Friday, November 23, 2012
"Humor is the pursuit of a gentle grin, usually in solitude." Frank Muir
This is the 4th Steve Berry novel to profile Cotton Malone. He's a former Justice Department agent who is said to have retired and is now a bookseller.
Cotton had known that his father, Forrest Malone, died when the experimental sub he captained, sunk in Antarctica with no survivors. Now Cotton calls on a favor and gets the records of that ship so he can learn more.
In a quick succession of events, with numerous deaths, Cotton ends up working with twin sisters whose father was also on that sub and they want to know what happened. These attractive, middle aged sisters have been given a challenge by their mother, who governs the family wealth with an iron hand. Since the son of one of the sisters died in an auto accident, there is no male heir to the family fortune. The twins' mother has promised to bestow the family money on the sister who can learn what happened to their father, first.
There is an excellent sub story of the other person interested in the last mission of that sub. This man has high influence with the Department of the Navy and will do whatever he can, including murder, too keep the truth of that mission secret.
There is a puzzle that must be solved and ancient history comes into play. From that point of view, it can be compared to the "Da Vinci Code" and "The Rule of Four." However, this is a more exciting book with real drama. I like Cotton as a character, he gets out of trouble and yet seems like a regular guy, he fits the image of a book dealer very well. The twin sisters are also well described but their mother is a psycho and it is hard for me to imaging that she could do the things she does.
There are many things to like about this book and for the reader looking for an exciting read and a trip through history, I definitely recommend it.
This is a signed, advanced reading copy
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