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I almost have to feel sorry for people who write in this genre of mining historical mysteries for fiction. Dan Brown took up all the oxygen in the room, and everyone (at least for the foreseeable future) will be stuck with the label of Dan Brown rip-off.
The Alexandria Link is based on the mystery of the lost library of Alexandria which allegedly contained all of the greatest knowledge in the history of mankind, including original writings from the days of Christ and before. The premise of this novel is its strongest point, and also leads it to infuriate some readers. What if the land that God dedicated to Abraham and all of his descendents, the land now occupied by Israel and Palestine, wasn't really where we've always thought it was? What if the land referred to in the Old Testmanent was really in West Arabia, in the holiest of Muslim lands in what is now Saudi Arabia? What would that do to the major religions of the world?
That's interesting. But the characters don't do the premise justice. Cotton Malone, the main character and a repeat for Steve Berry, is a Dirk Pitt type of guy who is macho and sensitive enough. The problem is that there are multiple subplots going at the same time in that "end a chapter in one voice start the next in another" kind of way, which can be confusing. And the character of the President of the United States is just too average and accessible. I couldn't buy some of his interactions with the other characters.
If you're new to Steve Berry, I'd read The Amber Room first. This newest bestseller is not bad, but better if you read it fast from start to finish and don't think about it too much inbetween. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio, I'm Amanda Dickson.