Steve Berry’s ‘The Omega Factor’ Introduces Readers to a New Leading Man [REVIEW]

Ghent, Belgium
An UNESCO investigator stumbles upon a bitter conflict in Belgium in Steve Berry’s The Omega Factor. (Photo by Magda Ehlers on

If you visit the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, you’ll find artist Jan van Eyck’s The Ghent Altarpiece. Completed in 1432, it is a massive piece of art that measures 11 feet 5 inches by 15 feet 1 inch. Over the centuries, this masterpiece has been embroiled in controversy, vandalized, dismantled, and stolen. Now it is the centerpiece of Steve Berry’s latest fast-paced history-steeped thriller, The Omega Factor.

Grand Central

This time out, Cotton Malone is not the star of the show. Instead, Berry introduces readers to UNESCO investigator Nick Lee, who is a member of the Cultural Liaison and Investigative Office (CLIO) within the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He is summoned to Ghent, Belgium via a Facebook message from his ex-fiancé, Kelsey Deal. Although it has been nine years since their breakup, for him the loss is still fresh, as if it just happened.

When he arrives in Ghent, he finds Kelsey’s studio on fire and rushes in to save her life. However, she is most concerned about her stolen laptop and directs him to retrieve it from the thief who absconded with it. In the pages that follow, Berry takes readers from Belgium to Italy and finally to an ancient abbey high in the Frech Pyrenees. It’s on this journey that Nick stumbles onto the trail of a stolen panel from the Ghent Altarpiece, which had been taken in 1934 and has never been seen since.

Soon, he is caught up in a religious crusade that has waged for nearly 2,000 years between the Maidens of Saint-Michael and the Vatican. As a result, Nick must always stay one step ahead of those who threaten his life and wish the altarpiece’s history remains dead along with the mysticism of the time.

Rich in history, The Omega Factor is fascinating, intriguing and mysterious. Berry has a real gift for bringing history to vivid life, and as always, I simply couldn’t put this one down until I finished reading the very last page! As my husband can attest to, I’m very picky about which historical novels I read, but I never hesitate to pick up one of Steve’s books.

One thing I really loved about this book is the acknowledgement page, which explains Berry’s dedication in this novel to Walt and Roy Disney in detail. I’m hard pressed to think of a more worthy duo. I’m also grateful that like the two of them, Berry has followed his dreams and continues to create worlds of imagination that transport and captivate me and countless other readers for hours on end. Thanks, Steve!

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About the author

Steve Berry is the New York Times and number one internationally bestselling author of 16 Cotton Malone novels, five stand-alone thrillers, and several works of short fiction. He has 25 million books in print, translated into more than 40 languages.

With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, an organization dedicated to historical preservation. He serves as an emeritus member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers, formerly serving as its co-president.

For more information, visit him at, like him on Facebook, and subscribe to him on YouTube.

By Steve Berry
464 pp. Grand Central. $29.

Purchase The Omega Factor direct from Jathan & Heather Books or one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Half Price Books | Hudson Booksellers | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target | Walmart.

Prefer e-books? Check these guys out: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo.

Steve Berry
Steve Berry
(Photo by Carey Sheffield)

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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