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by Steve Berry

Pub Date: May 20th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-345-52657-1
Publisher: Ballantine

In Berry’s (The King’s Deception, 2013, etc.) latest, retired secret agent Cotton Malone is drafted from his Copenhagen bookstore to battle a conspiracy, one threatening the U.S. Constitution.

Malone was the go-to guy for tough-minded Stephanie Nelle, chief of the Magellan Billet—the U.S. Justice Department’s secret action group. Now she needs his help again: Rescue a man from Sweden who has information about a missing Magellan operative. That ends in gunplay, with Luke Daniels, newbie Magellan agent and the president’s estranged nephew, and Cassiopeia Vitt, Malone’s current flame, soon involved. The same way Dan Brown's books feature Catholic conspiracies, Berry employs rogue members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Mormons—as foils. The plot pivots on a vitally important historical document, written after the Constitutional Convention and secretly handed down from president to president until Abraham Lincoln loaned it to Brigham Young in a bid to keep the Mormons pro-Union during the Civil War. With Lincoln’s assassination, the document was never returned and was eventually lost among Young’s personal papers. Now the legendary document is being sought by a U.S. senator from Utah, Thaddeus Rowan, who's also one of 12 LDS apostles. In a speed-chess plot moving from Copenhagen to Salzburg—both described with familiarity—then Washington, Iowa and Salt Lake City, Malone disrupts a prestigious antiques auction, Rowan steals from the Library of Congress, and everyone ends up at Wasatch Mountain cave, where Ute Indians secreted conquistador gold. Berry employs Mormon history while offering Magellan new-guy Luke a chance to meet cute with a beautiful historian and reconcile with his uncle-president while leaving Malone and Cassiopeia to rethink love and loyalties. 

All action all the time as Malone once again yanks civilization back from the precipice.