Alayne Bushey's Reviews > The Charlemagne Pursuit

The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
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May 07, 10

Read in May, 2010

This is Steve Berry’s seventh novel, and the fourth of the Cotton Malone series. I’ve always enjoyed Berry’s novels, grand adventures, thrilling and suspenseful, intriguing and mysterious. If you like Dan Brown and James Rollins, you will like Steve Berry. If I haven’t convinced you, just go buy him for yourself and see what I mean.

The Charlemagne Pursuit finds former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone involved in another race for information. It seems he can never stay settled in his Copenhagen bookstore for long, someone always needs his help. This time though, he’s brought things upon himself.

Nearly his whole life Cotton believed his father died on a submarine mission in the North Atlantic, that’s what his mother was told. But when Cotton wants more information, he discovers not only has he been believing a lie, but someone else wants to know what happened to his father’s sub as well, and another someone wants to do anything and everything to keep that information under ice. Literally.

Cotton teams up with an unlikely pair of twin sisters who hate each other, but are also searching for information about their father who happened to be on the same submarine as Cotton’s. Back in the United States, Cotton’s former boss Stephanie Nelle has teamed up with deputy national security advisor Edwin Davis to search for information on just who is pulling the strings and placing Cotton in danger at every turn.

Filled with ancient artifacts, evidence of a race of humans far older than ourselves, murderous assassins, intriguing riddles, and thrilling non-stop action, Berry once again delivers a wonderfully suspenseful novel in the Cotton Malone series. But this one is more mature than his previous editions; this one is also skillfully researched, but it’s more of a serious thriller than an adrenaline-filled sensationalistic work. This one is an entrée ready to be eaten, making his earlier works seem like appetizers. I love appetizers, they’re fabulous, but the entrée is where the skill is found, the true talent of the chef is displayed in the entrée. And Steve Berry proves himself a master with The Charlemagne Pursuit.

Certain characters return, and others are only mentioned in passing, never to make themselves visible in this novel. But we learn more about Cotton, about his feelings, and he becomes less of a Terminator and more of an emotional human. The ending makes me happy that I waited to read The Charlemagne Pursuit, since cliffhangers make me anxious for more, and the next Cotton book, The Paris Vendetta, is already in stores.

If you like thrillers and adventures, pick up a Steve Berry novel. I loved his first two, The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy, but the Cotton series begins with The Templar Legacy.
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