The King's Deception (Cotton Malone Series #8) (with bonus novella The Tudor Plot) [NOOK Book]

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Cotton Malone is back! Steve Berry’s new international adventure blends gripping contemporary political intrigue, Tudor treachery, and high-octane thrills into one riveting novel of suspense.

 
Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort...
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The King's Deception (Cotton Malone Series #8) (with bonus novella The Tudor Plot)

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Cotton Malone is back! Steve Berry’s new international adventure blends gripping contemporary political intrigue, Tudor treachery, and high-octane thrills into one riveting novel of suspense.

 
Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. But after he is greeted at gunpoint in London, both the fugitive and Gary disappear, and Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown—an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.
 
At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for “humanitarian reasons.” An outraged American government objects, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.
 
Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception.
 
Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.
 
Blake Antrim, the CIA operative in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire, the one thing that every Irish national has sought for generations: a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire forty-five-year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another—and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to prevent the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.

Don’t miss Steve Berry’s novella The Tudor Plot and a sneak peek of his new novel, The Lincoln Myth, in the back of the book.

Praise for The King’s Deception

 
“A Dan Brown-ian secular conspiracy about the Virgin Queen driving nonstop international intrigue.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Steve Berry
 
“Berry raises this genre’s stakes.”—The New York Times
 
“I love this guy.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child
 
“Forget Clancy and Cussler. When it comes to this genre, there is simply no one better.”—The Providence Journal
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  • The King's Deception
    The King's Deception  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

As avid Steve Berry fans know, Cotton Malone is a former secret agent who just wants to lead a quiet life as a Copenhagen used bookstore owner. Fortunately for thriller readers, he never gets the chance. At the outset of his eighth fictional incarnation, he is simply doing a good deed, acompanying a juvenile thief to England, but that innocent act rapidly entangles him in a case that stretches back five centuries and involves a kidnapping, Elizabethan secrets, long-hidden treasures and codes, a terrorist cabal, and a traitorous CIA agent; not necessarily in that order. A suspenseful novel that begs to be a movie.

Library Journal
In Berry's eighth book (after The Columbus Affair) starring Cotton Malone, the aging former agent turned bookseller is pulled yet again into a conspiracy to rewrite history. Retirement from private security/international affairs and a Danish address aren't enough to keep Malone out of trouble when he agrees to transport a fugitive to England. Malone and his teenage son, Gary, become ensnared in a plot that links Malone's ex-wife's affair, Libyan terrorists, and Elizabeth I of Shakespeare's era. Gary teams up with Ian, a wily London street kid who unwittingly pickpocketed key evidence moments before a murder. Malone must identify his real enemies and solve the mystery to save his son and himself. VERDICT Berry's fans expect action interspersed with unbelievable shockers from the past and just enough historical fact to make the incredible plots seem possible. They won't be disappointed here as his hero continues to do battle with history and those who would kill to keep its secrets buried. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL
Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Berry’s tepid eighth Cotton Malone thriller (after 2011’s The Jefferson Key), the ex–secret agent agrees to escort a juvenile thief in CIA custody, 15-year-old Ian Dunne, to England, as a favor to his former boss, Stephanie Nelle. Conveniently, Malone, who now runs a used-book store in Copenhagen, is planning to pick up his 15-year-old son, Gary, from his ex-wife in Atlanta for a European visit. Shortly after Malone and the two boys land at Heathrow, Ian and Gary are kidnapped. Malone begins a deadly chase that ricochets between 1547 and the present day and centers on a historical mystery involving Elizabeth I. All the elements of a Da Vinci Code adventure are in place: a traitorous CIA agent, ancient treasure, secret codes, and a mysterious, elderly head of the British Secret Intelligence Service; but unfortunately these components function more as teasers for the undeniably fascinating historical material, rather than as a launching pad for genuine thrills. 8- to 10-city author tour. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (June)
From the Publisher
Praise for The King’s Deception
 
“A Dan Brown-ian secular conspiracy about the Virgin Queen driving nonstop international intrigue.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
Praise for Steve Berry
 
