I haven’t read anything by Steve Berry and I thought I had heard of him, so I wanted to give him a try with his new book. It’s #9 in the Cotton Malone series.
Stats: 429 pages for a book, 12 discs for audio – narrator Scott Brick. I listened to the audio version.
Blurb: (Goodreads) A Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely—not only in Malone’s world, but in ours.
September 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: save thousands of American lives, or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever?
The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot—a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase.
All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict—a constitutional war secretly set in motion more than two hundred years ago by America’s Founding Fathers.
From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln—while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance
What I didn’t like: It was a bit slow – lots of reading from letters or pretend text from the past or present books or letters. If you aren’t interested in history: our nations history, Latter Day Saints history, you probably won’t enjoy this much. I haven’t read any of Berry’s other Malone stories but I’m guessing their are a bit more fast paced than this one was. The prologue is supposed to be enlightening and get you interested – it was also slow and just confused me. This confusion gets cleared up later on in the book, but still, not a great beginning. You know how it’s going to turn out so there isn’t a lot of mystery to the story plot.
What I liked: Cotton Malone is a good character and I like how Berry leaves the solution to his love interest in the air – my guess for another book. I’m a history buff so all the explanations didn’t bother me. The writing is good even if the plot’s a bit unbelievable. The narrator, Scott Brick, does a wonderful job.
I’ll probably try one if Berry’s earlier books. The earlier books in a series tend to be the better stories.