The eleventh novel in Steve Berry’s novels about Cotton Malone and the Magellan Billet finds Malone’s crew chasing a Russian arming himself with long-lost nuclear devices from the Cold War. Against the backdrop of the presidential transition, the story plays out as the Society of Cincinnati’s efforts, the invasion of Canada, and a plot to kill the U.S.’ future leaders find readers tracking several story lines. Berry is always researching; here, he proves to weave a tale that ties several timelines and historical experiences together in a story that impacts our present.
When Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II meet in 1982 to open the novel, the stage is set in a tale that finds Malone crash-landing in Siberia, and returning to North America with an intent to stop Aleksandr Zorin. Zorin believes that there’s still a chance for Mother Russia to return to power – and he’s happy to kill anyone who gets in his way.
For those who haven’t read Berry’s Malone stories, there’s one very instinctive ex-bookseller (Malone), his girlfriend, Cassiopeia Vitt, his boss, Stephanie Nelle, and the current president’s nephew, Luke Daniels, all intent on stopping him. While the plot may be part-National Treasure, part-Bourne, each story is in its own element thanks to the way that Berry uses the past historical data to frame his present day thriller.
While there is very little to make us think that this is the end of Magellan Billet (even though the new presidential candidate is intent on shutting them down a la Mission Impossible style), Berry does make us care about his characters – especially when it comes to the reconciliation possibilities for Malone and Vitt. So dive in with Malone, and explore the history you never knew. It’s a thrill ride.