The Paris Vendetta, by Steve Berry
This was my first book by Steve Berry, who writes secret agent adventure novels. It came from the collection of CD audio books that my mom sent home with me. And boy was this one ever fast paced!
Cotton Malone is a retired secret agent for the US Government, who runs a bookshop in Denmark. He is interrupted at home one evening by a young man creeping around his apartment, and when confronted he spins a tale of being followed and being sent by one of Malone’s old friends. When two men follow and try to kill them, Malone gets tangled up in a new case. It involves the mysterious Paris Club, a group that is thought to be working to overthrow the world by creating chaos in the world’s financial markets. Can Malone get to the bottom of this?
The book interestingly touches on the legend of the lost treasure of Napoleon Bonaparte as a side plot. After Napoleon invaded Russia, he is said to have carted away hundreds of wagon loads of gold, which disappeared. It has been searched for over the last 200 years, but never found. Some of the members of the Paris Club have a side deal to find the treasure, which further complicates Malone’s mission.
The plot of this novel takes the reader all over Europe, to many of the most famous historical sites, including Westminster Abbey, the killing sites of Jack the Ripper, the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, where Napoleon is now buried.
I don’t normally read action/adventure books, but this one kept my interest with its fast pace and historical intrigue. Which is a good thing, since my Dad had several more books by Steve Berry that I’ll be reading in the future. And a final note; it was narrated by Scott Brick, one of my favorite audio book readers!