“Berry raises this genre’s stakes.”—The New York Times
 
“I love this guy.”—No. 1 internationally bestselling author Lee Child
 
“Forget Clancy and Cussler. When it comes to this genre, there is simply no one better.”—The Providence Journal
Kirkus Reviews
Berry (The Columbus Affair, 2013, etc.) mixes Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and terrorists into Cotton Malone's eighth adventure. Malone is retired from the Magellan Billet, the U.S. Justice Department's supersecret unit. He now owns a Copenhagen bookstore. Malone's been summoned to Atlanta, his ex-wife's home, where she's shocked their son, Gary, with a buried secret: Malone isn't his biological father. Gary's angry. He wants to spend time in Copenhagen. Aware of his trip, Malone's former Magellan boss asks him to escort a runaway street kid to London. Ian Dunne witnessed a CIA agent's death. Berry's narrative catalyst was a real-life headline--Scotland's release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. The CIA isn't happy, and the British government won't act. The Malones and Dunne no sooner have their feet on the ground in London than they're kidnapped by agents working for Blake Antrim, of the Brussels-based CIA special operations counterterrorism team. Antrim is scheming to use a Tudor-era conspiracy involving Elizabeth I that reflects on the current monarchy's legitimacy to pressure the Brits to stop the release. Post–Malone kidnapping, there are escapes and evasions, all transpiring while Antrim's crew also opens Henry VIII's tomb in Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel. Next, hard-charging Kathleen Richards of England's Serious Organized Crime Agency jumps into the whirlwind. Tudor-era rumors manipulating terrorist negotiations may seem realpolitik overkill, but it's ample ammunition for Berry's cinematic action to ricochet through castles, manor grounds and London's Underground while involving a professor assassinated but not dead, scholarly twin sisters and Sir Thomas Mathews, the British SIS's Machiavellian chief. Antrim's efforts are apparently stymied by the Daedalus Society, an ancient monarchy-preservation group, but then he succumbs to a bribe. Sir Thomas dissembles, manipulates and murders; Antrim's self-interest manifests; a secreted manuscript encoded by Robert Cecil, Elizabeth I's confidant and secretary of state, is deciphered; Bram Stoker's nonfiction work is cited, and Malone, the teenage boys and Richards survive more entrapments and gun battles than humanly possible. A Dan Brown-ian secular conspiracy about The Virgin Queen driving nonstop international intrigue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345526564
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Series: Cotton Malone Series , #8
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 5,298
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Steve Berry
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 www.steveberry.org.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Read an Excerpt

9780345526540|excerpt

Berry / THE KING'S DECEPTION

One

london

friday, november 21

6:25 pm

Cotton Malone stepped up to the Customs window at Heathrow Airport and presented two passports—his own and his son Gary’s. Positioned between himself and the glass-enclosed counter, however, stood a problem.

Fifteen-year-old Ian Dunne.

“This one doesn’t have a passport,” he told the attendant, then explained who he was and what he was doing. A brief call to somebody led to verbal approval for Ian to reenter the country.

Which didn’t surprise Malone.

He assumed that since the Central Intelligence Agency wanted the boy in England they’d make the necessary arrangements.

He was tired from the long flight, though he’d caught a few hours of sleep. His knee still hurt from the kick Ian had delivered in Atlanta, before trying to flee from that airport. Luckily, his own fifteen-year-old, Gary, had been quick to tackle the pesky Scot before he’d escaped the concourse.

Favors for friends.

Always a problem.

This one for his former boss, Stephanie Nelle, at the Magellan Billet.

It’s the CIA, she’d told him. Langley had called directly. Somehow they were aware Malone was in Georgia and wanted him to escort the boy back to London, handing him over to the Metropolitan Police. After that he and Gary could head on to Copenhagen. In return, they’d received first-class tickets all the way home to Denmark.

Not bad. His own were coach.

Four days ago he’d flown to Georgia for two reasons. The State Bar of Georgia required twelve hours of continuing legal education from all of its licensed lawyers. Though he’d retired from the navy and the Magellan Billet, he still kept his law license active, which meant he had to satisfy the annual education mandate. Last year he’d attended a sanctioned event in Brussels, a three-day meeting on multinational property rights. This year he’d chosen a seminar in Atlanta on international law. Not the most exciting way to spend two days, but he’d worked too hard for that degree to simply allow his ticket to lapse.

The second reason was personal.

Gary had asked to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with him. School was out and his ex-wife, Pam, thought an overseas trip a good idea. He’d wondered why she was so reticent, and found out last week when Pam called his bookshop in Copenhagen.

“Gary’s angry,” she said. “He’s asking a lot of questions.”

“Ones you don’t want to answer?”

“Ones I’m going to have a tough time answering.”

Which was an understatement. Six months ago she’d revealed a harsh truth to him during another call from Atlanta to Denmark. Gary was not his natural son. Instead, the boy was the product of an affair some sixteen years past.

