Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Charlemange Pursuit by Steve Berry .

Ex-agent Cotton Malone wants to know what really happened to his father, officially lost at sea when his submarine went down in the north Atlantic. But when he uses his government contacts to obtain the submarine's sealed file, Malone finds he is not the only person looking for answers.

The Charlemagne Pursuit was written in 2008 and has 589 pages plus another 6 pages of Writer's Note at the end. I found this book a frustrating read with poor entertainment value. I vote this novel 2 stars on Book Army because it is a poor conspiracy tale. I did not like Steve's writing style which has the annoying habit of leaving unfinished business at the end of each chapter. I did not like the sloppy structure within this book. As this conspiracy slowly unfolds, Steve only explains little bits at a time, making this story a slow drag as all the characters know the history of their own part but take forever and a day to reveal them to the reader. I did not develop an empathy for any character in this book. There were too many killings throughout this story. Anyone falls out of favour and they get bumped off, no questions asked. The Charlemagne Pursuit fails as a conspiracy. The story lacks realism and is quite a childish fantasy. I took nothing away from this novel and I shall not be reading another of Steve's books. This book is not a thriller and with the exception of yet more unnecessary killings, the ending is okay. There is no real depth or twists to this story, just a case of who can you trust? The book cover states "A Cotton Malone Thriller" - well, no thanks, not another even though on page 589 this story ends...

Tomorrow he'd rest. Sunday was always a light day. Stores were closed. Maybe he'd drive north and visit with Henrik Thorvaldsen. He hadn't seen his friend in three weeks. But maybe not. Thorvaldsen would want to know where he'd been, and what had happened, and he wasn't ready to relive it.
For now, he'd sleep.
Malone awoke and cleared the dream from his mind. The bedside clock read 2:34 a.m. Lights were still on throughout the apartment. He'd been sleeping for three hours.
But something had roused him. A sound. Part of the dream he'd been having, yet not.
He heard it again.
Three squeaks in quick succession.
His building was seventeenth century, completely remodeled a few months ago after being firebombed. Afterward, the new wooden risers from the second to the third floor always announced themselves in a precise order, like keys on a piano.
Which meant someone was there.
He reached beneath the bed and found the rucksack he always kept ready - a habit from his Magellan Billet days. Inside, his right hand gripped the Beretta automatic, a round already chambered.
He crept from the bedroom.
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