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Read "The Alexandria Link" by Steve Berry available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. BONUS: This edition. Book 2 in the Cotton Malone series. The Alexandria Link Book 2 in the Cotton Malone series Steve Berry The Alexandria Link is a work of fiction. The Alexandria Link Book 2 in the Cotton Malone series. jan. 3. Book title: The Alexandria Link (Cotton Malone Series #2) Formats: pdf, ipad, audio, android, epub, ebook, text Size: MB Authоr: Steve Berry Dаtе: . The The Alexandria Link - Wikipedia, the free.


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The book starts in Palestine in , just as the state of Israel was being established. He mentioned that Arabs are fighting a war that is unnecessary, against an enemy that is misinformed. Steve Berry was born on and he is an American author, professor and former attorney currently living in St. Augustine, Florida. George School of law. He is also a founding member of international thriller writers which consists of a group more than 3, thriller writers from around the world. He was first appeared in print with his historical thrillers The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy in and He has more than 20 million books in print which have been translated into 40 languages and sold in 51 countries.

He gained Royden B. Novels or Books. He simply watched as the two Bletchley Park veterans were photographed before the monument with one of the German Enigma machines, borrowed for the occasion. Lots of smiles, questions, and laudatory comments. Thomas Bainbridge was indeed a brilliant man. Unfortunately Bainbridge had never been able to communicate his thoughts effectively, so his brilliance languished and ultimately vanished unappreciated. To the eighteenth-century mind, he seemed a fanatic.

But to Haddad he seemed a prophet. Bainbridge did know something. And the curious monument standing before him, the reverse image of an obscure painting and an odd assortment of ten letters, had been erected for a reason. One Haddad knew. Not a love note, nor a code, nor a message.

Something altogether different. A map. They followed a group that had poured off one of three buses. Inside, a photographic exhibit, which showed glimpses from the many productions of Hamlet, greeted them.

He thought about the irony of the location. Hamlet had been about a son avenging his father, yet here he was, a father, fighting for his son. His heart ached for Gary. My guts are a wreck. But this was my job. The supportive wife who stood by her husband.

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So much so that you got pregnant by another man, had a son, and let me think it was mine for fifteen years. This had to end. He wished that woman could linger but, as always, her guard flew up and dead eyes glared back at him.

They entered the ballroom. The rectangular hall stretched two hundred feet. Windows lined both sides, each set deep in alcoves of thick masonry, the oblique light casting a subtle spell across a checkerboard floor.

A dozen or so visitors milled about admiring huge oil canvases that dotted the pale yellow walls, mainly battle scenes. At the far end, before a hearth, Malone spotted a short, thin man with reddish brown hair. He recalled him from the Magellan Billet. Lee Durant. The agent caught sight of him, then disappeared through a doorway. He headed across the hall. They passed through a series of rooms, each sparsely decorated with European Renaissance furniture and wall tapestries.

Durant stayed fifty feet ahead. Malone saw him stop. He and Pam entered the room identified as the Corner Chamber. Hunting tapestries adorned plain white walls. Only a few pieces of furniture dotted the dull black-and-white tile floor. No evidence of hacking or forced entry through the firewalls, so it had to be by password.

And no fingerprints in the data. Which indicates that whoever did it knew what they were doing. About a dozen files were viewed, one of which was the Alexandria Link. There were other possibilities. The Israelis are super-hyper right now, particularly during the last twenty-four hours. Our sources tell us that information was learned yesterday out of the West Bank from one of their Palestinian operatives.

His civility ended. All to protect some damn file? He saw that Pam had the wisdom to hush, and he was grateful for the interruption. Definitely a mistake bringing her. The visitors wandered off. Next came two more bangs. Durant lurched backward as blood roses blossomed from punctures in his olive-colored shirt.

A third shot and Durant collapsed to the floor. Malone whirled. A man stood twenty feet away, holding a Glock. Malone stuffed his right arm under his jacket to find his own weapon. Malone caught it. Only a click came in response. His finger worked the trigger. More clicks. The man smiled. Only a few of us are privy to the Alexandria Link. Lots of questions.

