Praise for The King’s Deception
“[A] perfect blend of history and adventure . . . The history enhances the main narrative and gives it an added punch. . . . Pick up this new fast-paced book by Berry and have an excellent thrill ride while you also get a wonderfully enjoyable history lesson. Education has never been this much fun.”—The Huffington Post
“Steve Berry does what Dan Brown thought he did. [He combines] a love of history with global thriller action and creates books that are impossible to put down and even educational. . . . A perfect blend of history and action . . . perfect summer reading.”—Crimespree Magazine
“Cotton Malone returns in a thriller that combines history and gunfire. . . . Readers old and new will enjoy The King’s Deception.”—Associated Press
“A complex, rollicking forty-hour ride through a very dangerous and wild weekend in London where the betrayals collide with current events and the deceptions of hundreds of years ago, resulting in an explosive finish that no one who reads it will forget. . . . Berry is a wonderful guide as always, interweaving fascinating bits of history into the narrative. . . . I can’t give you a better endorsement for a book or an author.”—Bookreporter
“There are more twists and turns in this plot than in a 1970s disco bar. Interspersed between the modern incidents of betrayals and counter-betrayals are numerous episodes of Tudor/Elizabethan history sure to ruffle the skirts of the most avid Tudor fan. With its great plot and interesting characters, this book is a real page-turner and an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.”—Historical Novels Review
“History, mystery and murder surround perennial protagonist Cotton Malone in a fast-moving tale featuring Elizabeth I, England’s ‘Virgin Queen.’ . . . A heart-pumping adventure.”—The Florida Times-Union
“Action interspersed with unbelievable shockers from the past . . . [Cotton Malone] continues to do battle with history and those who would kill to keep its secrets buried.”—Library Journal
“All the elements of a Da Vinci Code adventure are in place [including] undeniably fascinating historical material.”—Publishers Weekly
“Contemporary politics mixes with treachery from Tudor England for a novel filled with suspense. The detailed history of Tudor England will entrance fans of British historicals. The castles mentioned are real and worth a visit. There are assassins, traitors, spies and mystery surrounding Cotton and his son, Gary.”—British Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
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)
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
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.