Book review: ‘Columbus Affair’ filled with twists and turns

Book review: ‘Columbus Affair’ filled with twists and turns

May 15, 2012, Tuesday/ 17:11:00/ AP

Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Sagan was considered one of the best writers in the world.

His hard-hitting pieces were legendary. But when a thoroughly researched article appears to be fabricated, Sagan’s career and reputation are shattered. He’s stripped of his prize and his entire life becomes scrutinized. Both his marriage and his relationship with his daughter are destroyed. With no one believing that he’s innocent, and tired of writing without any acknowledgment, Sagan decides to end his torment.

He is shocked back into reality when Zachariah Simon walks into the room. Simon has Sagan’s daughter, and he threatens to kill the young woman unless he gets access to the body of Sagan’s father. When the coffin is exhumed, Sagan finds a note from his father. What is revealed in that piece of paper will send him on a journey to uncover a 500-year-old mystery involving the secret life of Christopher Columbus.

The stakes are high as the conspiracy unwinds slowly in this nail-biting story. The history of Columbus is fascinating, and much of his life both before and after 1492 will seem new and surprising to the reader.

Berry is a master at blending fact and fiction, and he provides a note at the end detailing the differences in the story. In so doing, he also reveals the depth of research he carried out to make the pieces of the puzzle come together.

Sagan is a complex character, and his quest for answers and redemption makes “The Columbus Affair” sing.

“The Columbus Affair,” by Steve Berry, published by Ballantine

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