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If you are looking for lyrical prose … look elsewhere. Each time I start a Steve Berry audiobook, his awkward writing style drives me nearly to distraction for a while … until I loosen up my pedantic OCD a bit, and resign myself to just enjoying the story’s plot. If good writing matters to you, but you also love intelligent thrillers, then here is your dilemma: Steve Berry is not a natural-born writer, like, say, Cormac McCarthy, or Elizabeth Peters, or James Lee Burke. However, he is a natural-born historian, and his passion for history shines through in his Cotton Malone thrillers. If, like me, you had a history allergy in school, let Steve Barry make it fun and exciting for you. Each Cotton Malone episode teaches us a fascinating history lesson by way of a hair-raising, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat adventure. At the end of each story in the Cotton Malone series, Mr. Berry provides us with an author’s note revealing which aspects of the plot were drawn from actual historical events, and which aspects derived from his imagination. I predict that this revelation will surprise you: Frequently the most far-fetched parts of the novel turn out to have actually happened. In “The Lost Order” I learned more about the Civil War, the Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Government than I ever absorbed in school. As an extra, added bonus for Cotton Malone fans: We finally learn, here in “The Lost Order”, how Cotton got his moniker! So, here is my advice to all thriller-lovers contemplating purchasing “The Lost Order”: Temporarily forget everything you learned in English class, and prepare yourself for a Dan-Brown-esque thriller, with cryptic maps, puzzles, codes, clues, cyphers, multi-generational secret societies, and even a secret hand-shake. BTW: This Audible version of “The Lost Order” offers you two renderings of this audiobook: the first one without Mr. Berry’s interspersed commentary, and the second with it. I listened to both renderings, and recommend that you consider doing so, too, in the prescribed order. Mr. Berry’s commentary supplies both enlightening and entertaining historical insight into the story.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
Steve Berry has given us another exciting story with Cotton Malone. Steve included so many descriptions of the Smithsonian Institution that one will want to pack their bags and vacation in Washington. DC for a month. I especially like the director's cut. Steve inserts explanations throughout the story filled with historical information. I'd love to see Mr. Berry write another novel with Cotton Malone with NATO as the central component. I highly recommend this book to those that love action and history!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful