The tenth Cotton Malone novel from Steve Berry finds our former Magellan Billet operative fighting a rogue North Korean despot and the legacy of the feud between American patriots, Andrew Mellon and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It’s also Berry’s first book with Minotaur Books, with a new team editing and such, but the majority of the novel feels like Berry’s typical fair.
Here, Malone is mourning the “loss” of Cassiopeia Vitt, in the aftermath of his decisions in The Lincoln Myth. My only complaint with Patriot Threat is that the trouble in Myth was more obviously dangerous, while the taxation situation of Threat requires Tom Clancy-like explanation. It drags at times, but Berry mixes in a foil for Luke Daniels in the person of the Treasury agent, Isabella Schaefer. Of course, Malone’s boss, Stephanie Velle, and her boss, President Danny Daniels, have greater involvement than in Myth, too.
Ultimately, there are documents that Mellon had in his possession that caused him to hold power over several presidents. His collision with Roosevelt (over taxes) led him to create a National Treasure-like quest to get back at FDR, and in the present day, those papers have fallen into the wrong hands. It’s up to Malone and his team to get them back, before this estranged son of North Korean powers can use them to crush the relationship between the U.S. and China.
I really enjoy Berry’s work, but this one fell a bit flat. It was too unwieldy, and too predictable to keep me as hooked as Myth. But it’s still an interesting read, and fans of his previous works will want to read this one, too. rating: borrow it