No answers. Come on, Brent. We need to know what George Haddad knows. Any road we take will lead straight to him. Might as well go to the source. And Green reached for the phone. And he was still holding the Glock. Stupid question. But standing with the murder weapon in hand was even more stupid. But we have to go. Security, he assumed. They scampered through more rooms, each like the next, sparsely furnished with period pieces, illuminated by dim morning light. He stuffed the Glock into his jacket pocket and brought out his Beretta.

He heard voices from behind. Apparently the body had been found. More shouts and footfalls, coming their way. Three doorways led out. One to a staircase up, the other down, the remaining portal opening into another room. No security camera in sight. A large armoire towered against the exterior wall. He decided to play the odds. He rushed to the armoire and grabbed the double-door iron handles.

Inside was spacious and empty. Plenty big enough for them both. He motioned at Pam. For once she came without comment. Before entering, he cracked open both stairway exits.

Then he climbed in and eased the doors shut, hoping their pursuers assumed they either went down, up, or back into the castle. Sorry, neither of you qualifies. Daley apparently received her message. Calling Daley had been a mistake, and she could see that Green now realized that fact, too.

Not make his task more difficult. The FBI is handling the situation. What are you doing about it, Stephanie? What did you do, Larry? You actually like the fact the files were compromised and that somebody has this information. Her suspicions were now fact. Not by you, Brent, but by the president himself. She caught the threat in his tone. But if he quit, or was fired, then it would be open season on the White House. The speakerphone sat silent. She imagined Daley sitting in his office, puzzling over his quandary.

A familiar smell rose from her, like sweet vanilla, one he recalled with a mixture of joy and agony. Funny the way smells triggered memory.

But he had no intention of being taken into custody, not when Gary needed him. Surely one reason for killing Durant was to isolate them. Another had been to prevent them from learning any useful information.

But he wondered how anyone had known of the meeting. Which meant that his going straight to Christiangade had been anticipated. Perhaps even enemies. Voices outside grabbed his thoughts. Footsteps grew fainter, then became lost in silence.

He waited, finger on the trigger, sweat breaking in his palms. More silence. Which could prove disastrous if someone remained in the room. He eased open the door, gun ready.

The latch released. They stepped out into a bright morning. A sea of shiny grass littered with swans stretched from the castle walls to the sea. Sweden loomed on the horizon, three miles across the gray-brown water. He stuffed the Beretta beneath his jacket. Few visitors milled about. A wall rose from the sea. He lobbed the Glock out into the choppy water. Sirens wailed from beyond the grounds. They slowly made their way to the main entrance. Seeing flashing lights and more police rushing onto the grounds, he decided to wait before heading out.

Unlikely that anyone would have a description of them, and he doubted that the shooter had stayed around to provide one. The idea was surely not to have them arrested. So he blended with the crowd.

Then he spotted the shooter. Fifty yards away, heading straight for the main gate, strolling, not trying to attract attention, either. Pam saw him, too. For eight years die Klauen der Adler, the Talons of the Eagle, had dutifully carried out his assigned tasks. Sabre was an American, born and bred, which was a first for the Circle. Each of those men, including Sabre, had been chosen not only for his individual ability but also for his physical mediocrity.

All had been of average height, weight, and features. The only noticeable trait about Sabre was the pockmarks on his face, left over from a bout with chicken pox. Stubble often dusted his cheeks partly, the Blue Chair knew, to conceal the scars, but also to disarm those around him. Sabre maintained a relaxed look, wearing clothes, usually a size too big, that concealed a lean-limbed muscular frame—surely more of his effort to be constantly underestimated.

From a psychological profile Sabre had to endure prior to being hired, the Blue Chair learned that there was something about defiance of authority that appealed to the American. But that same profile also revealed that, if he was given a task, told the intended result, and left alone, Sabre would always perform.

And that was what mattered. Both he and the Chairs could not care less how a given task was completed, only that the desired result be obtained. So their association with Sabre had been fruitful.

Yet a man with no morals and little respect for authority bore watching. Especially when the stakes were high. As now. So the Blue Chair reached for the phone and dialed.

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Instead the strained voice on the other end belonged to his employer. Malone enjoy your initial greeting? He and the ex-wife crawled out through the window. But I wonder, are we drawing unnecessary attention? The young man had cooperated with that, too, thinking they were producing security credentials. He knows his father is nearby. But do be careful. Malone may surprise you.

Right now more than sufficient motivation is being provided. But none of that Renaissance flavor mattered today. More sirens wailed in the distance. He knew murders were rare in Denmark. Given that this one occurred inside a National Historic Site, it would surely make for big news. He needed to notify Stephanie that one of her agents was dead, but there was no time. He assumed Durant had been traveling under his own name—that was standard Billet practice—so once the local authorities determined that their victim worked for the American government, the right people would be contacted.

He thought about Durant. Damn shame. But he learned long ago not to waste emotion on things he could not change. He slackened his pace and yanked Pam alongside him. The shooter was a hundred feet ahead. Malone watched as he turned a corner. They reached the same corner and peered around. The man was plowing ahead down a pedestrian-only lane lined with shops and restaurants.

A clutter of people milled about, so he decided to risk it. They followed. Malone hustled forward, glanced around the corner, and saw the shooter approach a dirty Volvo coupe. No way to follow. Their car was a long way off. Then he closed the door and started back their way. Just sit tight, blend in. Leave later. He killed a man. Silence any information flow.

Lots of reasons. He thought of years past. Knowing she and Gary were waiting at home, after an assignment, had always brought him a measure of comfort. He remembered her smile, her touch. Unfortunately, her deceit about Gary now colored all that pleasantness with suspicion.

Made him wonder. Question whether their life together had all been an illusion. She seemed to sense his thoughts and her gaze softened, like the Pam before bad things changed them both. I swear to you. And her silence stung.

So he walked away. The house was a masterpiece of marble pavings, Mortlake tapestries, and richly colored decorations. The grand staircase, with elaborately carved floral panels, dated from the time of Charles II.

The plaster ceilings from the s. The furnishings and paintings were all eighteenth and nineteenth century. Everything a showpiece of English country style. But it was also much more. A puzzle. Just like the white arbor monument in the garden where members of the press were still gathered, listening to the so-called experts. Bainbridge had been born to the world of privilege and high expectations.

His father had served as the squire of Oxfordshire. Though his position in society had been fixed by generational affluence and family tradition, Thomas Bainbridge shunned the traditional military service and turned his attention to academics—mainly history, languages, and archaeology. When his father died, he inherited the earldom and spent decades traveling the world, being one of the first Westerners to intimately explore Egypt, the Holy Land, and Arabia, documenting his experiences in a series of published journals.

He taught himself Old Hebrew, the language in which the Old Testament had originally been written. Quite an accomplishment considering that the dialect was mainly vocal and consonantal, and had disappeared from common usage around the sixth century before Christ.

Haddad knew the text well, having studied every page in detail. He, too, had challenged conventional wisdom with disastrous consequences.

Only in the past fifty years had some of the furniture been found. Yet Haddad had been able to locate a few volumes, spending time rummaging through the myriad of rare-book shops that dotted London.

And on the Internet. What an amazing treasure. What they could have done in Palestine sixty years ago with that instant information network. The arrogance of the current generation always amazed him, considering the sacrifices made by their predecessors. Eight hundred thousand Arabs were driven into exile. The Zionists prevailed. The Arabs were defeated. Palestinians became outcasts. But the memory remained. Haddad had tried to forget. He truly wanted to forget. Killing, though, came with consequences.

