Tom Sagan wants to die. As a disgraced journalist, a lapsed Jew, and a man without a family, he decides to return to his family home in Florida to commit suicide. Just as he puts the pistol to his head, Zachariah Simon comes to the door to inform Tom that he has kidnapped his only daughter, Alle. Simon shows Tom a live feed of his daughter being attacked. Can Tom prevent Alle from being raped? Simon orders Sagan to have his father’s body exhumed. If Tom follows orders, Alle will go free. Of course, Tom agrees to postpone his suicide and work with Simon to rescue his estranged daughter.
However, Alle, an expert on Christopher Columbus, is secretly working with Simon. They want to uncover a dark secret about the explorer’s mysterious life hidden in a Jamaican gold mine. Does this mine contain the lost Temple treasures of the Jewish people which have been “gone for 1940 years?” (p. 44) After his father’s body is exhumed, Sagan learns that he has been chosen by his father to become the Levite: “What we protect, son, is the location of the Jews’ Temple treasure.” (p. 142)
Zachariah Simon reveals to Sagan that Christopher Columbus was not only a
converso, a converted Jew, but that he came to the New World look for a Jewish homeland in which to hide the most sacred objects of the Jewish faith. Simon wants to use these treasures to start a major conflict in the Middle East. The action-packed search for the treasures points to the island of Jamaica, which the family of Christopher Columbus controlled for 150 years. Will Tom and Alle finally uncover the secrets of Christopher Columbus and prevent a war?
Steve Berry masterfully combines historical truth and fiction in The Columbus Affair. The intriguing “Writer’s Note” at the end of the novel explains how historical facts were combined with fictional story elements. Berry’s historical facts include the existence of the Maroons of Jamaica, the persecution of the Jews by the Spanish Inquisition, the disappearance of the Temple treasures after their capture by the Romans, and the presence of Luis de Torres, a
converso, on the first voyage to North America led by Christopher Columbus. Berry injects a lot of speculation into the novel about the background of Christopher Columbus as a
converso and the location of the Temple Treasures in a Jamaican gold mine.
Steve Berry is a prolific bestselling writer who is at his best exploring unsolved historical mysteries. His early novels include The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, The Third Secret and The Templar Legacy. Cotton Malone, a secret agent for the Magellan Billet, plays a major role in many of Berry’s novels. However, in this novel the hero is Tom Sagan, a disgraced journalist who works as a ghost writer. The Columbus Affair is a novel which delves into the life story of one of the most vilified people in history. This action-packed novel tries to answer the question, “Who was Christopher Columbus?” Berry’s answer will fascinate readers.