The King’s Deception: A Novel by Steve Berry

The King's Deception: A NovelThe King's Deception: A Novel by Steve Berry
Series: Cotton Malone #8
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Pages: 408
Rating: ★★★★
Source: From the Publisher
Genre: Espionage, Fiction, Thrillers
Publisher: Ballantine Books
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About the Book

Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. But after he is greeted at gunpoint in London, both the fugitive and Gary disappear, and Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown—an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.

At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for “humanitarian reasons.” An outraged American government objects, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.

Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception.

Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.

Blake Antrim, the CIA operative in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire, the one thing that every Irish national has sought for generations: a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire forty-five-year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another—and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to prevent the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.


I love History. I’m not kidding, I love absolutely everything about it. The stories, the events, the people, the tradition, and so on. I know not many share my passion, but I’m sure if history textbooks were written by Steve Berry, history would be everyone’s favourite subject.  Think about it. We could call it ‘Everything I need to know about history I learned from a Steve Berry novel’. If that was a class, I would take it and probably ace it.

The King’s Deception: A Novel by Steve Berry is book number eight, yes I did say eight, in the wildly popular Cotton Malone series. The King’s Deception, like all the earlier books in the series, masterfully blends historical fact and historical fiction that results in one amazing tale.  Seriously, I couldn’t put this one down and with every turn of the page, it just got better and better.  Not only do we see some old familiar characters, but we are introduced to plenty of new ones as well.  I think part of what I enjoy so much about this series is that a.) Cotton loves books, b.) even though he is the main character and super smart, he is not portrayed as an expert on everything and certainly doesn’t save the world by himself, c.) everything just weaves together so seamlessly.

Another huge plus with The King’s Deception is that unlike other books in the action/thriller genre, we aren’t really saving the world here.  Are national secrets being protected?  Sure, but the world isn’t in danger of ending if those national secrets get exposed.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the ‘the world is going to end if we don’t save the day’ books just as much as the next person, but it is nice to see something that doesn’t have the US saving the day.

The only thing that disappointed me about the King’s Deception is that even after being book eight in the series, I am still no closer to learning the origins of the name ‘Cotton’ Malone.  Maybe I’ll finally learn that in book number nine!


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