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The Emperor's Tomb

A Cotton Malone Mystery by Steve Berry

The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry

Review: Retired Justice Department operative Cotton Malone is drawn back into active service when a woman who has saved his life more than once now needs his help in The Emperor's Tomb, the sixth mystery in this series by Steve Berry.

Cassiopeia Vitt has been a part of Malone's life for many years. When he receives photos of her being tortured, he knows he must do everything he can to save her. But her captor's demands are a mystery to me: Return the artifact she gave him. He can recall no object given to him by Cassiopeia, so does the next best thing: takes a book from his bookstore in Copenhagen and takes it to the designated drop site thus beginning an adventure that will take Malone across the globe and drawn into a political war between two men, Karl Tang and Ni Yong, to control the office of Premiere of China.

The artifact is, in fact, an ancient winged dragon lamp, originally stolen from the tomb of the first Emperor of China. Both Tang and Yong are just a step away from becoming China's new Premiere, a position of power that will allow either man to set foreign policy for their country. Tang is of the opinion that China should remain unwilling to work with any foreign power, believing in the natural expression of totalitarianism. He would also strictly enforce laws and exact severe punishments for breaking them. Yong, on the other hand, would pursue peaceful international relations and permit some local democracy, following the teachings of Confucius. Both men believe the lamp will help them win the office over their opponent, but Tang is particularly desperate to obtain it at any cost.

The Emperor's Tomb draws the reader into a fast-paced international adventure of historical discovery and political intrigue. The multi-layered conflict, and the richly drawn characters, make for an extraordinary and quite thrilling novel. There are extended passages involving the cultural and political significance of the lamp (and other artifacts) that provide a fascinating backdrop to Malone's quest, itself replete with harrowing close calls. The narrative leading up to exciting conclusion will have readers wondering how it will all play out.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Emperor's Tomb.

Acknowledgment: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations provided a copy of The Emperor's Tomb for this review.

Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author

Mystery Book Review: The Paris Vendetta by Steve BerryThe Paris Vendetta
Ballantine (Hardcover), December 2009
ISBN-13: 9780345505477; ISBN-10: 0345505476

Location(s) referenced in The Emperor's Tomb: Denmark, Belgium, Vietnam, China

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The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry

The Emperor's Tomb by A Cotton Malone Mystery

Publisher: Ballantine
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-345-50549-1
Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00

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