The Medici Dagger

The Medici Dagger

3.3 3
by Cameron West

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1491: Leonardo looked upon his invention, understood its powers, and knew he must hide it from the men of his age. Thus, a profound treasure was lost for five centuries. Now the race to find it begins.
Hurtling across the Atlantic, a plane goes down -- taking with it a page from the journals of Leonardo da Vinci.
In Georgetown, the home of museum curator


1491: Leonardo looked upon his invention, understood its powers, and knew he must hide it from the men of his age. Thus, a profound treasure was lost for five centuries. Now the race to find it begins.
Hurtling across the Atlantic, a plane goes down -- taking with it a page from the journals of Leonardo da Vinci.
In Georgetown, the home of museum curator Rollo Barnett burns to the ground. Only his young son, Reb, escapes alive.
Are the tragedies connected? Are they merely accidents or acts of murder? Twenty years later, Hollywood stuntman Reb Barnett, an educated, art-loving, high-risk-addicted daredevil on the run from his nightmares, refuses to believe so. Until a phone call rips him from his world of cinematic illusion, and sends him to Italy on a desperate quest where danger and violence are chillingly real.
Reb seeks da Vinci's Circles of Truth, a coded fifteenth-century map that reveals the hiding place of the Medici Dagger, a weapon made of an alloy so light and indestructible it is worth a fortune to today's arms manufacturers. To Reb, it is worth even more -- it is his only link to finding the truth about his father's death, and to laying bare the dark demons of his own heart. But finding the Circles of Truth is only the first step. Breaking their complex code means matching wits with Leonardo himself. And staying alive means keeping one jump ahead of a shadowy adversary: the killer who haunts Reb's dreams.
From the brilliant Tuscan landscape to the lush California coast, The Medici Dagger sweeps readers into an intriguing intellectual puzzle that delivers shattering suspense and fiery romance with the velocity of a 9mm bullet. Cameron West generates the roller-coaster thrills of the great classic adventure stories -- with the adrenaline rush of walking on a knife's edge between excitement and terror.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Let he who finds the Dagger use it for noble purpose. That was my father's plan. And now it's mine." That stirring cry from Hollywood stunt man Reb Barnett occurs near the midway point of this laughable thriller about the search for a legendary dagger of unbreakable metal forged by Leonardo da Vinci, who hid the weapon and then left clues to its whereabouts in a manuscript called "The Circles of Truth." Twenty years ago, a courier sent by Barnett's museum curator father to retrieve the manuscript disappeared; that same night, Barnett's parents died in a suspicious fire. Now a voice from the past drags Barnett into completing his father's quest to find the dagger before munitions broker Werner Krell and his sadistic assassin, Nolo Tecci, can get their hands on it. The novel reads like a fleshed-out action film screenplay, with multiple locations, plenty of violent action, outrageously corny dialogue and the usual push-button tics that pass for characterization in Hollywood: Reb courts danger; Reb has a hard time expressing his feelings for his friend Archie Ferris and love interest Antonia Genevra Gianelli. West whose memoir, First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple, was a New York Times bestseller has written what might be the world's first stunt-thriller, a novel where at every moment you expect an off-page director to yell "Cut!" and order the real star in to flesh out the second unit shots that the stunt man just walked through. File this one under high concept, low execution. National advertising; 7-city author tour. (Sept. 11) Forecast: Film rights have been purchased. Tom Cruise will star. Enough said. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Suppose da Vinci, when commissioned to produce a dagger, invented a superior metal alloy-lighter, stronger, and more durable than anything known to man. Suppose further that he determined that his society would probably use it for evil purposes. His decision made, he hid the dagger and left clues for some future society as to its composition. Fast-forward 500 years. A plane carrying da Vinci's priceless "Circle of Truth" notes, purportedly the clues to the dagger's whereabouts, crashes and burns. Shortly afterward, museum curator Rollo Burns's Georgetown home burns to the ground, leaving his young son as the only survivor and witness to the tragedy. Move forward again 20 years. Rollo Burns Jr. (Reb), Hollywood daredevil and stuntman, finds himself immersed in the mystery of the Medici dagger and the notes. The story has the fast-paced appeal of a Clive Cussler novel, complete with lots of action and reality-suspending stunts pulled off by the hero. The historical lessons about Leonardo and his times and the steps necessary to puzzle out his clues are entertaining and informative. Reb's need to unravel the mystery of his parents' deaths and his own lack of connection to others grabs readers' attention.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An amateurish James Bond-style shoot-'em-up that would leave even Ian Fleming running for cover. Reb Barnett is your basic stuntman/art-history guy. It's a good thing he's had lots of training in Sherlock Holmes, Leonardo da Vinci, karate, and firearms, because he's going to need all of it for the mission that fate has in store for him. In 1491, when Leonardo wasn't inventing everything we now take for granted, he stumbled upon an alloy so strong and lightweight it was obvious that it would be used for nefarious international military affairs even before the New World was discovered. Naturally, Leonardo made a dagger out of it, hid it, and created a puzzle so complicated that only some future traveler with good in his heart would be able to find it. The pieces of the puzzle floated about for half a millennium, and little Reb's parents were murdered for the myth. Big mistake. Little Reb-that suggests "rebel," don't you know-grows into Big Reb, who is empty of soul and cries a lot, but who also has kickass written all over him. Reb needs a female counterpart to make him complete-ah, here she comes-and now he is fully prepared to battle the insidious arms dealers who will use the alloy to create smart stealth bombs that can be dropped from space. Don't ask how. West first hit the New York Times bestseller list in 1999 with First Person Plural, an account of his DID condition-multiple personalities. We seem to be experiencing a less interesting one this time around. Or maybe not: our simplistic story nevertheless required collaboration with someone named Seamus Slattery. It's enough to make you wonder whether West-not his real name; and don't feel sorry for him: Tom Cruise has already boughtthe story-isn't being exploited. Bodies galore. For ages 12-14.

