THE Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry takes the reader on a breathless trip of events that chase the pages one after another. At least three groups of people are on a treasure hunt, hidden by Napoleon. When he was imprisoned, he passed on the information to his son, then a little boy, by using coded language. They are just Roman numbers.
The Paris Club, a financial mafia headed by a woman. Henrik Thorvaldsen, an immensely rich man and one of the chief characters in action, is out to annihilate one of the members of the group. Henrik believes that this man Graham Ashby killed his teenager son as part of an international conspiracy two years earlier. Henrik is on his trail and wants to kill him with his own hand.
The plot thickens with the deciphering of the code by Ashby’s mistress. The book used for the code turns out to the Bible. Following the words in the psalms and other verses, she locates the treasure. Ashby is trailed by Henrik and Lyon, who is after the money.
In the Church, under renovation, a bloody crime scene is enacted, with cross firing from several ends. Ashby is killed by Lyon though Henrik shoots him first. Lyon is in turn killed by Henrik’s friend. The underhand international political and financial intrigues and foul play is astounding. Yet another fast moving novel from the author of The Venetian Betrayal. -DVP
(Hachette India, 612/614 (6th floor) Time Tower, MG Road, Sector-28, Gurgaon-122 001; www.hachaette.co.uk)