Review by Booklist Review
The prolific Berry has a knack for finding obscure yet fascinating historical details and fashioning them into fast-moving novels. This one revolves around a real-life secret society that most people have never heard of: the Knights of the Golden Circle, a nineteenth-century group that wanted to encircle Mexico and other Latin American countries and make them part of the U.S. as slave states. Though that didn't work out, the group buried great gobs of Confederate gold across the country. Both the Knights' endurance into modern times and the lure of the gold are the fictional plot points on which this thriller hinges, although there is also plenty about D.C. skulduggery, faithless wives, and feckless public servants. Fans of Berry's books will be happy to see his hero, Cotton Malone, making his twelfth appearance, this time with a Civil War-era ancestor connecting past parts of the story with the present. Berry provides interesting backdrops as his characters hopscotch around the country, and series fans will be excited to see that things are heating up between Malone and his rough-and-ready companion Cassiopeia Vitt. As always with Berry, the author's note, which separates facts from fiction, adds much to our appreciation of the tale. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Prior to the publication of Berry's latest, 20 million copies of his books had been sold across 51 countries. The 400,000 first printing of this one will boost that total still higher.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In the 12th thriller featuring former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone (after 2016's The 14th Colony), Berry delivers exactly what fans of this bestselling series have come to expect-an intricately plotted, action-paced story line that seamlessly blends history with provocative speculation. While on assignment for the Smithsonian in rural Arkansas, Malone becomes entangled with the "most powerful subversive organization in the history of the United States." Founded in 1854, the Knights of the Golden Circle have allegedly been guarding billions in stolen gold and silver for more than a century. But the treasure can only be found by locating a series of invaluable artifacts that are encrypted with a seemingly unbreakable code. Malone's quest becomes deadly when he discovers links to a conspiracy by the ambitious present-day speaker of the house, who wants to radically change the political power structure of the country. The fusion of contemporary and historical adventure makes this a page-turner of the highest order. Author tour. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Once again, Berry (The Templar Legacy; The Amber Room) has delivered an excellent political thriller that weaves fact and fiction, history and the present. The Knights of the Golden Circle was one of the largest and most dangerous secret organizations in American history. Established in the 1850s, the group amassed a fortune in stolen treasure, some of it suspected Confederate gold, and buried it in secret caches across the United States. Now factions in the federal government, intent on implementing a plot to upset the balance of power, want to recover the prize. The Smithsonian Institution enlists Cotton Malone to help locate the missing gold. Seemingly unconnected events involving the death of a U.S. senator and murder at the Smithsonian soon links back to the Knights, who continue to guard their secrets. VERDICT Cotton Malone is an action hero like no other, and his many fans will eagerly await the latest entry in Berry's series. A page-turning read that is hard to put down. [See Prepub Alert, 10/24/16; library marketing.]-Sandra Knowles, South Carolina State Lib., Columbia © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Berry's (The 14th Colony, 2016, etc.) latest brews another thriller from the formula that's put him on the bestseller lists: modern bad guys discover a historic conspiracy that can make them rich and/or give them power to overturn the American republic.Again it's the Magellan Billet's Cotton Malone, Navy pilot/spy/Copenhagen bookstore owner, into the fray, this time to find millions in gold secreted by the defeated Confederacy's Knights of the Golden Circle. A map to its location is inscribed on a combination of five stones scattered around the country. It's U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Weston who's sent Malone to recover the stones, with fellow agent (and Malone love interest) Cassiopeia Vitt earning a supporting role. Magellan Billet chief supporter President Danny Daniels has just left office, leaving Magellan chief Stephanie Nelle in limbo. At first, Stephanie's unaware of Malone's mission, but she's soon to be mired in related issues after Daniels discovers another plot when his best friend, Sen. Alex Sherwood of Tennessee, dies. Because of suspicious behavior on the part of Sherwood's widow, Diane, Daniels believes there's a plot to twist the Constitution's Article I to give near-dictatorial powers to the Speaker of the House, Lucius Vance, "a self-confident, pompous ass." Formerly a bit player, Daniels' larger role creates interest, especially as Berry digs deeper into his character. Berry also gives cameos to Jesse James and Confederate VP Alexander Stephens while offering notes on James Smithson's crypt and the history of the Smithsonian and setting up a former Smithsonian curator as a bad guy behind the mask of a stunning disguise. With the link between the gold and the political power grab ephemeral, this overly long novel tries too hard. Readers looking to sample the historical-conspiracies genre should begin with one of Berry's earlier efforts. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.