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The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry

The Columbus Affair (2012)

by Steve Berry

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When he was at the top of his game, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tom Sagan could do no wrong. One story, based on scrupulously falsified information ended his career and with pistol in hand was about to end his life. On the verge of pulling the trigger his estranged daughter re-enters his life and she is in some serious trouble. In his quest to save her some long forgotten documents come to light and Tom is on his way to save not only himself and his daughter, but also to unravel a 500 year old mystery surrounding the connection between Columbus, his discovery of the new world and some long lost, but not forgotten, artefacts important to the Jewish faith.

This book takes on a lot. It has enough history woven into the story to keep it very interesting but it’s a typical thriller.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Ever since grade school, we have heard the stories of Christopher Columbus and how he “discovered” America. But what if the things we learned were wrong? I never realized that so many of the details of Columbus’s life are unknown. Even the most elementary aspects of his life, such as where and when he was born, remain a mystery. Like Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code," Steve Berry is able to weave together historical facts with rumors and theories to present a possible answer to one of history’s mysteries, and does so in an enjoyable thrilling manner. I have read many novels where the author has put forth a theory regarding a historical mystery. Some I have agreed with, and some I have not. What matters more to me than accepting the authors premise is how they tell the story and is their theory believable. Another thing I liked about this book was the way Berry devoted several pages at the end of this book to discussing what is fact, what is fiction, and what is conjecture in the preceding chapters. I never thought history could be so exciting and I found myself wishing that Steve Berry had been my teacher. Overall a very enjoyable (and educational) read. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Jun 19, 2015 |
Intriguing plot, very interesting history, but rather vanilla characters. I do like how Berry presented the idea that Christopher Columbus could have been jewish, and that's what really drove this book. The current day people in this book just kind of rode along the plot as decorations. Berry has done better than this.... ( )
  utbw42 | Dec 10, 2014 |
Interesting twist to Christopher Columbus and a neat little thriller. ( )
  autumnturner76 | Sep 22, 2014 |
There has been speculation for many years that Christopher Columbus was Jewish and that his voyages to The New World were an attempt to find a new home for Jews who were threatened by the Spanish Inquisition. In fact, his daughter-in-law received Jamaica from the Spanish crown and it was a haven for Jews for 150 years.
In THE COLUMBUS AFFAIR, Steve Berry builds on this theory and adds a touch that his mission was to move three artifacts from the original Temple in Jerusalem to safety. While he allegedly accomplishes this task, some modern day people seek out the hiding place for these items with diverse ideas of what to do with them when they are located.
The main character, Tom Sagan, was a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist who was exposed as a fraud after one of his reports turned out to be a fraud. Disgraced, he began ghost writing best selling novels. His marriage ended in divorce after it became clear that he was more committed to his work than to his wife and daughter. His daughter, Alle, now in her twenties, hasn’t seen him for several years and despises him. She has teemed up with Zachariah Simon and believes she is helping him to save the items.
The story is primarily located in Jamaica, where the relics are believed to be hidden, but also travels to Florida, Vienna, and Prague. It alternates between Columbus’s time and the present. It is filled with adventure, deceit, treachery, and murder.
While the book is based on fact, it is primarily fiction. It is well-written and engaging, though it does have a few errors. For example, regarding the coffin of one person, it states, “It took a few minutes to pry off. Long nails had been used, which was appropriate. Abiram would have kept things traditional.” Wooden pegs, not nails, are used in traditional Jewish coffins. At the end of the book, Berry relates what parts of the book are fact, which are fiction, and which might be either. ( )
  Judiex | Jul 17, 2014 |
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For 500 years historians have pondered the question:

Who was Christopher Columbus?

The answer is simply another question:

Who do you want him to be?

--Anonymous Observer
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Christopher Columbus realized that the decisive moment was approaching.
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Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan and an unscrupulous zealot, Zachariah Simon, square off in a dangerous game to find the key to a 500 year-old mystery--a treasure with explosive political significance in the modern world: the lost treasures of the Temple of Jerusalem.… (more)

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