Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Columbus Affair

The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry

It's been awhile since The Third Secret was published, which was the last book by Steve Berry that didn't feature Cotton Malone. As much as I enjoy that series, The Columbus Affair was a welcome break. In this book, Berry uses a little-known hypothesis about Christopher Columbus, and the true impetus behind his famous first voyage, as the backdrop for an entertaining thriller.

Tom Sagan is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist whose career and life are now in ruin. So much so, that when he makes his first appearance in the book, he has a gun to his head and is moments away from putting an end to his misery. He's stopped from pulling the trigger by a tapping on his window. The man standing outside his house, is holding a picture of Tom's daughter, tied up and at the mercy of kidnappers. The kidnappers need Tom to do something that only he can accomplish, order the exumation of his father's body. They believe he was burried with a secret, literally.

That secret ties in with the hypothesis that Christopher Columbus was a converted Jew whose 1492 voyage was an attempt to secure a new homeland for those of his adopted faith, somewhere in eastern Asia. Fortunately for me, I was able to attend one of the stops on Berry's media tour for this book and had the chance to listen to him explain his research into this idea. It really was fascinating and it also occured the same week that several cable news stations ran reports exploring the same hypothesis. Berry excels in this book at weaving historical facts along with long-standing rumors about the enigmatic explorer to tell a captivating story.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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