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The Alexandria Link
Cover of The Alexandria Link
The Alexandria Link
Cotton Malone Series, Book 2
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive interview with the author
Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: "You have something I want. You're the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don't hear from you, you will be childless." His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone's Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

A cradle of ideas–historical, philosophical, literary, scientific, and religious–the Library of Alexandria was unparalleled in the world. But fifteen hundred years ago, it vanished into the mists of myth and legend–its vast bounty of wisdom coveted ever since by scholars, fortune hunters, and those who believe its untold secrets hold the key to ultimate power.
Now a cartel of wealthy international moguls, bent on altering the course of history, is desperate to breach the library's hallowed halls–and only Malone possesses the information they need to succeed. At stake is an explosive ancient document with the potential not only to change the destiny of the Middle East but to shake the world's three major religions to their very foundations.
Pursued by a lethal mercenary, Malone crosses the globe in search of answers. His quest will lead him to England and Portugal, even to the highest levels of American government–and the shattering outcome, deep in the Sinai desert, will have worldwide repercussions.
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive interview with the author
Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: "You have something I want. You're the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don't hear from you, you will be childless." His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone's Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

A cradle of ideas–historical, philosophical, literary, scientific, and religious–the Library of Alexandria was unparalleled in the world. But fifteen hundred years ago, it vanished into the mists of myth and legend–its vast bounty of wisdom coveted ever since by scholars, fortune hunters, and those who believe its untold secrets hold the key to ultimate power.
Now a cartel of wealthy international moguls, bent on altering the course of history, is desperate to breach the library's hallowed halls–and only Malone possesses the information they need to succeed. At stake is an explosive ancient document with the potential not only to change the destiny of the Middle East but to shake the world's three major religions to their very foundations.
Pursued by a lethal mercenary, Malone crosses the globe in search of answers. His quest will lead him to England and Portugal, even to the highest levels of American government–and the shattering outcome, deep in the Sinai desert, will have worldwide repercussions.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    ONE

    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Tuesday, October 4
    The present

    1:45 am

    Cotton Malone stared straight into the face of trou- ble. Outside his bookshop's open front door stood his ex-wife, the last person on earth he'd expected to see. He quickly registered panic in her tired eyes, remembered the pounding that had awoken him a few minutes before, and instantly thought of his son.

    "Where's Gary?" he asked.

    "You son of a bitch. They took him. Because of you. They took him." She lunged forward, her closed fists crashing down onto his shoulders. "You sorry son of a bitch." He grabbed her wrists and stopped the attack as she started crying. "I left you because of this. I thought this kind of thing was over."

    "Who took Gary?" More sobs were his answer. He kept hold of her arms. "Pam. Listen to me. Who took Gary?"

    She stared at him. "How the hell am I supposed to know?"

    "What are you doing here? Why didn't you go to the police?"

    "Because they said not to. They said if I went anywhere near the police, Gary was dead. They said they would know, and I believed them."

    "Who's they?"

    She wrenched her arms free, her face flooded with anger. "I don't know. All they said was for me to wait two days, then come here and give you this." She rummaged through her shoulder bag and produced a phone. Tears continued to rain down her cheeks. "They said for you to go online and open your e-mail."

    Had he heard right? Go online and open your e-mail?

    He flipped open the phone and checked the frequency. Enough megahertz to make it world-capable. Which made him wonder. Suddenly he felt vulnerable. Højbro Plads was quiet. At this late hour no one roamed the city square.

    His senses came alive.

    "Get inside." And he yanked her into the shop and closed the door. He hadn't switched on any lights.

    "What is it?" she asked, her voice shredded by fear.

    He faced her. "I don't know, Pam. You tell me. Our son has apparently been taken by God-knows-who, and you wait two days before telling a soul about it? That didn't strike you as insane?"

    "I wasn't going to jeopardize his life."

    "And I would? How have I ever done that?"

    "By being you," she said in a frigid tone, and he instantly recalled why he no longer lived with her.

    A thought occurred to him. She'd never been to Denmark. "How did you find me?"

    "They told me."

    "Who the hell is they?"

    "I don't know, Cotton. Two men. Only one did the talking. Tall, dark-haired, flat face."

    "American?"

    "How would I know?"

    "How did he speak?"

    She seemed to catch hold of herself. "No. Not American. They had accents. European."

    He motioned with the phone. "What am I supposed to do with this?"

    "He said to open your e-mail and it would be explained."

    She glanced nervously around at the shelves cast in shadows. "Upstairs, right?"

    Gary would have told her he lived over the store. He certainly hadn't. They'd spoken only once since he'd retired from the Justice Department and left Georgia last year, and that had been two months back, in August, when he'd brought Gary home after their summer visit. She'd coldly told him that Gary was not his natural son. Instead the boy was the product of an affair from sixteen years ago, her response to his own infidelity. He'd wrestled with that demon ever since and had not, as yet, come to terms with its implications. One thing he'd decided at the time—he had no intention of ever speaking to Pam Malone again. Whatever needed to be said would be said between him and Gary.

    But things seemed to have changed.

    "Yeah," he...
About the Author-
  • Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 18,000,000 copies in 51 countries.

    History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's this passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, that led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have traveled across the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners, and their popular writers' workshops. To date, nearly 2,500 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students, and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award and the 2013 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers. His novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award, and his historic preservation work merited the 2013 Silver Bullet from International Thriller Writers.

    Steve Berry was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers—a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world—and served three years as its co-president.

    For more information, visit www.steveberry.org.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Berry's novel aspires to be the latest incarnation of THE DA VINCI CODE. Retired Justice Department Investigator Cotton Malone's son is kidnapped by people seeking the "Alexandria Link." Of course, Malone, who is now a bookseller in Copenhagen, knows where the link is but cannot reveal it. The story travels the globe, ignoring history at every turn. No matter how hard he tries, Scott Brick cannot rescue this thriller, which is long and tedious. Brick uses all of the tricks in his arsenal, including the wry tone that sets him apart from most other narrators. In the end, despite Brick's efforts, THE ALEXANDRIA LINK remains the type of book that generates more controversy than it merits. D.J.S. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 2007
    At the start of bestseller Berry's second thriller to feature Cotton Malone (after The Templar Legacy), Malone, a former employee of the covert branch of the U.S. Justice Department, is trying to lead a secluded life as a bookseller in Copenhagen. Unsurprisingly, that hope is short-lived when his son is kidnapped and his ex-wife, Pam, asks for his help in rescuing the boy. The abductors intend to force Malone to reveal what he knows about the survival of the legendary lost library of Alexandria, which may hold ancient texts that could undermine Israel's claim to biblical legitimacy. Malone and his allies get mixed up in Washington intrigue and double-dealing as they try to identify the high-level traitor seeking to use the secret sources to change the dynamics of the Middle East. Characters implausibly leave enemies unsecured, placing themselves in unnecessary jeopardy, while the notion that the texts could have the desired effect may strike some readers as too far-fetched. Predictable plots twists (like the growing rapprochement between Malone and Pam) and superficial treatment of the issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians are further minuses.

  • AudioFile Magazine Erik Singer assumes the persona of Cotton Malone, former operative for the U.S. State Department, with a crisp narration. He depicts the retiree, now a rare books dealer, without any hint of his former profession. However, when Malone receives an anonymous email and learns his teenaged son has been taken hostage from his ex-wife's home, his adventures begins anew. The ransom: he must locate the long lost Library of Alexandria, or his son will be dismembered, one piece at a time. Singer uses a versatile talent and vocal range to skillfully portray American and Middle Eastern accents as his quest leads to the highest levels of the U.S. Government. Singer captures the rising tension and tight pacing with a matching cadence that keeps listeners involved. G.D.W. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Tucson Citizen "Richly detailed and fantastically suspenseful, this thriller grips the reader for a wild literary ride that continues until the very last page."
  • Orlando Sentinel "A racy read . . . skillfully combines Vatican insights, old-fashioned thrills, intrigue, murder, ambition and retribution."
  • David Morrell, author of Creepers "Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike. Fabulous plot twists."
  • Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code "Sexy, illuminating . . . my kind of thriller."
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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