The Amber Room

The Amber Room

by Steve Berry

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The Amber Room by Steve Berry

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steve Berry’s The Columbus Affair.

The Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man: an entire room forged of exquisite amber, from its four massive walls to its finely crafted furniture. But it is also the subject of one of history’s most intriguing mysteries. Originally commissioned in 1701 by Frederick I of Prussia, the Room was later perfected Tsarskoe Selo, the Russian imperial city. In 1941, German troops invaded the Soviet Union, looting everything in their wake and seizing the Amber Room. When the Allies began the bombing of Germany in August 1944, the Room was hidden. And despite the best efforts of treasure hunters and art collectors from around the world, it has never been seen again.

Now, two powerful men have set their best operatives loose in pursuit, and the hunt has begun once more. . . .

Life is good for Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler. She loves her job, loves her kids, and remains civil to her ex-husband, Paul. But everything changes when her father, a man who survived the horrors of World War II, dies under strange circumstances—and leaves behind clues to a secret he kept his entire life . . . a secret about something called the Amber Room.

Desperate to know the truth about her father’s suspicious dealings, Rachel takes off for Germany, with Paul close behind. Shortly after arriving, they find themselves involved with a cast of shadowy characters who all claim to share their quest. But as they learn more about the history of the treasure they seek, Rachel and Paul realize they’re in way over their heads. Locked in a treacherous game with ruthless professional killers and embroiled in a treasure hunt of epic proportions, Rachel and Paul suddenly find themselves on a collision course with the forces of power, evil, and history itself.

A brilliant adventure and a scintillating tale of intrigue, deception, art, and murder, The Amber Room is a classic tale of suspense—and the debut of a strong new voice in the world of the international thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345469717
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/26/2003
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 23,623
File size: 827 KB

About the Author

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 18,000,000 copies in 51 countries.
History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It’s this passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, that led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have traveled across the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners, and their popular writers’ workshops. To date, nearly 2,500 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students, and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award and the 2013 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers. His novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award, and his historic preservation work merited the 2013 Silver Bullet from International Thriller Writers.
Steve Berry was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers—a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world—and served three years as its co-president.
For more information, visit

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt


Atlanta, Georgia Tuesday, May 6, the present, 10:35 a.m.

Judge Rachel Cutler glanced over the top of her tortoiseshell glasses. The lawyer had said it again, and this time she wasn’t going to let the comment drop. “Excuse me, counselor.”

“I said the defendant moves for a mistrial.”

“No. Before that. What did you say?”

“I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ ”

“If you haven’t noticed, I’m not a sir.”

“Quite correct, Your Honor. I apologize.”

“You’ve done that four times this morning. I made a note each time.”

The lawyer shrugged. “It seems such a trivial matter. Why would Your Honor take the time to note my simple slip of the tongue?”

The impertinent bastard even smiled. She sat erect in her chair and glared down at him. But she immediately realized what T. Marcus Nettles was doing. So she said nothing.

“My client is on trial for aggravated assault, Judge. Yet the court seems more concerned with how I address you than with the issue of police misconduct.”

She glanced over at the jury, then at the other counsel table. The Fulton County assistant district attorney sat impassive, apparently pleased that her opponent was digging his own grave. Obviously, the young lawyer didn’t grasp what Nettles was attempting. But she did. “You’re absolutely right, counselor. It is a trivial matter. Proceed.”

She sat back in her chair and noticed the momentary look of annoyance on Nettles’s face. An expression that a hunter might give when his shot missed the mark.

“What of my motion for mistrial?” Nettles asked.

“Denied. Move on. Continue with your summation.”

Rachel watched the jury foreman as he stood and pronounced a guilty verdict. Deliberations had taken only twenty minutes.

“Your Honor,” Nettles said, coming to his feet. “I move for a presentence investigation prior to sentencing.”


“I move that sentencing be delayed.”


Nettles seemed to sense the mistake he’d made earlier. “I move for the court to recuse itself.”

“On what grounds?”