And for him it had been a lifetime of regret. He became an academician, abandoned violence, and converted to Christianity, but none of that rid him of the pain. He could still see the dead faces. Especially one. The man who called himself the Guardian. You fight a war that is not necessary. Against an enemy that is misinformed. Those words had been burned into his memory that day in April , and their impact eventually changed him forever.

From the library. That observation had charted the course of his life. He kept strolling through the house, taking in the busts and paintings, the carvings, the grotesque gilding, and the enigmatic mottoes.

Walking against a current of new arrivals, he eventually entered the drawing room, where all the antique gravity of a college library blended with a feminine grace and wit. He focused on the shelving, which had once displayed the varied learning of many ages. And the paintings, which recalled people who had privately shaped the course of history. He winced at the memory. The impetuousness of youth. Sixty years had passed, and he now viewed the world through more patient eyes.

If only those same eyes had stared back at the Guardian in April , he might have found what he sought sooner. Or maybe not. It seemed the invitation must be earned. But how? His gaze raked the room. The answer was here. True to his word, the deputy national security adviser had arrived within half an hour.

Daley ran a hand through his short gray hair. His good looks projected a boyish sincerity, one that could easily disarm, so she cautioned herself to stay focused. Daley nodded. Then the Saudis entered the picture. That one shocked us. But he did manage to get the man out in one piece.

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The last thing we wanted was for Haddad to die. Goes with the territory. The problem with the Middle East is the left hand never knows what the right is doing. What happened is typical. Well done, Brent. What happened a few months ago? They started shelling the Gaza Strip, one of their shells goes astray, and an entire family having a picnic on the beach is killed. What do they say? Too bad.

Worldwide sympathy for the Palestinians had steadily grown, fed by a change of leadership, a moderation in militant policies, and the foolishness of Israeli hard-liners. She recalled from the news reports the lone survivor of that family on the beach, a young girl, wailing at the sight of her dead father. But she wondered what realistically could be done. But not insurmountable. Haddad wanted to disappear. He trusted Malone. The Israelis, the Saudis, and even the Palestinians all thought Haddad died in the blast.

So we did what the man wanted, then backed off the whole idea, moved on to other things. A big deal for the day. Haddad claimed that the translation, and all the others that followed, were fundamentally flawed. He said the errors changed everything, and he could prove it. Chasing phantoms? This is crazy.

Malone had been right to chastise her. She should have immediately told him about the breach. And now his son was in jeopardy, thanks to the U. What are you planning? Absolutely nothing. Which meant Malone and his ex-wife were now on the move.

He checked his watch, then stepped from the front parlor to the back bedroom where Gary Malone was being held.

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Pam Malone was approached while they were en route and told precisely what to do. He opened the bedroom door and crafted a smile on his face. The young face brightened at the news about his father. And he was grateful we had you with us. Your mom is with him, too. He was tall for his age, lanky, with a head of auburn hair.

Cotton Malone was a study in contrast. Fair-skinned, thick-limbed, lighthaired.

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You have a level head. You know him? Why am I in danger? But some really bad guys have targeted your dad and they were going to come after you and your mom, so we stepped in to protect you. They just want to cause him pain.

Never been married. Just doing my job. Baseball is not the national pastime here. I really like it. It makes him happy. Other times I wish he was closer.

And try not to be bored. The boy was pacified. A steady stream of patrons had flowed in and out. His target was sitting at a window table, sipping from a mug.

Pam, he assumed, was with the car, parked at the train station, waiting. If his adversaries were somewhere nearby, and he firmly believed that to be the case, this might be his only route to them. About Gary. I caught you. In every way except blood. I just thought you should know the truth. I should have told you last year when we divorced. Do with the information what you please. They were so different, which might also explain why they were no longer together.

Astrologers were her weakness. She never could resist them, eagerly listening as they told her exactly what she wanted to hear. Loyalty mixed with a false sense of contentment—that had been his father-in-law up to the day that a three-pack-a-day cigarette habit finally stopped his heart. Until they met, Pam had known little love or security. And pointing out that reality brought only anger. His own mistake with other women, early in their marriage, merely proved her point—that nothing and no one could ever be counted on.

