Napoleon Bonaparte, an emperor, a genius, a conqueror, or a tyrant? Napoleon's life story, distinguished and unforgettable, echoed through the river of history. It comes as a small surprise that just after Jesus Christ, Napoleon ranks the 2nd most significant person in human history.
Many fantastic tales surround the life of Napoleon, some are based on facts, some are romantic legends. Some of the most prominent tales about Napoleon, however, came from his conquest of Egypt. Best-selling author Steve Berry borrowed the history from Napoleon's famous, Egyptian campaign to weave an exciting thriller, The Paris Vendetta, the 5th novel featuring retired Justice Department Operative Cotton Malone.
On 5th May, 1821, a brilliant man died on the island of St. Helena. This man, is none other than the exiled French emperor, Napoleon Bonarparte. Upon his dying breath, Napoleon took with him a powerful secret – the hidden location for his immeasurable treasure.
Almost 2 centuries later, the lost treasure of Napoleon is stirring up a hail storm that could wreck havoc on the centre stage of global economy. Only Cotton Malone, a retired operative for Justice Department, has the key to unlock a series of political and financial conspiracies and preventing an economic disaster from striking down the world. And it all began, when Cotton Malone paired up with an amateur agent from FBI to tracking down 2 assassins who came knocking at Malone's door...
My thoughts about this book:
I like reading thrillers, especially the kind that blends real history with conspiracy. Steve Berry has written plenty of thrillers belonging to this genre of fictions. Suffice it to say, his works match my tastes and satisfy my cravings for fast-paced, suspenseful thrillers. Of all of novels written by Steve Berry, he is most well known for Cotton Malone series. Up to date, I have read 6 novels presenting the adventures of former agent Malone, and I think The Paris Vendetta is among the finest novel in this series.
Mystery and suspense are key elements to a good thriller novel. In The Paris Vendetta, from secret societies to hidden treasures, Steve Berry took a treasure hunt story and wrapped layers upon layers of mysteries around it. Meanwhile, this fast-paced story, complex but not convoluted, takes its readers on a venture of many twists and turns. Cotton Malone, charismatic and intelligent, took up the mantle of the protagonist once again. At the same time, Malone's old friend, Henrik Thorvaldsen, also returned to the scene and playing an important role in the story. While this may sound like the same setup as previous novels, but The Paris Vendetta differs from its predecessors. I do not want to spoil the story, so let me just say this time, circumstances will put Malone and Thorvaldsen's friendship to the test, and the portrayal of their friendship is perhaps the most interesting aspect in this book.
Aside from Malone and Thorvaldsen, Steve Berry also introduced Ross Collins, an amateur FBI agent who went rogue and helped Malone to uncover the conspiracies that are threatening to destroy the global economy. In this book, Ross' character underwent a tremendous character development. By the end of the book, readers could see that Ross “grew”, visibly, when compared to that at the start of the story. I like Ross Collins and I think he is a very interesting character. I certainly hope this is not the last time we will see Ross Collins.
The Paris Vendetta tells a captivating story, the history about Napoleon especially interested me. Steve Berry did extensive research on the life of Napoleon, and I particularly enjoyed reading a small section at the end of the book, where Steve Berry separated the “facts from fictions”. Furthermore, Steve Berry depicted the European scenery vividly, and the story is all the more atmospheric because of the author's picturesque descriptions.
I enjoyed reading The Paris Vendetta greatly, but I do think this book has a weakness; the main antagonist is somewhat weak and unimpressive. I was not convinced by the antagonist's motives, and as a villain, this person just didn't project an aura of fear or dominance. As a result, I did not feel that Malone, Ross, and other heroes of the story were subjected to a real sense of danger. Despite a weak villain, The Paris Vendetta still excelled in all other departments that qualify for a good thriller; a suspenseful plot, interesting history, likable characters, and atmospheric worldbuilding. If you like reading thriller novels, then make sure to check out The Paris Vendetta.