Set in a somewhat fictitious presnt, this book is a blend of the history and story surrounding Alexander the Great; a power-crazed, dictatorial leader who romantically sees herself as a successor to Alexander; a fictitious Central Asian Republic built upon the remains of the former USSR's cetral Asian republics; a cure for aids; the weaponization of disease bacteria: the search for the relics of Saint Mark; grecian fire; skulldugery and just plain nasty agents. These are just some of the ingredients Berry serves up in Venetian Betrayal. (And just in case you hadn't figured it out yet, yes, some of the novel is set in island city. The story is often quite convoluted --- its often difficult to attempt to figure out how this is going to end. I found this book touch to sink my teeth into --- for a good first quarter of the book I considered abandoning it altogether. But prevail I did.