Review by Booklist Review
It took him a while a dozen books to get around to it, but Berry has finally written Cotton Malone's origin story. Set 18 years in the past and narrated by Malone in the first person, this exciting tale of historical intrigue reveals how Malone wound up working for a top-secret U.S. government intelligence group called the Magellan Billet; how he met his longtime boss, Stephanie Nelle; and what he was doing before he entered the world of international intrigue. The Malone novels concern historical mysteries that reverberate into the present day, and this time it's what happened to 20-odd U.S. Double Eagle gold coins that escaped being melted down in the early 1930s. James Twining's The Double Eagle (2005) also used the elusive gold coins as his jumping-off point, but Berry is an old hand at turning well-trod ground (the Templars, the Romanovs, Thomas Jefferson) to his own uses, and he does it again here, alchemizing the gold coins into a plot about long-hidden files revealing secrets about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. As always, Berry's high-concept story lines require some suspension of disbelief, but adventure junkies are used to that. Besides, it's a small price to pay for Cotton Malone's backstory. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A 400,000 announced market distribution will get books on the shelves, and Berry's fans will do the rest.--Pitt, David Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Bestseller Berry's 13th thriller featuring U.S. government operative Cotton Malone (after 2017's The Lost Order) is an effective conspiracy yarn centered on Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. In the present, Malone has a secret meeting in Atlanta with an unnamed man who sent him a note stating, "Fifty years have passed. Bring them." Flash back to 18 years earlier. Malone, a member of the JAG Corps, is recruited by the Justice Department's Stephanie Nelle to handle a special assignment-to retrieve a waterproof case containing a stolen Double Eagle coin, worth millions, from a sunken boat off the south Florida coast. Malone makes the dive, only to find that he hadn't been told the truth; the case is also the target of some armed men and turns out to contain confidential documents relating to an FBI program connected with King's murder in Memphis in 1968. Berry makes Malone accessible to newcomers by presenting his numerous rookie mistakes as a field operative, but the anticlimactic reveal may disappoint some readers. 400,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Review by Library Journal Review
In his latest Cotton Malone thriller, Berry takes on contemporary history as he weaves another tale of conspiracy and intrigue. Malone becomes entangled in an issue that harkens back to his first assignment with the Justice Department. Eighteen years prior, Malone was a navy attorney on the brink of career suicide when DOJ lawyer Stephanie Nelle offered him an assignment to recover a rare coin allegedly lying at the bottom of the ocean off the Dry Tortugas in the Caribbean. What seems like a simple assignment turns into a dangerous mission involving Cuba, the FBI, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The narration is told mostly in flashback, as Malone remembers the twists and turns of that first case. As fast-paced and exciting as all his previous books, this is another winner in the author's best-selling series. VERDICT Berry's fans will not be disappointed. He has a knack for presenting alternative history that seems as though it might be true. [See Prepub Alert, 9/25/17; April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of King's assassination.]-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.