The Amber Room
2003, Random House
Here is a plot summary from Steve Berry’s website:
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.
This is listed as Steve Berry’s first novel and is a stand-alone novel. I thought I had read this before, but I seem not to have. Anyway, it is a fun read with a lot of great information about the mysterious Amber Room. I had heard about the room (I think there’s a documentary some where) but this has lots of details; enough to make me want to Google it, which I did, which added to the story.
The main characters are good and likeable enough, but the villains are better. The main characters are somewhat typical for a divorced couple forced to collaborate and work together. It’s almost disappointing for this to be a stand-alone novel, not because of the good guys but because of the bad guys. I wanted to hear more of a backstory on those characters and the organizations
The book does take you through time as well as a lot of great locations. It gives a personality to historical figures such as Goring and other Nazis which adds more to the intrigue of where the Amber Room is.
The action sequences were well done, the amount of violence just right for the type of novel (and with Nazis there has to be violence), and they are written fast paced.
While not my favorite Steve Berry book, I think it’s worth the read.