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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review: Riddle of Berlin by Cym Lowell

This is an engaging and tense thriller.
Riddle of Berlin by Cym Lowell

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: IUniverse (June 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780595426652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595426652
     Genre: International Thriller
     My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
    Product Description
Riddle of Berlin is the story of John C. Jaëgerman. At the plateau of middle age frustration. In Paris, a voice in the water entices his leap from a parapet overlooking the Seine River at Notre Dame. A disfigured body without memory is lifted from the water days later by a gypsy nurse (Carmen) seeking her own path, embodiment of the voice. A campaign of terror engulfs the world. Thousands perish in terrorist incidents in Europe and California. Government is impotent to protect innocent citizens from brutal evisceration. Instigated by a shadowy arms trader, cleverly casting responsibility on others through an Internet site, insurance money laundering and government customers. Riddle of Berlin puts the integrity of NATO on the line, led by popular black American Vice President Lucius Alcorn. A man without fingerprints or history awakens on the Danube. Carmen calls him Del, my deliverer. Orange Girl at the Louvre attracts attention to the declared death of her father on the streets of Paris, becoming engulfed herself in the Riddle. Jaëgerman is deemed the terrorist. Del crafts resolution of the Riddle. Reliving thrills of danger as he tastes new love with Carmen. Denouement brings the choice of everyman. Home is where it was, is or could be? Can we ever return?
Review: I was quickly drawn by the action, the terror and the intrigue.

John C. Jaëgerman has disclosed a fraud scheme to the executives in his company but no one seems to care. The fight has gone out of John and he walks away. When his bloated body is pulled from the Seine by Carmen he thinks she is an angel. While Carmen is nursing the injured man, her deliverer or Del, back to health, a lot of terror is happening.

Mark Anton is a wealthy young man living in Berlin. He made his riches by developing a website that allows the trading of sports memorabilia. He got the idea for the business plan from his teacher mother, Dr. Lucy Anton.  Unexpectedly authorities show up in Mark’s home to arrest him for terrorism and treason. Just when they appear, a full blown attack occurs leaving Mark standing with an assault rifle amidst a lot of bodies and a lot of confusion. Mark goes on the run and has one narrow escape after another, leaving carnage behind him each time. His mother is also arrested as a co-conspirator.

Dr. Lucy was a teacher and good friend to the Vice President, Lucius Alcorn. He is already helping with the NATO investigations and is pulled further into the action because he doesn’t think his former teacher could be guilty. He thinks the evidence pointing to the “Alton Gang” is too pat and unsupported.
Del/John begins to take back his strong life, rebuilding his previous military honed strength, dedication to the mission and honor. Slowly he remembers details of the past. Coincidence brings Mark to the boat where Del has been sheltered and Del realizes that things are not as they appear. John's name has been linked with the “Anton gang” and his daughter, who came searching for him, has disappeared. Del takes up the battle to find the true terrorists.

Del and Mark, with the help of Carmen, have to stay one step ahead of the terrorist who is out to destroy them.  The Vice President is working from a different angle but they are all on a seven day count down before the next bombs are set to go off.

This is good intrigue, fast paced action with a soft romance blended in. Carmen almost has the quality of an angel at times and the only inaccuracy that troubled me was how she went in just a few weeks from not understanding English to being able to follow detailed planning between Mark and Del in what I am sure were English conversations. But if you let that issue slide the rest of the story keeps you turning pages through tense anticipation and sometimes anguished emotion. I also enjoyed the riddled taunts by the terrorist. I recommend this for a fast paced thriller.
I was provided a copy of this book by the author some time ago and I am only sorry I took so long to get around to enjoying it.

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