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Books 116 & 117: The Paris Vendetta and Undead and Unappreciated

Book 116: The Paris Vendetta (Cotton Malone Book 5).
Author: Steve Berry, 2010.
Genre: Action/adventure. Conspiracy Thriller.
Other Details: Hardback. 418 pages.

Cotton Malone has only recently returned to Copenhagen following the events of The Charlemagne Pursuit. He is woken up by the noise of someone breaking into his bookshop (again!). This time it is Sam Collins, a young Secret Service agent with two assassins closing in on him. The young man claims to have been sent by Malone's close friend Danish tycoon, Henrik Thorvaldsen. After a furious fire fight they escape and travel to Thorvaldsen's estate.

There Henrik informs Cotton that he has uncovered details of The Paris Club, a cabal of multi-millionaires whose goal is to manipulative the global economy for their own profit. He enlists Cotton's aid though is less forthcoming about his vendetta against one of the Club's members, the man responsible for his son's murder. This desire for revenge soon become all consuming. Cotton finds that his loyalties are divided between Henrik and the interests of the United States as represented by his former employer, Stephanie Nelle.

I do enjoy these annual adventures for Cotton Malone and his associates. This again was a fast-paced thriller that hardly stopped to take a breath as characters raced between Denmark, England and of course, Paris. Although the search for Napoleon's lost treasure does feature in the story, this was much closer to a conventional spy/political thriller. It also marked an important turning point for Cotton and I am looking forward to the UK publication of the next in the series to see how things work out in light of events.

Steve Berry's page on 'The Paris Vendetta' with links to excerpt, Q&A and images of locations featured in the novel.

Book 117: Undead and Unappreciated (Undead/Queen Betsy Book 03).
Author: MaryJanice Davidson, 2005.
Genre: Supernatural Chick Lit. Comedy.
Other Details: Unabridged audiobook; Length: 6 hours, 4 mins. Read by Nancy Wu.

In this third outing for ditzy footwear-addicted vampire queen Betsy Taylor she learns that she has a half-sister, Laura, who is the daughter of Satan herself. If that wasn't complicated enough, there is a prophesy in the vampires' Book of the Dead that states that the devil's offspring will take over the world. Betsy really isn't into world domination and so rather hopes that Laura feels the same.

This was quite short and provided a fun listen in the car as no real thinking was required to follow the plot. I am rather warming to Betsy even if I am clueless about shoes and have never really understood the fascination. There still remains a fair amount of effing and blinding in the text (though actually just effing as I don't think Betsy knows more than one swear word).
Tags: adventure, audio book, chicklit, conspiracy fiction, paranormal, thriller, vampires
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