Give this man credit: whereas most lawyers who decide to write a novel stay fairly close to home, Berry, a Georgia trial attorney, wanders far off the beaten path. Although his debut novel features a trial judge as its central character and opens with a pretty typical courtroom scene, it soon steps outside the courtroom--way outside. When Judge Rachel Cutler's father dies under suspicious circumstances, he leaves his daughter tantalizing clues to a decades-old secret: the Amber Room, an exquisite treasure that, so the legend goes, was appropriated by the Nazis when they invaded the Soviet Union. Now, to find out why her father died, and who's responsible, Rachel (with her ex-husband, Paul) heads off to Germany, where she hopes to find the truth about the Amber Room. Based loosely, very loosely, on certain historical events, the novel is plotted cleverly and written with style and substance. A welcome change from the usual legal-thriller fare from wanna-be Turows.
Very fun and not annoying as Dan Brown's DaVinci Code! Treasure hunters, assassins, secrets, intrigue, Nazi/Russian amber... and a divorced couple caught in the middle. Very fast read, interesting facts of lost European treasures.
I was very excited to start this book, but it didn't last long. I was expecing a fast paced thriller, a treasure hunt type book. I didn't get it. It started very slow, and never really picked up. I couldn't get into any of the characters, good or bad, and therefore had no one to cheer on. And the writing was so flat it was like being lectured. I applaud the author for the amount of research he did for this novel, but the story itself never seemed to move out of 2nd gear. I'd heard many good things about this book, but none of them made themselves apparent to me.
This a wonderful book, by Steve Berry,an author so admired by his peers that the top banner is taken over by a review from Dan Brown. This book is exciting and wonderful from page 1 through to the end. Cleverly plotted and written with both style and substance. An absolute jewel of a book.
I love all of Steve Berry's books. All contain a puzzler dealing with history which makes for fascinating reading. This one revolves around the room made of amber which was supposed secreted away during war.
This was an excellent book. If you are a fan of books like The DaVinci Code,thsi book is for you. The plot centers around the search for the Amber Room, lost shortly after WW II. I enjoyed this book as much or more than The Romanov Prophecy, also by Berry.
The story is told from the perspective of two common people that find themselves involved in an international art thievery plot... with killers that try to stop them from discovering the secret surrounding the Amber Room.
The suspense keeps growing and at time the story seems to be at an end, and then another event happens and the story twists again.
The history and mystery of the Amber Room is fascinating and Berry draws all the best from its lore to add weight to his narrative. The settings are detailed and interesting. The villains are more complex than your standard bad guys. The plot clips along at a near cinematic speed. Diverting and entertaining with a decent quality of writing that while it doesn't approach "great" literature, it's engaging enough that you won't care.
This was a great book---and Steve Berry has a knack for taking a mystery out of the history books and putting his own slant on it. This one is about the theft of panels of pure amber, stolen from the Catherine Palace at Tsarscoe Selo, Russia by the Nazis during WWII. The story takes place in current times, with the main character finding clues as to where the Nazis have hidden the panels. Excellent!
I love Steve Berry, I have read most of his books. I especially enjoy the bits of history we receive while reading the story. This book however good as it was lacked believability in the story, with all the tough characters in the book to have the story end as it did left me wondering what?
Very good! Loved the characters, the action was non-stick, the story-line was based on fact--all good. The relationships were so real, and the two "hitmen" were both sexy as all get out. Good read, I recommend it.
A friend, knowing of my love for mysteries, recommended Steve Berry to me. What I most enjoyed about this book were the historical tidbits I picked up. While the prose is a bit simple and the sex scenes something out of Penthouse Forum, it was still a satisfying read.
I enjoyed this book. Some aspects of the plot failed to jell for me like the running off and leaving your children to chase after something that might be the answer. The collector's club, sure, why not but entire groups of people maintaining the secrets of these collectors, not so much. I will try another Steve Berry and see where it takes me.
Fun book to read, if a bit predictable. I actually had read his latest book first, The Templar Legacy, which is what made em want to read this. While Templar Legacy is definitely better, this is still a decent book.
This book was recommended by a friend and I did enjoy it. There have been some specials on public TV recently about stolen art from WWII and having read this book made that more interesting for me to watch.
3 stars - a lot of interesting background on Nazi art thefts. the characters were not as fully developed as I would have liked, especially the 2 main characters(husband and ex-wife) and the tertiary character(documentarian/treasure hunter). But all in all, an interesting story to read at the beach
Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler loves her job and kids, and remains civil to her ex-husband, Paul. But everything changes when her father dies under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind clues to a secret about something called the Amber Room. Rachel takes off for Germany with Paul close behind. Locked into a treacherous game with professional killers they are in over their heads. Plotted cleverly and written with style and substance. A good thriller.
A fun, slightly dated book. The action takes place just before the restoration of the Amber room. Fun to read about what could have happened to the original, and not too hard to believe that it could be true.
Wonderfully suspenseful story with just enough romance thrown in for a woman's attention-getting (not too much to detract a man from the story). I never knew there was such a thing as the Amber Room and now I'm off on a history-reading tangent for yet another sideline to WWII. That's the mark of a great suspense novel for me--that it makes me want to research for myself the premise behind the story...
