323 B.C.E, having conquered Persia, Alexander the Great set his
sights on Arabia, then suddenly succumbed to a strange fever.
Locating his final resting place–unknown to this
day–remains a tantalizing goal for both archaeologists and
treasure hunters. Now the quest for this coveted prize is about to
heat up. And Cotton Malone–former U.S. Justice Department
agent turned rare-book dealer–will be drawn into an intense
geopolitical chess game.
After narrowly escaping incineration in a devastating fire that
consumes a Danish museum, Cotton learns from his friend, the
beguiling adventurer Cassiopeia Vitt, that the blaze was neither an
accident nor an isolated incident. As part of campaign of arson
intended to mask a far more diabolical design, buildings across
Europe are being devoured by infernos of unnatural
And from the ashes of the U.S.S.R., a new nation has arisen: Former
Soviet republics have consolidated into the Central Asian
Federation. At its helm is Supreme Minister Irina Zovastina, a
cunning despot with a talent for politics, a taste for blood sport,
and the single-minded desire to surpass Alexander the Great as
history’s ultimate conqueror.
Backed by a secret cabal of powerbrokers, the Federation has
amassed a harrowing arsenal of biological weapons. Equipped with
the hellish power to decimate other nations at will, only one thing
keeps Zovastina from setting in motion her death march of
domination: a miraculous healing serum, kept secret by an ancient
puzzle and buried with the mummified remains of Alexander the
Great–in a tomb lost to the ages for more than 1,500
Together, Cotton and Cassiopeia must outrun and outthink the forces
allied against them. Their perilous quest will take them to the
shores of Denmark, deep into the venerated monuments of Venice, and
finally high inside the desolate Pamir mountains of Central Asia to
unravel a riddle whose solution could destroy or save millions of
people–depending on who finds the lost tomb first.
THE VENETIAN BETRAYAL © Copyright 2011 by Steve Berry.
Reprinted with permission by Ballantine. All rights reserved.