Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Charlemagne Pursuit (Cotton Malone Series #4) by Steve Berry

As a child, former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone was told his father died in a submarine disaster in the North Atlantic, but now he wants the full story and asks his ex-boss, Stephanie Nelle, to secure the military files. What he learns stuns him: His father's sub was a secret nuclear vessel lost on a highly classified mission beneath the ice shelves of Antarctica. But Malone isn't the only one after the truth.

Twin sisters Dorothea Lindauer and Christl Falk are fighting for the fortune their mother has promised to whichever of them discovers what really became of their father - who died on the same submarine that Malone's father captained. The sisters know something Malone doesn't: Inspired by strange clues discovered in Charlemagne's tomb, the Nazis explored Antarctica before the Americans, as long ago as 1938. Now Malone discovers that cryptic journals penned in "the language of heaven," inscrutable conundrums posed by an ancient historian, and the ill-fated voyage of his father are all tied to a revelation of immense consequence for all humankind.

In an effort to ensure that this explosive information never rises to the surface, Landford Ramsey, an ambitious navy admiral, has begun a brutal game of treachery, blackmail, and assassination. As Malone embarks on a dangerous quest with the sisters - one that leads them from an ancient German cathedral to a snowy French citadel to the unforgiving ice of Antarctica - he will finally confront the shocking truth of his father's death and the distinct possibility of his own.

This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (13 CDs/16.5 hours).

This was one long audiobook at 16.5 hours! But, it was well worth it, and the reader, Scott Brick, was excellent. He made the time just fly by.

The story was the usual Cotton Malone combination of obscure intellectual material mixed with a generous amount of action in exactly the right amounts. It was nice to be able to revisit a familiar friend in Cotton for another chapter of his life.

This one gets eight stars. It wasn't my favorite Cotton Malone novel, but it was still very, very good. It had an excellent, if intellectual story, and well rounded characters. The situations were a combination of suspense and human weakness mixed with heartbreaking truths. I'd definitely recommend it to any mystery or suspense fan!

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆


Kaye said...

Great review! I like these books too. Some are a little over the top and the reader needs to suspend a little disbelief at some of the antics these characters get up to. Cotton must have 9 lives! One of my favorite Berry books is The Amber Room.

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