The Bottom Line: Although historical fiction fans may have a hard time digesting Berry’s tale of power-hungry Mormons and secessionist conspiracies, the book delivers some crackling moments that are sure to keep fans of the existing Cotton Malone series engaged.
It’s really hard to critique Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone series – each new release is an international bestseller regardless of what’s contained on the book jacket, and the series definitely has some very solid entries. In Malone, the owner of a Denmark bookstore that is perpetually thrust into danger, Berry has created one of the most compelling action adventure heroes found in any thriller today.
In The Lincoln Myth, fans of Brad Meltzer, Dan Brown and Berry’s own work will find an appetizing rundown of the darker side of Mormon & LDS history. That’s all good and well for a time, but the book’s attempts to make Berry’s domestic fantasy go international feel a bit forced.
That probably won’t deter most of Berry’s fans, which have been won over fair and square in what is, overall, a stellar historical thriller series. A bright spot is a speed boat scene in which Malone gets to do what he does best.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Steve Berry returns with his latest thriller, 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.