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The Columbus Affair

Cover of The Columbus Affair

The Columbus Affair

A Novel (with bonus short story the Admiral's Mark)
A family's secret, a ruthless fanatic, and a covert arm of the American government--all are linked by a single puzzling possibility:What if everything we know about the discovery of America was a...More
A family's secret, a ruthless fanatic, and a covert arm of the American government--all are linked by a single puzzling possibility:What if everything we know about the discovery of America was a...More
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Description-
  • A family's secret, a ruthless fanatic, and a covert arm of the American government--all are linked by a single puzzling possibility:

    What if everything we know about the discovery of America was a lie? What if that lie was designed to hide the secret of why Columbus sailed in 1492? And what if that 500-year-old secret could violently reshape the modern political world?

    Pulitzer Prize--winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when one of his stories from the Middle East is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile--haunted by bad decisions and a shocking truth he can never prove: that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger. This stranger forces Sagan to act--and his actions attract the attention of the Magellan Billet, a top-secret corps of the United States Justice Department that deals with America's most sensitive investigations. Sagan suddenly finds himself caught in an international incident, the repercussions of which will shudder not only Washington, D.C., but also Jerusalem. Coaxed into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, unsure who's friend and who's foe, Sagan is forced to Vienna, Prague, then finally into the Blue Mountains of Jamaica--where his survival hinges on his rewriting everything we know about Christopher Columbus.

    Don't miss Steve Berry's short story "The Admiral's Mark" and a sneak peek of his new novel, The King's Deception, in the back of the book.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter ONE

    Tom Sagan gripped the gun. He'd thought about this moment for the past year, debating the pros and cons, finally deciding that one pro outweighed all cons.

    He simply did not want to live any longer.

    He'd once been an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, knocking down a solid six-figure salary, his marquee byline generating one front-page, above-the-fold story after another. He'd worked all over the world--Sarajevo, Beijing, Johannesburg, Belgrade, and Moscow. But the Middle East became his specialty, a place he came to know intimately, where his reputation had been forged. His confidential files were once filled with hundreds of willing sources, people who knew he'd protect them at all costs. He'd proved that when he spent eleven days in a DC jail for failing to reveal his source on a story about a corrupt Pennsylvania congressman.

    That man had gone to prison.

    Tom had received his third Pulitzer nomination.

    There were twenty-one awarded categories. One was for "distinguished investigative reporting by an individual or team, reported as a single newspaper article or a series." Winners received a certificate, $10,000, and the ability to add three precious words--Pulitzer Prize winner--to their names.

    He won his.

    But they took it back.

    Which seemed the story of his life.

    Everything had been taken back.

    His career, his reputation, his credibility, even his self-respect. In the end he became a failure as a son, a father, a husband, a reporter, and a friend. A few weeks ago he'd charted that spiral on a pad, identifying that it all started when he was twenty-five, fresh out of the University of Florida, top third of his class, a journalism degree in hand.

    Then his father disowned him.

    Abiram Sagan had been unrelenting.

    "We all make choices. Good. Bad. Indifferent. You're a grown man, Tom, and have made yours. Now I have to make mine."

    And that he had.

    On that same pad he'd jotted down the highs and lows. Some from before, as editor of his high school paper and campus reporter at college. Most after. His rise from news assistant, to staff reporter, to senior international correspondent. The awards. Accolades. Respect from his peers. How had one observer described his style? "Wide-ranging and prescient reporting conducted at great personal risk."

    Then his divorce.

    The estrangement from his only child. Poor investment decisions. Even poorer life decisions.

    Finally, his firing.

    Eight years ago.

    And the seemingly nothing life since.

    Most of his friends were gone. But that was as much his fault as theirs. As his personal depression had deepened he'd withdrawn into himself. Amazing he hadn't turned to alcohol or drugs, but neither had ever appealed to him.

    Self-pity was his intoxicant.

    He stared around at the house's interior.

    He'd decided to die, here, in his parents' home. Fitting, in some morbid way. Thick layers of dust and a musty smell reminded him that for three years the rooms had sat empty. He'd kept the utilities on, paid the meager taxes, and had the lawn cut just enough so the neighbors wouldn't complain. Earlier, he'd noticed that the sprawling mulberry tree out front needed trimming, the picket fence painting.

    He hated it here. Too many ghosts.

    He walked the rooms, remembering happier days. In the kitchen he could still see the jars of his mother's jam that once lined the windowsill. The thought of her brought a wave of an unusual joy that quickly faded.

    He should write a note and explain himself, blame somebody or something. But to who? Or what? Nobody would believe him if he...

About the Author-
  • Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15,000,000 printed copies in 51 countries.

    History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's this passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, that led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have traveled across the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners, and their popular writers' workshops. To date, nearly 2,000 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award and the 2013 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers. His novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award, and his historic preservation work merited the 2013 Silver Bullet from International Thriller Writers.

    Steve Berry was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers--a group of more than 2,000 thriller writers from around the world--and served three years as its co-president.

    For more information, visit www.steveberry.org.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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Steve Berry
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Steve Berry
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