The Alexandria Link


The Alexandria Link

infobox Book |
name = The Alexandria Link
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption =
author = Steve Berry
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States, US
language = English
series =
genre = Thriller, Historical
publisher = [http://www.ballantinebooks.com Ballantine Books] ,New York
release_date = 2007
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (paperback)
pages = 462
isbn = ISBN 978-0-345-49724-6
preceded_by = The Templar Legacy

"The Alexandria Link" is Steve Berry's fifth published novel, released in 2007. On the heels of Berry's "New York Times" best seller "The Templar Legacy", this is another fact-based thriller, based on the mystery of the ancient Library of Alexandria. An amalgam of fact and fiction, the novel received mixed responses from readers; mostly positive responses about the plot and the style of writing, but critical responses about the way the 1948 Arab-Israeli War is portrayed. [ [http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-02-18-1.html Critical review of Steve Berry's Alexandria Link by Orson Scott Card] ]

Extract: From the back page of the book

The Library of Alexandria was the most important collection of ancient knowledge ever assembled. The building stood for six hundred years and contained more than half a million manuscripts. Then suddenly it vanished. No trace of this literary treasure has ever been unearthed.

Fifteen hundred years after the library's disappearance, Cotton Malone finds himself at the heart of the mystery. His son is kidnapped, and his bookshop is attacked-all because he's the only man alive who knows the whereabouts of the Alexandria Link, the key to locating the missing library. Purposely hidden away for more than a millennium, a forgotten truth lies within that lost cache of knowledge - one that, if revealed, will have grave consequences not only for Malone but for the balance of world power.

Plot

Cotton Malone is the protagonist. The book starts in Palestine in 1948 – just as the state of Israel was being established. During the time of "nakba" (Catastrophe) - the war between Arabs and Israel, a man was captured by Arab soldiers and was taken to George Haddad who was surprised to know that this man is actually looking for his father and he has some hidden truth to share with. He mentions that Arabs are fighting a war that is not necessary, against an enemy that is misinformed. Unable to know more, the leader decides to shoot the mysterious man.

In present day Copenhagen, Denmark, Cotton Malone is in trouble. His son Gary is being held hostage by unknown enemies who want to trade the secret of the Alexandria Link, which Malone is the only living person aware of. His ex-wife Pam comes to him, and he receives an anonymous e-mail saying that he has only 72 hours to get it and trade with them. He and Pam visit Malone's influential friend Henrik Thorvaldsen's mansion to get some answers. A mysterious man, Dominick Sabre, is following him all the time.

Stephanie and her boss, US Attorney General Brent Green, contacts Larry Daley, the main contact in the White House who knows more than them about the Link. Green says that the Link is in fact a person named George Haddad, a Palestinian biblical soldier. But Daley disappointed them by disclosing the truth that this whole situation is just one game in the power play of the White House and Malone is just another player whose son's life is less important than the link itself.

Malone uses Henrik's computer to login to his "Magellan Billet" secure server, which was accessible to him when he used to work for justice department. He contacts his ex-boss, Stephanie Nelle for more information. She mentioned that there was some security breach and some secured files may have been exposed. Malone met the agent Durant, who works for Stephanie, but he gets killed before he learns more. Malone follows the killer and eventually rescues Gary after killing his captors. But apparently what he doesn't realize is that was the plan by Sabre, who had anticipated this from the start. He delivers this message to his employer, the mysterious Blue Chair, the head of "The Chairs", according to whom they has a difference of motivations in the Alexandria Link; while they want the link, the latter want it to be obliterate. Later Thorvaldsen revealed to Stephanie about the whereabouts of "The Chairs", that it's a re-created "Die Ordnung vom Goldenen Vlies" (The Order of the Golden Fleece) - a European economic cartel. The head of this circle is called the Blue Chair, currently Alfred Hermann, an Austrian industrialist. This circle has many controls over Europe and their highest priority is Middle East. When asked how he has obtained all this classified info, he mentions that he is a member. He promised Stephanie that he will go to the next winter meeting and obtain more info.

Malone is on his way with Pam to meet Haddad. He kept Gary at Thorvaldsen's mansion, hoping that will keep him safe. He goes to London with Pam and meets Haddad to know more about the Library of Alexandria and the mystery. Haddad told them about the probable translation inaccuracies of the Old Testament and how he is working to show how it has been translated from Old Hebrew. But before he finishes explaining everything to Malone, Israel's paid assassins come and kill Haddad. When Malone comes back to Haddad's room for any information, he finds that the dead body is gone.

Stephanie meets Heather Dixon, an Israeli citizen attached to the Washington mission, but she told her that not only Haddad is a trouble, but so is Stephanie and tries to kill her. Cassiopeia Vitt, Thorvaldsen's associate, comes out of nowhere and tranquilizes her with magnum air pistol's dirt. Stephanie is surprised to know that Brent Green himself ordered her security men away, but later comes to know that Henrik himself told Green to do that. Green helps her to know a lot about the current situation and reveals that Pam Malone might be the conduit of Israel. Sabre meets Malone and Pam and tries to buy some information from them in exchange for some info they don't know about and thus asks them to decode a word-play of Haddad. Henrik flies to Austria with Gary to attend the Order of Golden fleece's meeting, thus playing a psychological game with Hermann.

Editions

*ISBN 978-0-345-49724-6 (paperback) (2007)

References

* [http://www.randomhouse.com/rhpg/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345485755 Official page for "The Alexandria Link" in Ballantine Books]
* [http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345485755&view=auqa Interview with Steve Berry about "The Alexandria Link"]
* [http://www.powells.com/biblio?show=HARDCOVER:USED:9780345485755:17.95 Review on The Alexandria Link]
* "For those in need of a comparison, think Jack Bauer and the hit television series 24....Berry's on a roll. And Hollywood must be paying attention." - Los Angeles Times

References


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