Review

The Paris Vendetta

by Steve Berry

Steve Berry is a remarkable storyteller. Each of his books are
more complex than the previous one, developed along multiple,
action-packed plotlines that are based on little-known though
fascinating historical mysteries and legends. Yet Berry keeps the
reader on a straight and narrow path, advancing each storyline just
a page or two at a time before switching elsewhere. He continues to
fulfill and exceed his own standards with each successive work,
particularly since the introduction of Cotton Malone in THE TEMPLAR
LEGACY.

Henrik Thorvaldsen, an enigmatic Danish industrialist of almost
unimaginable wealth --- and Malone’s closest friend --- is on
a mission of vengeance in Berry’s latest thriller, THE PARIS
VENDETTA. He has the means and opportunity to murder Graham Ashby,
the man who engineered the death of Thorvaldsen’s only son,
which indirectly brought Malone into Thorvaldsen’s life.
Ashby, a British aristocrat, is a member of a shadowy international
financial group known as the Paris Club. In order to maneuver
himself closer to Ashby, Thorvaldsen engineers an invitation to
join the club --- and at the same time recruits Malone to help him
carry out his revenge. But Malone barely interjects himself into
the mix when he is intercepted by Stephanie Nelle, his former
supervisor at the mysterious Magellan Billet.

It appears that Ashby is working as a double agent for the
United States government. The members of the Paris Club are
formulating and executing an ingenious plot to target the global
economy, financed in part by a fortune hidden from view for
centuries: the treasure trove of Napoleon Bonaparte. Ashby is on
the trail of the treasure and believes he is on the verge of
discovering its location. Meanwhile, Nelle makes it clear to Malone
that he cannot permit Thorvaldsen to succeed in his quest. When
Thorvaldsen finds out that Malone’s actions have been
hamstringing his efforts, he feels utterly betrayed by his best
friend but redoubles his efforts to bring some rough and final
justice to Ashby.

Assisted at times by a young, renegade Secret Service agent
named Sam Collins, Thorvaldsen comes closer and closer to exacting
from Ashby the ultimate cost of his son’s death, even as
Malone attempts to balance loyalty to his dearest friend against
the greater good. As the stories play out from Denmark and London
to the better and lesser known landmarks of Paris, Malone will be
tested physically and emotionally to his limits as all involved
head to an unexpected climax.

Berry’s exhaustive research serves him well in THE PARIS
VENDETTA as it has in his other works, and his development of the
enigma known as Cotton Malone moves the series along incrementally
without impeding the furious pacing of the plot. Berry also
continues to develop his always formidable ability as an action
writer; there is one scene in particular that should carry a
warning label, especially if one has a fear of heights and a
tendency to forget to breathe. Given the ending of THE PARIS
VENDETTA, Berry’s next book will almost certainly take him in
new, though no less exciting, directions.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 14, 2011

The Paris Vendetta
by Steve Berry

  • Publication Date: July 27, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345505484
  • ISBN-13: 9780345505484