The Columbus Affair

columbusThe Columbus Affair
by Steve Berry
2012 / 165 pages
read by Scott Brick
rating –  A-

If you enjoy thrillers with a bit of  historical bent ala Dan Brown (and I did enjoy the first book but never believed it) – then The Columbus Affair might be just your cup of something.  This is the second of the two books my son gifted me and I want to get it read before the deluge of new books by old favorite authors hits in Sept.

Because very little is actually verified about Christopher Columbus he’s an apt subject for a novel like this.  At the time Columbus found the New World the Jews in Spain were under serious challenge from the inquisition.  We know that many Jews came over starting in 1494 but could Columbus, who wrote little of his own background,  have been a Jew in hiding – converted for self-preservation but still practicing his faith in private?  There is so little information and only a few clues – maybe … let’s suspend our disbelief –

Tom Sagan, a discredited and broken investigative reporter living in Florida,  is readying himself for suicide when there is a knock on the window and a picture of his daughter face down on the ground. He has a strong  Jewish background but converted to Christianity and then wrote an article on Jewish extremists (as well as Palestinians)  which got him in massive trouble.

Alle Beckett – his daughter, who is Jewish by conversion,  is told by her grandfather, Tom’s father, an outline of information about something in his grave – she was told to put it there.

Zachariah Simon is an extremist Israeli who manages to get Allie to go along with him in finding the grave.  There is something in Alle’s grandfathers’s grave –  who will get it,  what is it?  To what lengths will some folks go to

The small package turns out to contain  instructions on how to get some sacred objects which were rescued from the Second Temple in Jerusalem and stashed in Jamaica by Columbus. The Jamaican Maroons have held them safe – until now.

I enjoyed the premise and the history (which I take with about a teaspoon of salt but it’s fun).   The “Writer’s Note”  at the end is very helpful.  The writing was appropriate to a thinking person’s fast-paced thriller  and it wasn’t ever too bloody.   Thanks, Sunshine!   🙂

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