I loved all the history in this story. Steve Berry does an wonderful job of fact finding and research for his books. If you have an interest in art, German history or War history, this is a must read. His ability to engage is absolute, his characters in this story are vivid/
First-time novelist Berry weighs in with a hefty thriller that's long on interesting research but short on thrills. Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler and ex-husband Paul are divorced but still care for each other. Rachel's father, Karol Borya, knows secrets about the famed Amber Room, a massive set of intricately carved panels crafted from the precious substance and looted by Nazis during WWII from Russia's Catherine Palace. The disappearance of the panels, which together formed a room, remains one of the world's greatest unsolved art mysteries. Borya's secret gets him killed as two European industrialists/art collectors go head to head in a deadly race to find the fabled room.
This revelatory and startling book solves a 60-year mystery about the eighth wonder of the world--an ambitious and valuable work of art that was stolen by the Nazis from the palace in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1942.
For me the enjoyment of this novel came from the way it walks the line between reality and imagination. Mr. Berry meticulously researched this novel and employed what he learned to good effect. Characterization is also handled well, with both protagonists and antagonists well written. Most of the action is at least somewhat plausible, with perhaps the exception of the very end, which belongs more to a Die Hard movie than a well executed novel. While reading this novel, treat yourself to web sites with pictures of both the actual pre-WWII room and the new reconstruction. http://www.amberroom.org/
I didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. It's well written and I loved the historical facts woven in with the story. I'll be honest, I didn't enjoy the main characters much, but I adored the two main assassins and the competition between them throughout the book. A great read for people that like historically based thrillers.
Overall, a somewhat disappointing read: Yes, it's a fast page-turner, but the story itself is full of holes and the characters are neither believable nor likable. It's also rather sexist - the two main female characters (Monika and Suzanne) are consistently referred to as "bitch" and seem to be driven mainly by jealousy, whereas the main male characters are referred to by their names. There are a lot of gratuitous little sex-scenes that do nothing for the story. Besides, when you include German words/names/sentences - at least make sure they are correct!
This was a fun, fast read. It wasn't all that much of a mystery, though the WWII aspect was definitely interesting. The characters were pretty fun too and it's always nice to see a couple reunited(though they weren't very convincing parents).
This is a wonderful book! It was difficult to start but after the first few pages, you can't put it down. There is intrigue along with history! There is speculation that the Amber Room really existed. The fiction is the story line outside of the Amber Room and its mystery, kind of like an Indiana Jones basis with lots of twists and turns.
For this particular copy, there is a cover, just not one that was one of the options to choose from so I put no cover available; yet there is a cover, the real cover.
Try this book if you'd like to step out of the ordinary into some fascinating reading... a good book for a man as well as a woman.
Mr. Berry never ever disappoints. I think this is the second book I have read of his and I have gone on to read them all. The one particularly caught my attention because of the detailed description of the opulence of Russia under the Romanoff's and what became of their treasures. Read it, it's a great read.
This adventure story by Steve Berry is a stand alone book. It is not from the Cotton Malone series. Full of fast paced thrills, a page turner for sure!! This is Berry's first novel and it sets the pace for all his books that followed. Read it sitting on the edge of your chair and enjoy!!!
I found this book to be a very entertaining read. Lots of interesting historical facts mixed in with well-developed characters and action-packed plot. Steve Berry did a lot of research and it shows. Lots of information about the lost Amber Room, World War II and the search for lost treasure. I am also looking forward to reading my next Steve Berry novel.
Forged of the exquisite gem, the Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man--and the subject of one of history's most intriguing mysteries. German troops invading the Soviet Union seized the Room in 1941. When the Allies started their bombing, the Room was hidden, and it has never been seen since. But now the hunt has begun once more.
Forged of the exquisite gem, the Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man..and the subject of one of history's most intriguing mysteries. German troops invading the Soviet Union siezed the Room in 1941. When the Allies started their bombing, the Room was hidden, and it has never been seen since. But now the hunt has begun once more...
Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler loves her job and her kids and remains civil to her ex-husband, Paul. But everything changes when her father dies under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind clues to a secreat about something called the Amber Room. Desperate for the truth, Rachel takes off for Germany, with Paul close behind. Before long, they're in over their heads. Locked into a treacherous game with professional killers, Rachel and Paul find themselves on a collision course with the forces of greed, power, and history itself.
Great thriller that keeps you hooked on reading to the end...and holding your breath in places.
Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler loves her job and her kids, but her life takes a dark turn when her father dies under strange circumstances, leaving behind clues to a secret about one of the greatest treasures ever made by man.
From the book cover: "Sexy, illuminating, and confident...a globe trotting treasure hunt packed with exotic locales, sumptuous art, nd ruthless villians. Magnificently engrossing, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun"
Forged of the exquisite gem, the Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man- and the subject of one of historys most intriguing mysteries. German troops invading the Soviet Union seized the room in 1941, when the Allies started their bombing the room was hidden, and it has never been seen. But now the hunt has begun once more...
REALLY GOOD! I UNDERSTAND WHY HE IS ON THE BEST SELLERS LIST. THE PLOT TWISTS AND TURNS AND I HAD TO KEEP GOING BACK TO REVIEW- WE HAVE A REMEMBRENCE OF SURVIVORS OF CONCENTRATION CAMPS IN BIRMINGHAM RIGHT NOW AND WOW- THIS BOOK WAS RIGHT ON!
Atlanta judge Pachel Cutler loves her job abd her kids, but everything changes when her father dies under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind clues to a secret about something called the Amber Room. The Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man anad the subject of one of history's most intriguing mmysteries.