2 stars · 2011 · fiction · mystery · thriller

review; the amber room

Title: The Amber Room
Author: Steve Berry
Publisher/Pub. Date: Ballantine Books/2003
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Summary: The Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man: an entire room forged of exquisite amber, from its four massive walls to its finely crafted furniture. But it is also the subject of one of history’s most intriguing mysteries. Originally commissioned in 1701 by Frederick I of Prussia, the Room was later perfected Tsarskoe Selo, the Russian imperial city. In 1941, German troops invaded the Soviet Union, looting everything in their wake and seizing the Amber Room. When the Allies began the bombing of Germany in August 1944, the Room was hidden. And despite the best efforts of treasure hunters and art collectors from around the world, it has never been seen again.

Now, two powerful men have set their best operatives loose in pursuit, and the hunt has begun once more. . . .

Life is good for Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler. She loves her job, loves her kids, and remains civil to her ex-husband, Paul. But everything changes when her father, a man who survived the horrors of World War II, dies under strange circumstances—and leaves behind clues to a secret he kept his entire life . . . a secret about something called the Amber Room.

Desperate to know the truth about her father’s suspicious dealings, Rachel takes off for Germany, with Paul close behind. Shortly after arriving, they find themselves involved with a cast of shadowy characters who all claim to share their quest. But as they learn more about the history of the treasure they seek, Rachel and Paul realize they’re in way over their heads. Locked in a treacherous game with ruthless professional killers and embroiled in a treasure hunt of epic proportions, Rachel and Paul suddenly find themselves on a collision course with the forces of power, evil, and history itself.

I’ve mentioned time and time again that I adore Berry. I think he’s simply fantastic. His books are always so interesting and the pacing is perfect.

That said, this book took me over a month to finish. I have no idea what happened. It wasn’t bad, but there was something about it that stopped me from plowing through it in a weekend.

Berry always does such in-depth research and The Amber Room is no different. There were times when I was reading where I’d have to stop and head to the Internet to read more about a specific person/place or look at images. I love that about his novels; I’m always continuing the research long after the book has ended.

One of Berry’s downfalls is the sheer number of characters he includes in his books. I couldn’t keep track of all the bad guys and a few times I’d wind up confused while reading. I had no idea who was who.

It upsets me to make such a lackluster review. Steve Berry is a really great author who has some excellent books. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my favorite.


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