The Charlemagne Pursuit

Written by Steve Berry
Review by Ann Northfield

This is the seventh novel from this American author and the fourth in the Cotton Malone series. The book does refer to previous events in the life of the protagonist but is very much stand alone. On the back are endorsements from Dan Brown and Clive Cussler, and this novel is definitely in Da Vinci Code territory. Fans of these two authors and also John Grisham and David Baldacci would certainly find this book interesting.

The novel opens in 1971 with a dramatic scene in a top-secret submarine and then switches to a thrilling fight in a cable car in the snowy Alps. From then on, it is a rollercoaster ride involving conspiracies, gunfights, a hitman, a ruthless politician who will stop at nothing to achieve his ambitions, and dead bodies. All of this is wrapped up in a tale involving Charlemagne, ancient myths and legends, and even the Nazis. The main character is Cotton Malone, and part of the novel is concerned with his quest to find his father, missing along with the submarine. There are plenty of twists and turns, cover ups, crossing and double crossing. The constant switching between places and people can be a little confusing but also adds to the sense of the hectic nature of events. This novel won`t be winning any literary prizes anytime soon, but it is fast paced and action packed and would make a great holiday read.