Now she’d told Gary that truth, and his son was not happy. For Malone, the news had been crushing. He could only imagine what it had been for Gary.

“Neither one of us was a saint back then, Cotton.”

She liked to remind him of that reality—as if somehow he’d forgotten that their marriage supposedly ended because of his lapses.

“Gary wants to know about his birth father.”

“So do I.”

She’d told him nothing about the man, and refused his requests for information.

“He has no involvement here,” she said. “He’s a total stranger to all of us. Just like the women you were with have nothing to do with this. I don’t want to open that door. Ever.”

“Why did you tell Gary about this? We agreed to do that together, when the time was right.”

“I know. I know. My mistake. But it had to be done.”

“Why?”

She did not answer him. But he could imagine the reason. She liked to be in control. Of everything. Only she wasn’t in control here. Nobody was, actually.

“He hates me,” she said. “I see it in his eyes.”

“You turned the boy’s life upside down.”

“He told me today that he might want to live with you.”

He had to say, “You know I would never take advantage of this.”

“I know that. This is my fault. Not yours. He’s so angry. Maybe a week with you would help ease some of that.”

He’d come to realize that he didn’t love Gary one drop less because he carried no Malone genes. But he’d be lying to himself if he said he wasn’t bothered by the fact. Six months had passed and the truth still hurt. Why? He wasn’t sure. He hadn’t been faithful to Pam while in the navy. He was young and stupid and got caught. But now he knew that she’d had an affair of her own. Never mentioned at the time. Would she have strayed if he hadn’t?

He doubted it. Not her nature.

So he wasn’t blameless for the current mess.

He and Pam had been divorced for over a year, but only back in October had they made their peace. Everything that happened with the Library of Alexandria changed things between them.

For the better.

But now this.

One boy in his charge was angry and confused.

The other seemed to be a delinquent.

Stephanie had told him some. Ian Dunne had been born in Scotland. Father unknown. Mother abandoned him early. He was sent to London to live with an aunt and drifted in and out of her home, finally running away. He had an arrest record—petty theft, trespassing, loitering. The CIA wanted him because a month ago one of their people was shoved, or jumped, into the path of an oncoming Underground train. Dunne was there, in Oxford Circus. Witnesses say he might even have stolen something from the dead man. So they needed to talk to him.

Not good, but also not his concern.

In a few minutes his favor for Stephanie Nelle would be over, then he and Gary would catch their connecting flight to Copenhagen and enjoy the week, depending of course on how many uncomfortable questions his son might want answered. The hitch was that the Denmark flight departed not from Heathrow, but Gatwick, London’s other major airport, an hour’s ride east. Their departure time was several hours away, so it wasn’t a problem. He would just need to convert some dollars to pounds and hire a taxi.

They left Customs and claimed their luggage.

Both he and Gary had packed light.

“The police going to take me?” Ian asked.

“That’s what I’m told.”

“What will happen to him?” Gary asked.

He shrugged. “Hard to say.”

And it was. Especially with the CIA involved.

He shouldered his bag and led both boys out of the baggage area.

“Can I have my things?” Ian asked.

When Ian had been turned over to him in Atlanta, he’d been given a plastic bag that contained a Swiss Army knife with all the assorted attachments, a pewter necklace with a religious medal attached, a pocket Mace container, some silver shears, and two paperback books with their covers missing.

Ivanhoe and Le Morte D’Arthur.

Their brown edges were water-stained, the bindings veined with thick white creases. Both were thirty-plus-year-old printings. Stamped on the title page was any old books, with an address in Piccadilly Circus, London. He employed a similar branding of inventory, his simply announcing cotton malone, bookseller, højbro plads, copenhagen. The items in the plastic bag all belonged to Ian, seized by Customs when they took him into custody at Miami International, after he’d tried to enter the country illegally.

“That’s up to the police,” he said. “My orders are to hand you and the bag over to them.”

He’d stuffed the bundle inside his travel case, where it would stay until the police assumed custody. He half expected Ian to bolt, so he remained on guard. Ahead he spied two men, both in dark suits walking their way. The one on the right, short and stocky with auburn hair, introduced himself as Inspector Norse.

He extended a hand, which Malone shook.

“This is Inspector Devene. We’re with the Met. We were told you’d be accompanying the boy. We’re here to give you a lift to Gatwick and take charge of Master Dunne.”

“I appreciate the ride. Wasn’t looking forward to an expensive taxi.”

“Least we can do. Our car is just outside. One of the privileges of being the police is we can park where we want.”

The man threw Malone a grin.

They started for the exit.

