• The Venetian Betrayal

  • A Novel
  • By: Steve Berry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,551 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After narrowly escaping incineration in a devastating fire that consumes a Danish museum, Cotton Malone - former Justice Department agent turned rare-book dealer - learns from his friend, the beguiling adventurer Cassiopeia Vitt, that the blaze was neither an accident nor an isolated incident. As part of a campaign of arson intended to mask a far more diabolical design, buildings across Europe are being devoured by infernos of unnatural strength. Born from the ashes is a new Eastern European nation whose ruthless leader will soon draw Cotton into an intense geopolitical chess game against a shadowy cabal of power brokers. The prize lies buried with the mummified remains of Alexander the Great - in a tomb lost to the ages for more than 2,000 years. Trekking from Denmark to Venice, to Central Asia, Cotton and Cassiopeia are determined to solve an ancient puzzle whose solution could destroy or save millions of people - depending on who finds the lost tomb first.

©2008 Steve Berry (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“[Steve Berry] has a genuine feel for the factual gaps that give history its tantalizing air of the unknown.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“There’s nothing tastier than a globe-spanning mystery...Berry’s books excel at bringing out fascinating tidbits of history.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

What listeners say about The Venetian Betrayal

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • 01-02-08

Ok, not great

A dictator, obsessed with Alexander the Great wants to find a cure for AIDS to help her dying lover. She also has amassed a sizable collection of viruses which she intends to use to bring the world to its knees.... Can she be stopped?

I found this story to be merely OK. Mostly because I just didn't care about any of the characters. The protagonists were rather bland, and the dictator, though evil, was just someone I felt sorry for. The story switches between various characters and they all were rather cardboard. I liked the backstory of Alexander the Great, but I felt some parts such as the crossbow wielding agent a bit silly and over-the-top.

Nothing that trully excited me. It lacked characters I could really connect with.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The Reader Betrayal

This is another story involving the interesting Cotton Malone. Part Indiana Jones, part Robert Langdon, part James Bond. Berry again spins a story around historical information that is very clever if not all that plausible. The clues and solutions to the ancient secret that are uncovered are not as clever as in his other books.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Slow and Confusing

Scott Brick is always an excellent narrator, but I found this book slow and confusing. Clarity comes at the end, but at the high price of listening to all the previous material.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not up to standards

The adventures of Cotton Malone are told in several Steve Berry books. He is an interesting thriller hero with a past in a highly secret federal service but retired to Denmark where he runs a small, peaceful rare book store. Peaceful except when Cotton Malone is called back to save the world once again. He always succeeds but needs the help of several friends from around the world. The Venetian Betrayal follows the formula with the villain being the dictator of a Mid Asia nation recently constituted and all the friends coming back to help. However hard this might be to believe, it gets a lot worse as Cotton and his friends have to stop an evil plot to spread biological weapons and in doing so find possible cures for some of the world's worst epidemics. When you add all this to the search for the burial grounds of Alexander the Great, it gets too much even for this genre. Read it if you have the time but there may be better ways to spend your time.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good

This book wasn't a struggle to finish and had an interesting premise. It was not a book that I thought about for a week afterwards, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

hard to follow

i am a very experienced many year memeber of audible and i found this book very hard to follow, the author switched between first and last names, and had almost no character development in the beginning for the listener to use later as a basis for their relationships with each other, i often got lost and had to re listen

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Great Book in this series

I discovered these books about a Cotton Malone and started following them. I love all the characters. I love the real history with added fiction. These books, in the genre of historical fiction, teach you history while adding a fictional adventure, making it a fun read. I recommend this book to all who love history with a creative license giving you a “ what if” scenario. Kudos to the author.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Venetian Betrayal

Creative and well written, but the character development was slightly shallow and difficult to become involved with. History was excellent and plausible, but the story was slightly predictable in its progress. Scott Brick, as always, was excellent. some of the writting was repetative , probably for the reader's benefits of reinforcement of information, but it was tedious on occasion. All in all, it was entertaining and an excellent read by Brick and his creative rendition.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Didn’t catch my attention at first

I had to restart it but got into it the second time around - good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cotton Malone is pulled into another adventure

An entertaining entry in the series. Quite timely as I listened to it during a pandemic lockdown. If only reality could be wrapped up as nicely. I did find Cassiopeia's character was put through a lot more challenges this time. If I were reading/listening to this when it first was released, I would be fearing that the character might not survive. Luckily the author was able to come up with a good resolution for her issues. The action was very cinematic and I was visualizing it as a film throughout. A fair amount of the credit for that goes to Scott Brick who does a great job narrating. There is violence, obviously, but minimal swearing and no sex, if those concern you. Homosexuality is an integral part of a couple characters backstory. Primarily these are discussed as past events, either in the characters life or, more frequently as historical references. All in all an enjoyable read/listen. I recommend this book.