“ Author: Steve Berry / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 31 May 2007 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division / Title: The Amber Room / ISBN 13: 9780340920893 / ISBN 10: 0340920893 „
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Set against the historical background of World War 2, The Amber Room is the hunt for the lost treasure of Nazi Germany. In this case, tablets of amber panels which once decorated the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, Russia. The panels where take from the palace by the Nazi's, but as the Allied forces drew closer to Berlin, they disappeared. Some believe they were destroyed by fire, others that they were hidden by Hitler, until Germany won the war.
The story begins in a concentration camp, where Karol Borya, witnesses the brutal interrogation of German soldiers by Hermann Goring in an effort to find where Hitler had sent them.
The novel then moves to modern America where the now 83 year old Karol, has made his home. When he dies in mysterious circumstances his daughter, Rachel Cutler, a Judge, and her ex-husband Paul, also a lawyer are drawn into the hunt for the truth and The Amber Room.
They do battle with two collectors of stolen art, and their Acquisitors, who are not only good at acquiring stolen goods but are lethal killers, with both a passion and hatred for each other.
On the whole I found this book to be very enjoyable, although I thought that Rachel's character was a bit odd, she sets off in search of the amber room even though it's her father's dying wish for her to leave the past alone. Also at this point she has no evidence that her father's death was anything but an accident. She is also willing to trust a stranger on his word, even though he admits to following her.
Paul is much better drawn and more believable even though he does a complete change of mind part way through the book. Instead of returning home, he chooses to continue in the hunt for the truth.
Overall i thought it was an intriguing storyline, based loosely on fact. However I didn't think it was as good as another of Steve Berry's novels The Romanov Prophecy which I thought was excellent. Fans of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code may find this enjoyable as it is in a similar vein