Malone noticed Inspector Devene take up a position behind Ian. Smart move, he thought.

“You responsible for getting him into the country with no passport?”

Norse nodded. “We are, along with some others working with us. I think you know about them.”

That he did.

They stepped out of the terminal into brisk morning air. A bank of dense clouds tinted the sky a depressing shade of pewter. A blue Mercedes sedan sat by the curb. Norse opened the rear door and motioned for Gary to climb in first, then Ian and Malone. The inspector stood outside until they were all in, then closed the door. Norse rode in the front passenger seat, while Devene drove. They sped out of Heathrow and found the M4 motorway. Malone knew the route, London a familiar locale. Years ago he’d spent time in England on assignments. He’d also been detached here for a year by the navy. Traffic progressively thickened as they made their way east toward the city.

“Would it be all right if we made one stop before we head for Gatwick?” Norse asked him.

“No problem. We have time before the plane leaves. The least we can do for a free ride.”

Malone watched Ian as the boy gazed out the window. He couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to him. Stephanie’s assessment had not been a good one. A street kid, no family, completely on his own. Unlike Gary, who was dark-haired with a swarthy complexion, Ian was blond and fair-skinned. He seemed like a good kid, though. Just dealt a bad hand. But at least he was young, and youth offered chances, and chances led to possibilities. Such a contrast with Gary, who lived a more conventional, secure life. The thought of Gary on the streets, loose, with no one, tore at his heart.

Warm air blasted the car’s interior and the engine droned as they chugged through traffic.

Malone’s eyes surrendered to jet lag.

When he woke, he glanced at his watch and realized he’d been out about fifteen minutes. He willed himself to alertness. Gary and Ian were still sitting quietly. The sky had darkened further. A storm was approaching the city. He studied the car’s interior, noticing for the first time no radio or communications equipment. Also, the carpets were immaculate, the upholstery in pristine condition. Certainly not like any police car he’d ever ridden in.

He then examined Norse.

The man’s brown hair was cut below the ears. Not shaggy, but thick. He was clean-shaven and a bit overweight. He was dressed appropriately, suit and tie, but it was the left earlobe that drew his attention. Pierced. No earring was present, but the puncture was clear.

“I was wondering, Inspector. Might I see your identification? I should have asked at the airport.”

Norse did not answer him. The question aroused Ian’s attention, and he studied Malone with a curious look.

“Did you hear me, Norse? I’d like to see your identification.”

“Just enjoy the ride, Malone.”

He didn’t like the curt tone so he reached for the front seat and pulled himself forward, intending to make his point clearer.

The barrel of a gun came around the headrest and greeted him.

“This enough identification?” Norse asked.

“Actually, I was hoping for a picture ID.” He motioned to the weapon. “When did the Metropolitan Police start issuing Glocks?”

No reply.

“Who are you?”

The gun waved at Ian. “His keeper.”

Ian reached across Gary and wrenched the chrome handle up and down, but the door would not open.

“Great things, child locks,” said Norse. “Keeps the wee ones from slipping away.”

Malone said, “Son, you want to tell me what’s going on?”

Ian said nothing.

“These men have apparently gone to a lot of trouble to make your acquaintance.”

“Sit back, Malone,” Norse said. “This is none of your concern.”

He reclined in the seat. “On that we agree.”

Except his son was in the car, too.

Norse kept his head turned back toward them, his gaze and the gun glued on Malone.

The car continued through morning congestion.

He absorbed what was whirling past outside, recalling what he could about the geography of North London. He realized the bridge they’d just crossed was for Regent’s Canal, a corridor-like waterway that wound a snaking path through the city, eventually spilling into the Thames. Stately trees lined the four-laned promenade. Traffic was heavy. He spotted the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground. He knew that the fictional Baker Street of Sherlock Holmes lay a few blocks over. Little Venice wasn’t far away.

They crossed the canal again and he glanced down at brightly painted houseboats dotting the waterway. Longboats dotted the canal, no more than ten feet high, designed to fit under the tight bridges. Rows and rows of Georgian houses and flats lined the boulevard, fronted with tall trees less their leaves.

Devene turned the Mercedes onto a side lane. More houses rolled past on either side. The scene was not unlike Atlanta, where his own house had once stood. Three more turns and they entered a courtyard enclosed on three sides by high hedges. The Mercedes stopped outside a mews constructed of pastel-colored stones.

Norse exited. Devene also climbed out.

Both rear doors were released from the outside.

“Get out,” Norse said.