Not mothers, fathers, siblings, or husbands. All of them failed. And so had she. Having a baby out of wedlock and never telling her husband he was not the father. She seemed to still be paying the price of that failure.

He ought to cut her some slack. The shooter disappeared from the window. He watched as the man exited the building and headed toward his parked car, climbed in, and left. He abandoned his position, raced through the alley, and spotted Pam. He crossed the street and jumped into the passenger seat. Here he comes. And she followed. To know, but not to know. To understand, but at the same time to be confused. He shook his head. What a dilemma. He glanced around. The soothing, cleansing magic of the apartment was no more.

Clearly it was time.

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Others must know. He owed that revelation to every soul destroyed in the nakba, whose land was stolen, whose property was seized. And he owed it to the Jews. Everyone had a right to the truth. The first time months ago had not seemed to work. Now, for the third time, he dialed an international call. The Volvo was half a mile ahead. They taught you this in spy school. Unfortunately I had to learn on the job. But then he saw that the car was simply passing another. He noticed Pam starting to keep pace.

I can see him, so stay where you are. Rare for her. But he appreciated the effort. He hoped this lead paid off. They found the outskirts of the capital. Traffic slowed to a crawl. They were four cars back as the Volvo maneuvered through Charlottenlund Slotspark, entered north Copenhagen, and motored south into the city. Just before the royal palace, the Volvo turned west and wound a path deep into a residential neighborhood. Stay back. Malone was familiar with this part of town. The Rosenborg Slot, where the Danish crown jewels were displayed, stood a few blocks away, the botanical gardens nearby.

He told her to stop at the corner and watched as their quarry wheeled into a driveway. As she parked the car, he found his Beretta and opened the door. And I mean it. She grabbed his arm. Her grip was firm but not hostile. A jolt of emotion surged through him. He faced her, the fear plain in her eyes. Daley has no idea what the Alexandria Link is. His agenda stalled. I agree with you.

But how any of this could be useful is beyond me. Something made them want Haddad dead. They think everything is negotiable. She answered the call, listened for a moment, then clicked off. The man I sent to meet Malone. He was killed at Kronborg Castle. Pain built behind her eyes. Maybe we should involve other agencies?

This has to be handled another way. People I can trust. I have a lot of friends who owe me favors. We have no idea who his allies are. You stay out of it. That way Daley should be placated. He could not approach from the front—too many windows, too little cover—so he detoured into a grassy alley adjacent to the house next door and approached from the rear. The dwellings in this part of Copenhagen were like his neighborhood in Atlanta—shady lanes of compact brick residences surrounded by equally compact front and rear yards.

He shielded the Beretta at his side and used the foliage to mask his continued advance. A shoulder-high hedge divided one yard from the next. He maneuvered to where he could see over the hedge and spotted a rear door into the house where the shooter had gone.

Before he could decide on what course to take, the rear door was flung open and two men emerged. The shooter from Kronborg and another man, short and stumpy with no neck. The two were talking, and they walked around to the front of the house. He obeyed his instincts and rushed from his hiding place, entering the backyard through an opening in the hedge. He darted straight for the rear door and, with gun ready, slipped inside.

The one-story house was quiet. Two bedrooms, a den, kitchen, and bath. One bedroom door was closed. He quickly surveyed the rooms. He approached the closed door. His left hand gripped the knob, his right held the gun, finger on the trigger. He slowly twisted, then shoved open the door. And saw Gary. The boy was sitting in a chair, beside the window, reading.

His son, startled, glanced up from the pages, then his face beamed when he realized who was there. Malone, too, felt a surge of elation. Are those men who are trying to hurt me and Mom here? He hugged his son hard. This child was his—in every way. Screw Pam. Do exactly as I say. The yard was empty.