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Atria Books
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Meet the Author

Meron West, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple, has a doctorate in psychology. He lives with his wife, Rikki, and son, Ky, in Aula Beach, California.

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Medici Dagger 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked everything about this book, the writing, the story, and the suspence. It is a book for all ages. The book ¿The Medici Dagger¿ by Cameron West is about a man named Reb Barnett, a stuntman from Hollywood. As a child, his father found a paper written by Leonardo Da Vinci; this paper contained a Circle of Truth leading to the Medici Dagger. The Dagger was being made for Lorenzo de Medici, but he never received it. Da Vinci said ¿¿While casting the dagger for Il Magnifico I chanced upon a mixture of metals which once formed became almost as light as the air. Try as I might I could not return it to liquid form nor could I cause it to be deformed or dented in any way. And there is an edge to this blade which is sharper than any man has ever seen¿¿ (West 28). The courier of the Circle of Truth, named Henry Greer, was killed when his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, Circle of Truth and all. He parents ended up dying in a Mysteries fire. Twenty Years Later he received a call from a man he believed was dead, Henry Greer, and he found out another copy of the Circle of Truth was found. Reb went to see Greer and received the Circle of Truth he had thought was gone. After going to look for the copy of the Circle of Truth, so he could solve the mystery, he started to relieve how many people wanted it. But to find the answer to the Circle of Truth, he must defeat the genius Leonardo Da Vinci and solve the puzzle to the Dagger, and face the people who killed his parents. Everyone should read it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The idea of seeking a piece of Leonardo Da Vinci's artifact is intrigue, but the author's poor, incoherent and unorganized writing skill completely diminishing the enjoyment of reading a supposingly suspense novel.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1491, Leonardo da Vinci invents a new alloy. He shapes it into a blade and places it inside a vise. He slams a mallet on the tip only to see the hammer split apart while the dagger remains whole. Knowing how his benefactors think, Leonardo believes that his creation would be used as a weapon of destruction. He hides his findings with the hope that the future will beget a world filled with peace that can use his alloy for the common good.

Five centuries later internationally recognized da Vinci expert Rollo Barnett decodes the Renaissance Man¿s enigmatic writing about the dagger. However, he and his wife die in a suspicious-looking fire. Two decades later, Rollo¿s son Reb learns that a billionaire arms dealer murdered his parents. He obsessively needs to complete his father¿s work on da Vinci and revenge himself on the killer though he places himself in danger from his parents¿ killer.

If thriller fans suspend logic for a few hours, they will enjoy an action packed tale. The story line requires the reader to accept a lot even from the start. For instance, da Vinci hides his new discovery for fear of weapon-use yet shapes it into a dagger. The arms dealer wants to make outer space smart bombs (don¿t ask how), but kills the prime source of locating the alloy. This consistent inconsistency is bothersome for those fans that need to believe in an ¿authentic¿ feel to the events. However, Cameron West¿s debut novel provides entertainment for those readers who want a simple but wild ride.

Harriet Klausner