Malone stood on cobblestones outlined by emerald lichens. Gary and Ian emerged on the other side.

Ian tried to bolt.

Norse slammed the boy hard into the car.

“Don’t,” Malone called out. “Do as he says. You too, Gary.”

Norse shoved the gun into Ian’s neck. “Stay still.” The man’s body pinned Ian to the car. “Where’s the flash drive?”

“What drive?” Malone asked.

“Shut him up,” Norse called out.

Devene jammed a fist into Malone’s gut.

“Dad,” Gary called out.

He doubled over and tried to regain his breath, motioning to Gary that he was okay.

“The flash drive,” Norse said again. “Where is it?”

Malone rose, arms hugging his stomach. Devene drew back to swing again, but Malone jammed his knee into the man’s groin, then smacked Devene’s jaw with his right fist.

He may have been retired and jet-lagged, but he wasn’t helpless.

He whirled in time to see Norse aim the gun his way. The retort from a single shot came the instant after Malone lunged for the pavement, the bullet finding the hedges behind him. He stared up into the Mercedes’ passenger compartment and saw Norse through the half-open doors. He sprang to his feet, pivoted off the hood, and propelled his legs through the car’s interior into the far-side door.

The panel flew out and smashed into Norse, sending the phony inspector reeling backward into the mews.

He shoved himself through the open door.

Ian was running from the courtyard, toward the street.

Malone’s gaze met Gary’s. “Go with him. Get out of here.”

He was tackled from behind.

His forehead slapped wet stone. Pain shuddered through him. He’d thought Devene out of commission.

A mistake.

An arm wrapped around his throat and he tried to release the stranglehold grip. His prone position gave him little room to maneuver and Devene was hinging his spine at an unnatural angle.

The buildings around him winked in and out.

Blood trickled down his forehead and into his eye.

The last thing he saw before blackness enveloped him was Ian and Gary, disappearing around a corner.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 113 )
Rating Distribution

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(60)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 113 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great Steve Berry book. Five stars.

    Another great Steve Berry book. Five stars.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 12, 2013

    How can you have so many "reviews" before a book is la

    How can you have so many "reviews" before a book is launched and all be anonymous? I expect to LOVE this book since, like so many others, I have been waiting mounths for it's June 11th release.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    One of his best!

    This is one of Berry's best novels. There are stories going on within stories, deceptions on top of deceptions. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the history of the British monarchy but in the end it all came together and made a wonderful thriller! I highly recommend this book if you like this genre!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2013

    What I enjoyed was the history but the rest of the story became

    What I enjoyed was the history but the rest of the story became more and more ridiculous as the book went on until it was totally unbelievable.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    King's deception

    Steve Berry is one of thebest out there. The Kings Deception is no different than his other books, it gets you hooked and before you know it the book is done. Excellent.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2013

    Add Steve Berry to my list of favorite authors. Steve, where ha

    Add Steve Berry to my list of favorite authors. Steve, where have you been all of my reading life? How come I'm just now discovering you?

    Me-thriller fan/historical fiction fan/Tudor fan. The King's Deception - all of these rolled into one.

    How does the upcoming release of a Libyan terrorist responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland play into international diplomacy? That's easy to figure out. Many British and American citizens were killed in this tragedy, so America is naturally concerned with figuring out why Britain would allow this release.

    Where does a 500-year-old "Tudor Plot" play into this modern-day intrigue? THAT is the kicker.

    Cotton Malone, a retired American agent, is doing a favor for his former boss, bringing a teenage fugitive back to London as he travels with his son Gary.

    This simple favor turns into a dangerous adventure where it's sometimes hard to tell the bad guys from the good, and twists and turns abound.

    Mix in the fact that there may be a Tudor secret (or two) that could change the course of history - powerful enough to possibly sway the British into intervening in the release of the Libyan terrorist - and you have two parallel tales, both equally fascinating and fun for this reader.

    There's a suspense thriller with characters that you actually CARE about. The interplay between Cotton, his son Gary, their "fugitive" Ian and various other characters makes for a well-developed character study even for someone new to the Cotton Malone novels. There's enough believable action and plot to keep any thriller/suspense reader happy, and enough plot twists to keep you on your toes.

    Then there's the historical fiction aspect of it. What would be the international implication if Queen Elizabeth's reign and her actions were deemed false? Was there a reason why Queen Elizabeth enforced such strict rules about touching and/or seeing her person? Why did she never marry? Why did she insist that there be no post-mortem autopsy? What is the Daedulus Society and whose secrets are they keeping?

