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[636] The Paris Vendetta – Steve Berry

1paris

Read and reviewed: Hong Kong

” He knew about the South African. One of the world’s most wanted men. Into illicit arms, political assassination, terrorism, whatever the client wanted. Billed himself as a broker of chaos. When Malone retired two years ago, at least a dozen bombings and hundreds of deaths were linked to Lyon. ” (Ch.32, p.186)

Like The King’s Deception, The Paris Vendetta is developed along multiple, action-packed plotlines that are based on little-known though fascinating historical mysteries and legends. Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone is at first thrown into the middle of a vendetta in which his good friend, Henrik Thorvaldsen is avenging the murder of his son. Having eliminated two of the murderers, the enigmatic industrialist of almost unimaginable wealth is seeking the man behind the conspiracy—Lord Ashby, a British aristocrat who belongs to a shadowy international financial group known as the Paris Club.

He’s after Cai’s killer. I knew it was probably something like that. He’s about to screw up a major intelligence operation, along with compromising a critical source. (Ch.31, p.179)

Malone is awaken by an intruder, Sam Collins, an American Secret Service agent with assassins on his heels. His interest is different, but not unrelated to the grand scheme as the story unfolds. He’s stumbled upon a conspiracy in which Eliza Larocque is planning on making billions through wreaking havoc on different societies in the form of conflict such as terrorism. She is, however, more interested in validating her heritage than gaining illicit profits. She is also involved in her own vendetta in seeking Napoleon’s lost treasure to rightfully claim as her own. At the heart of her insidious plan is also Lord Ashby. Soon Malone finds there is more to the situation than he originally knew. The U.S. Justice Department is closing in on the abduction of one of the world’s most wanted men—Peter Lyon; and the informant, insinuated into Eliza Larocque’s closed group, working with the Americans, is none other than Lord Ashby.

So begins an European cat-and-mouse game between Malone, Thorvaldsen and the dangerous group of semi-terrorists known as the Paris Club. Each is pursuing a personal vendetta. Too many twists and turns and a convoluted plot make the novel meander at times, tripping and choking over its own ideas and details. Malone is stuck between friendship and foe as he is trying to stop Herik Thorveldsen—doing the right thing. Be prepared for a roller coaster of a story that converges dangerously at the Eiffel Tower.

483 pp. Ballantine Books. Pocket Paper. [Read|Skim|Toss] [Buy|Borrow]

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