“To whom or what?”

“To myself and my client.”


“The court has shown prejudice.”


“With that display this morning about my inadvertent use of sir.”

“As I recall, counselor, I admitted it was a trivial matter.”

“Yes, you did. But our conversation occurred with the jury present, and the damage was done.”

“I don’t recall an objection or a motion for mistrial concerning the conversation.”

Nettles said nothing. She looked over at the assistant DA. “What’s the State’s position?”

“The State opposes the motion. The court has been fair.”

She almost smiled. At least the young lawyer knew the right answer.

“Motion to recuse denied.” She stared at the defendant, a young white male with scraggly hair and a pockmarked face. “The defendant shall rise.” He did. “Barry King, you’ve been found guilty of the crime of aggravated assault. This court hereby remands you to the Department of Corrections for a period of twenty years. The bailiff will take the defendant into custody.”

She rose and stepped toward an oak-paneled door that led to her chambers. “Mr. Nettles, could I see you a moment?” The assistant DA headed toward her, too. “Alone.”

Nettles left his client, who was being cuffed, and followed her into the office.

“Close the door, please.” She unzipped her robe but did not remove it. She stepped behind her desk. “Nice try, counselor.”

“Which one?”

“Earlier, when you thought that jab about sir and ma’am would set me off. You were getting your butt chapped with that half-cocked defense, so you thought me losing my temper would get you a mistrial.”

He shrugged. “You gotta do what you gotta do.”

“What you have to do is show respect for the court and not call a female judge sir. Yet you kept on. Deliberately.”

“You just sentenced my guy to twenty years without the benefit of a presentence hearing. If that isn’t prejudice, what is?”

She sat down and did not offer the lawyer a seat. “I didn’t need a hearing. I sentenced King to aggravated battery two years ago. Six months in, six months’ probation. I remember. This time he took a baseball bat and fractured a man’s skull. He’s used up what little patience I have.”

“You should have recused yourself. All that information clouded your judgment.”

“Really? That presentence investigation you’re screaming for would have revealed all that, anyway. I simply saved you the trouble of waiting for the inevitable.”

“You’re a fucking bitch.”

“That’s going to cost you a hundred dollars. Payable now. Along with another hundred for the stunt in the courtroom.”

“I’m entitled to a hearing before you find me in contempt.”

“True. But you don’t want that. It’ll do nothing for that chauvinistic image you go out of your way to portray.”

He said nothing, and she could feel the fire building. Nettles was a heavyset, jowled man with a reputation for tenacity, surely unaccustomed to taking orders from a woman.

“And every time you show off that big ass of yours in my court, it’s going to cost you a hundred dollars.”

He stepped toward the desk and withdrew a wad of money, peeling off two one-hundred-dollar bills, crisp new ones with the swollen Ben Franklin. He slapped both on the desk, then unfolded three more.

“Fuck you.”

One bill dropped.

“Fuck you.”

The second bill fell.

“Fuck you.”