    You have to read this one to find out. It was extremely good - fast-paced, involved, with more than a few surprises thrown in - I closed this one with a satisfied thunk.

    QUOTES:

    "We truly have little idea what Elizabeth actually looked like. All of the surviving portraits are suspect. And she was definitely a person of strange habits. As Robert Cecil noted, she wore wigs, heavy makeup, and unflattering clothing. By all accounts she was not a pretty woman, her language coarse, her manner brusque. She controlled her life, and her world, totally. No one could, or would, question her decisions. So it is entirely possible that the ruse could have worked."

    "I've been around a long time, Malone."
    "I'm not one of your exes. You might find beating up on me a bit more difficult."

    BLOGGERS: Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.

    Writing: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Plot: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Characters: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Reading Immersion: 5 out 5 stars

    BOOK RATING: 4.6 out of 5 stars

    Sensitive Reader: Some people die, but not extremely depicted.

    Book Club Recommendation: Yes - I can see people having lots of fun with this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    The best book yet

    Steve berry clearly out did himself on this book deals woth the lockerbee bomber and the leverage that might make England try to get Scotland to rethink releasing the bomber and the fact that Elizabeth the first last of the tudors and queen during Englands golden age was not who everybody thought she was

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Berry did an excellent job at taking the Tudor legacy and adding

    Berry did an excellent job at taking the Tudor legacy and adding a bit of mystery and intrigue into it. Being a frequent traveler to England I must say he truly captured and studied the culture in Great Britain, it was as if I was standing nearby in all the great English buildings with Cotton and Co. And to those who may feel that the Tudor scandal was less than compelling, let me tell you that if such a thing were true, it truly would have destroyed England and would have been a very real threat to that situation! Overall Berry did a superb job capturing the mood for this book and I will most certainly be keeping an eye out for his future titles!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Amazing story

    Love the Cotton Malone series and this one is great.... hated to put it down to get meals and such....LOL

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    Still one of the best uses of your time

    I always enjoy how he bases his books on historical evidence. Not just a good, entertaining tale but you possibly learn something in the process.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    Far-fetched plot well written

    Truly have enjoyed all Steve Berry, but found this one a little too far-fetched. As always, well-researched and well-written, but the conclusions drawn weren't believable this time around.
    SPOILER: Why in the world would author choose to debunk such a beloved historical personage?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Steve Berry has a winner!

    I've enjoyed THE KING'S DECEPTION--another good read from an exceptional author. I have read most of his books and look forward to the next. The tie-in with history is a bonus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2013

    Recommend

    If you're a Steve Berry fan, this is another good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    kings deception a must read

    have read all of berry,s books. this is a quick read.highly recommended.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Loved this book

    Very interesting plot line.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Always a good read!

    A great historical thought provoker!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2013

    Riveting!

    Typical Steve Berry... lots of twists and turns, plenty of action and a far fetched, though plausible, historical basis. Had a hard time putting it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Great premise - "okay" execution

    I thoroughly enjoy the entire Cotton Malone series - including the novellas; that disclaimer out of the way, I found this one had the potential to be so much more...

    The premise of "The King's Deception" was well researched and the locations were vividly described and accurate to a fault - Steve Berry does his homework!...however, there was almost a feeling that he was forced to a deadline with this book...the story being told in "hindsight" was a departure from his standard formula, and while we have come to expect tidy endings to these historical crime dramas, this one just didn't have the same "can't put it down" feeling of most of his other works...

    If you are a fan of Cotton Malone, by all means read the book - the history and settings are worth every minute you'll spend, but if this is your first experience with Berry's novels, go back to the beginning and read those first - you will get to experience Berry at his best, unlike this effort...

    Let's hope this doesn't mark the end of the Cotton Malone series - I'd like to see such a great character go out on a high note!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    All in all a great book.

    All in all a great book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Another Great Cotton Malone Story

    Steve Berry continues to deliver excellent story telling and action in this latest Cotton Malone chapter. This one is a look back 2 years into the pass and tells the story of Cotton's adventure with his son Gary in England. This involves the legend or the Tudor kings and the possibility that Queen Elizabeth I was not what she appeared to be. The story begins during the period that Scotland was about to release the convicted terrorist bomber of the Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103 to Libya. The US CIA tries to stop this by researching the past history of Queen Elizabeth 1 and the "Kings Deception ", one that could create turmoil for the current English government. There is a great back and forth with lots of twists that keep you interested right up to the thrilling end. Can't wait for the next Cotton Malone chapter as they have not disappointed.

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