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The Alexandria Link by Steve Berry

The Alexandria Link (2007)

by Steve Berry

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Great plot, great characters, and I loved the way this book explored the history of the great religions of the world. I think this is the best of the Berry books I have read so far, and I am looking forward to upcoming Cotton Malone books. ( )
  utbw42 | Dec 21, 2014 |
"The Alexandria Link" is the second in the Cotton Malone series, and it starts off right where the first one left off -- in Cotton's bookshop with his ex-wife on the doorstep.

It wasn't really the mystery in this story that kept the pace. Yes, Cotton and his ex are off to find the Library of Alexandria, or rather, what was saved from the Library prior to all its various sackings and burnings at the hands of people who, frankly, didn't have a healthy respect for knowledge. But I digress.

The main force in the story is all the various twists and turns. You have NO idea who to trust and only a basic idea of who NOT to trust. And it does not congeal until the very end.

I'm not going to say I read this in a day, but I definitely wanted to spend more time with it than I had. It could have been a little faster paced, and I am not sure that the payoff delivered, but it was still a pleasant read.

If you like thrillers with an air of conspiracy theory in them, it is definitely worthwhile. If you think stuff like that is lame, avoid it. ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
Very good book w interesting premise about gods covenant w the Jews really designating a different place for Israel. And the search for the library of Alexandria. I like cotton Malone ( )
1 vote afarrington | Aug 2, 2014 |
The Alexandria Link represents Steve Berry's first attempt at a serial novel. The Templar Legacy was an action-adventure novel involving the secrets of a long-underground order of Templars. Berry once again goes back in history, this time to the great Library of Alexandria. Using a mixture of actual history and plausible fiction, our hero, Cotton Malone, once again is chasing clues to an ancient treasure.

Berry made it a point to flesh out the character of Cotton Malone in this novel. His ex-wife and her child (that the boy isn't his was a prime cause to their separation) both play prominent roles. However, at times, their inclusion seems forced, as does another "follow the clues" plot. I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as I did the first book in the series, and will take a break before reading the next. In an interview after the book, Berry says the next few books will focus on other featured characters in Malone's circle. Hopefully their stories prove a little more interesting.

That said, I wish the book was a little more compelling. The loss of the Library of Alexandria was one of the biggest travesties of mankind. Whether documents contained therein would be powerful enough to change the course of modern history (the premise of this book) I'm a bit skeptical...then again, Saudi Arabia raised towns and prohibits archeological expeditions in sensitive areas suggest Berry is not too far off base. ( )
1 vote JeffV | Jun 1, 2014 |
The story was promising and in fairness to the author,this book was a result of a lot of research, creativity, imagination, and effort. The locations were interesting since most of them were in Europe, where great architecture stands, a lot of landmarks' descriptive writing was impressive. The complex plots and subplots in the story are tangled in a mess, no one is whom they seem, but some characters got the chance to develop, with a little background here and there. Given the things I stated above, I wasn't really pulled in the story. I still felt like an observer. ( )
1 vote Hanneri | Apr 22, 2014 |
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"History is the distillation of evidence surviving the past." Oscar Handlin, Truth in History (1979)

"Since the first Adam who beheld the night and the day and the shape of his own hand, men have made up stories and have fixed in stone, in metal, or on parchment whatever the world includes or dreams create. Here is the fruit of their labor: the Library...The faithless say that if it were to burn, history would burn with it. They are wrong. Unceasing human work gives birth to this infinity of books. If of them all not even one remained, man would again beget each page and every line." Jorge Luis Borges, regarding the Library of Alexandria
"Libraries are the memory of mankind." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345485769, Mass Market Paperback)

Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: “You have something I want. You’re the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don’t hear from you, you will be childless.” His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone’s Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

A cradle of ideas–historical, philosophical, literary, scientific, and religious–the Library of Alexandria was unparalleled in the world. But fifteen hundred years ago, it vanished into the mists of myth and legend–its vast bounty of wisdom coveted ever since by scholars, fortune hunters, and those who believe its untold secrets hold the key to ultimate power.

Now a cartel of wealthy international moguls, bent on altering the course of history, is desperate to breach the library’s hallowed halls–and only Malone possesses the information they need to succeed. At stake is an explosive ancient document with the potential not only to change the destiny of the Middle East but to shake the world’s three major religions to their very foundations.

Pursued by a lethal mercenary, Malone crosses the globe in search of answers. His quest will lead him to England and Portugal, even to the highest levels of American government–and the shattering outcome, deep in the Sinai desert, will have worldwide repercussions.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:12 -0400)

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Cotton Malone's teenage son has been kidnapped, and an anonymous e-mail from those responsible proves they will stop at nothing to get their hands on a coveted prize: the legendary lost Library of Alexandria, which vanished 1,500 years ago.

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