The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry
(Cotton Malone series #6)
Cotton Malone is back in Berry's 6th installment featuring the former operative for the Justice Department. Once again he is dragged back into the world he was trying to leave behind when he retired and opened up an antiquarian book store in Amsterdam.
This disruption to his life begins when an anonymous note is delivered to him that contains a web address. When he goes to the website he finds that it's a live feed showing the frequent associate in his adventures, Cassiopeia Vitt, bound and being tortured. The man torturing Cassiopeia instructs Cotton to bring him the artifact Cassiopeia entrusted to him and the feed ends. Cotton has no idea what the man is referring to but knows that Cassiopeia's life depends on him figuring out what's going on and rescuing her.
Cotton's efforts take him to China, where in internal power struggle is taking place between two men vying to become the country's next premier. They're each trying to obtain possession of a sample of oil that was obtained over two thousand years ago. This oil may provide the country with the ability to end its dependence on foreign oil and ultimately solidify the country's role on the world stage.
I enjoyed The Emperor's Tomb. It was neither better nor worse than Berry's other books. I would like to see him write some more stand-alone books to break things up a bit. But his books are always fun reads and worth the time.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