He would need only a minute for them to make their escape. He exited with Gary close at his heels. The opening in the hedge loomed fifty feet away. Gun ready, he bolted straight for the yard next door. He kept his attention to their flank, allowing Gary to lead the way. They passed through the opening. Standing twenty feet away was No Neck, Pam in his grasp, a sound-suppressed Glock jammed into her neck.

The Kronborg Shooter stood off to the side, gun aimed directly at Malone. Her eyes pleaded with him to forgive her. He repositioned Gary behind him. You tracked my man over there from the castle into town, waited for him to leave, then followed, thinking your boy would be here. He did as told. He stared at Gary. You can count on it. Be tough for me. She instantly hugged Gary and started crying. I promise. She gave Gary one more hug, then slowly retreated his way.

No Neck chuckled. The body teetered, then dropped, spine-first, to the ground. No fifteen-year-old should be forced to watch that.

But I knew you were following. This little exercise was to get all the bravado out of your system. Now go get what I want. Interestingly, the young face conveyed not a hint of anxiety.

No panic. No fear. Just resolve. No Neck and Gary started to leave. Malone held the gun at his side, his mind reeling with possibilities. His son was only a few inches from a loaded Glock. His blood seemed to turn to ice and a disturbing feeling swept through him.

But familiar. He kept his movements natural. That was the rule. His former profession had been all about chances. Weighing odds. Success had always been a factor of dividing odds into risk. This was different. His son was at stake.

Thank heaven the odds were all in his favor. No Neck and Gary approached the hedge opening. No Neck turned. He seemed not to know what had happened—his face a mix of puzzlement and pain. Finally blood seeped from the corners of his mouth and his eyes surrendered. He fell like a tree under an ax, twitched a moment, then stopped. Pam rushed to Gary and swept him into her arms. Malone lowered the gun. He was standing in the kitchen of a house that faced the rear of the dwelling where Gary Malone had been held the past three days.

He smiled. Malone was a clever one, and his operative incompetent. Tossing the magazine had emptied the gun of bullets, except for the one already in the chamber. Any good agent, like Malone, always kept a bullet in the chamber. He recalled from his army special forces training the time a recruit had shot himself in the leg after supposedly unloading his weapon—forgetting about the loaded round.

That was the idea. Thankfully, Malone had ensured that the payment would never be made. Which also meant there was no one left alive to connect Sabre to anything. Not at all. In fact, only now could it finally begin.

He displayed no identification, but the guard immediately waved him through. Three centuries old and built by aristocracy, its mustard-colored walls of baroque splendor encased seventy-five spacious rooms, all topped by steep gables of Alpine slate.

Only the guards at the front gate and a few groundskeepers tending the walkways disturbed the otherwise tranquil scene. Apparently this was to be a private discussion. He parked beneath a porte cochere and climbed out into a balmy afternoon. Painted an unadorned green, its walls lined with hundreds of panels of Hungarian glass, the imposing nineteenth-century structure easily blended into the forested surroundings.

Inside, its fortified indigenous soil supported a variety of exotic plants, but the building took its name—schmetterling—from the thousands of butterflies roaming free. He jerked open a rickety wooden door and stepped into a dirt foyer.

A leather curtain kept hot, humid air inside. He pushed through. Butterflies danced through the air to the accompaniment of soft instrumental music. Many of the plants were in bloom, the tranquil scene a stunning contrast with the stark images of autumn outlined through the moisture-dotted glass. The old man wore a tweed suit atop a cardigan sweater.

Which had to be uncomfortable, Sabre thought. Yet, he silently noted, cold-blooded creatures needed lots of warmth. He slipped off his jacket and approached an empty wooden chair. Apparently German would be their language of the day. What about color, warmth, beauty?

Insects sporting wings of sapphire, crimson, and ivory were eagerly devouring the offering. Flying gems, exploding into the world in a burst of color. Sadly, they live only a few weeks before rejoining the food chain.

Papilio dardanus. The mocker swallowtail. I import their chrysalides specially from Africa. How did you know? A man like that is easy to read.