The third Ben Franklin fluttered down.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Amber Room 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 159 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, I am a huge Steve Berry fan. I think his writing style and stories are at least on the same level as Dan Brown's books for this genre. What I like about Steve Berry's books is that he finds some unique episode or item in history and turns it into a thriller. I never knew the Amber Room existed. Maybe I just don't know my history as well as I should, but then I've got Mr. Berry to open my eyes to some of the more interesting and intriguing parts of history, which then leads to my own exploration of that event. Being from Atlanta, I like that his characters are or were from Atlanta. Being in the legal field myself, I like that Mr. Berry practiced law in Atlanta and that this particular character in the Amber Room was a Fulton County Superior Court judge. She was entirely believable, and so was her husband. One thing an author has to do is convince me his characters can be believed and trusted, and this Mr. Berry does well. Also his descriptions of places make me feel like he's been there and thus knows what he's talking about. I know he has traveled to the places he writes about and isn't just getting his information off the internet or out of a travel book in order to fool me. So not only are his characters believable, his settings have the feeling of allowing me to feel like I'm right there with his characters. Along with all of Steve Berry's books, I highly recommend the Amber Room. It is both entertaining and informing--a good combination.
Thecelticdragon More than 1 year ago
First Berry book I read, and I was hooked on his writing from then on. Excellent research and craftsmanship in the writing. Topical subject, lots of facts, and keeps you guessing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Berry focused on history and art and in so doing sacrificed solid character development. His characters, especially Rachel and Paul were not believable. But it was an action-packed fast-moving novel.
Lynn_Wright More than 1 year ago
People who like Dan Brown's work would enjoy this book, however predictable it was. The book should have been editted down, plot twists too easy to see coming, but an enjoyable read with history and geograph lesson thrown in
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading many thrillers one expects that a book that earned a Best Seller title to be original, instead this book played out just like all the others. The Amber Room had too much potential at the beginning, but was lost half way through and never regained it's magic. What a disappointment. Take a piece like the Amber Room which is supposedly part of Art history with so many theories and turn it into a blah at best mystery. Where was the mystery, where was the secret to the possession of the Amber Room, and where was the intricate plot and climax? I for one am still searching for it, as I guess historians are still searching for the real Amber Room.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Steve Berry has turned out a first novel that is every bit as good as a Grisham, a Clancy, a Crichton, and any other writer of the adventure/thriller genre I can think of. He's brought fresh air to the market, and I look forward to all the books this creative mind can generate.
reblacke on LibraryThing 7 days ago
From start to finish, this book was a page turner. A great story built around the Third Reich's quest for priceless treasures from conquered countries and the remaining questions of lost art treasures the world may never see again. While I was not familiar with the story of the Amber Room, this author created a story full of intrigue, art history, romance, violence, and yes, even a little sex. The story itself was the drug of choice for me with it's rock-n-roll ride from cover to cover. A great read. Now the search is on for more from Steve Berry.
MSWallack on LibraryThing 7 days ago
A fairly original "treasure hunt" type of story with interesting characters. One of the "twists" was far too obvious and the climax was a bit too pat and predictable, but this was still an enjoyable read (certainly good enough to make me read Berry's next novel).
tzurich on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Once housed in Russia, but raided by Germans in the aftermath of the second world war, the story of the lost Amber room is what kept me reading. Steve Berry's book presents some interesting facts knit with a mildly intriguing plot about rich Europeans who play a lethal game (at other's expense) in their persuit of this lost treasure.In truth, I felt more than a bit dissappointed with the one dimentional characters; especially the two chronically stupid protagonists (a judge and a lawyer) who run off to Europe to investigate the missing amber on rather flimsy evidence. In Europe, they constantly jeopardize their safety just like a bunch of big-boobed blonds in a poorly crafted horror flick. There is no question that the facts about the amber room are far more interesting than Berry's fiction, despite the plug by Dan Brown.This book was a way too "movie of the week" for me considering the historical gem that supports the premise - but then, I'm hard to please and maybe a bit harsh...
cuicocha on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Berry's first book is a suspenseful "page turner". At times predictable, the story is still an enjoyable one and carries the reader through an exciting and dangerous search for Russia's lost Amber Room. Characters are, at times, uneven in their development, but do give a glimpse of things to come as Berry hones his craft. It is both interesting and enjoyable to experience Berry's development as an author as he creates his successive suspense/ action novels.
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I am a pucky ready and couldn't put it down. I was hooked!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish he still wrote these kind.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just discovered this author, and love his work! I've read two of his books and ready for another one. I especially enjoy the historical part of his books. Once you start you won't put it down!
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BobD24 More than 1 year ago
The Amber Room is Steve Berry's first published work, which he points out came after 81 rejections! Well, he got it right! His skillful blend of historical facts with fictional circumstances is what makes his stories so hard to put down. He now has seven books out in the Cotton Malone series as well, which I highly recommend. If you want to get hooked on mysteries based on events that took root in times long past, Steve Berry is your kind of writer!
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