are many to keep the reader guessing. Berry's plot in this one is a bit over the top, but it's all good -- it's a great bit of escape reading fun and I really enjoyed it.

I would definitely recommend it to those who are following Cotton Malone's exploits, and to those who are fans of Steve Berry in general. I would also recommend it to others who are maybe looking for something in the escape-reading genre. It's not literature, but it's fun and will provide you with several hours of reading entertainment. Don't let the size fool you...the action goes so fast you'll be amazed at how soon you're getting toward the end.

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