Publisher's Note:  

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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Ballantine Books

The Columbus Affair

by Steve Berry

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Overall Review:  

When you think about what you know about Christopher Columbus and then when you find out what history actually knows about the famous explorer, you will find two very different stories.  Each story is an amazing tale of courage in the face of the unknown and each share one other amazing detail - most of Columbus' life is a mystery.  Armed with this lack of information Steve Berry has filled in the blanks with a fast-pace fictional account of what Columbus was actually up to.  The Columbus Affair is an adventure story at its heart and is a fast-paced thrill ride from the very beginning. 


Berry's style of telling the story from the point of view of many characters gives the reader a real understanding of each characters motivation.  Political, religious, and commercial factions all have a stake in why Columbus came to the new world and each is richly detailed by the author.  Although the author takes many liberties with the tale of Columbus he also weaves in what little truth history knows of the great explorer.  This blending of truth and fiction creates a story that is entertaining on many levels and really makes the reader think.  Cultures, places, and history come together seamlessly to create a wonderful story.  I highly recommend this book.

Content Analysis:  

Language/Profanity:  5 Religious exclamations; 28 Mild obscenities; 13 Derogatory names; 6 Anatomical terms; 1 Offensive hand gesture.


Violence/Gore:  Few verbal threats; several descriptions of historical accounts of murder, slavery and war:  included are, The Holocaust, Babylon and Roman destruction of Jerusalem, Spanish Inquisition, slavery and extermination of Native Americans in the Caribbean;  two characters are executed with gunshot to head, non-graphic violent death; character is killed by hunting dogs, non-graphic violent death;  character is killed in a gun fight, character kills two people in a knife fight, graphic and detailed; character kills two people with bare hands, non-graphic violent death; character is killed by gun shot to chest, graphic detailed death; character is killed by quick sand; character is knocked unconscious.


Sex/Nudity:  Character is groped and threatened to be raped; few references to prostitution and pornography, non-detailed.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Suicide, Divorce, Slavery, Death of family member, Organized crime (prostitution, drug dealing, and pornography), War, Bigotry, Racism, The Holocaust, Nazi occupied Europe,  Jewish persecution throughout history.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

One reference to a drug dealer; Adults drink wine with dinner.

Reviewed By Matthew
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