April 30, 2012
Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when a controversial report from a war-torn region is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile—haunted by bad decisions and the shocking truth he can never prove: that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger with a request that cannot be ignored.
Zachariah Simon has the look of a scholar, the soul of a scoundrel, and the zeal of a fanatic. He also has Tom Sagan’s estranged daughter at his mercy. Simon desperately wants something only Sagan can supply: the key to a 500-year-old mystery, a treasure with explosive political significance in the modern world. For both Simon and Sagan the stakes are high, the goal intensely personal, the consequences of opposing either man potentially catastrophic. On a perilous quest from Florida to Vienna to Prague and finally to the mountains of Jamaica, the two men square off in a dangerous game. Along the way, both of their lives will be altered—and everything we know about Christopher Columbus will change.
I have read and loved every single one of Steve Berry's books but I have to say that I was very disappointed in The Columbus Affair. The action was working along two different story lines that eventually merged into one but everything felt disjointed. I didn't connect with any of the characters. Tom wasn't the typical hero, his daughter Alle was spoiled and delusional and I totally disliked her character. One of the two bad guys became the character I liked the most, Bene Rowe, but I still didn't think the flow was right on his part of the story line. I think Mr. Berry just needs to stick to his Cotton Malone series and not try to offer up stand alone novels with new characters.
One thing I do have to acknowledge about the book that was outstanding was the historical detail and research that went into the story. You can tell that Berry tried to keep the details as close to history as possible and that lent the whole book a feel of realism that I enjoyed. I recommend this one as a library read for die hard fans of Steve Berry otherwise I'd say try one of this other books before reading this one.