I have completed Steve Berry's 8th Cotton Malone novel, The King's Deception and I'm once more reminded why I'm such a fan of this series. Cotton and his son Gary are in Europe as a favor to his (ex)boss Stephanie. His assistance in escorting a teenage fugitive, Ian, is needed. Once they touch down in England, they are approached by some very dangerous men weilding weapons. This is where Cotton is seperated from his son, as well as Ian, and things begin to explode in ways that Cotton wasn't expecting for what was supposed to be an easy assignment.
What Cotton doesn't know is that he's going to soon be involved with uncovering 400 year old secrets that can tip the scales in America's favor against Great Britain. This secret is what can be used to keep a Libyan terrorist from being released for humanitarian reasons and keep the cancer ridden man in Scottish prisons. The CIA has been trying to locate and uncover secrets from Tudor England disguised under the codename King's Deception. Blake Antrim is the operative in charge of King's Deception and is the definte villain in this novel. He has ulterior motives that come pretty evident in the beginning but I don't want to spoil it for anyone so... let's leave it at that. He isn't to be trusted.
What I love most about The King's Deception is that there is so much craftiness being performed by the people in this novel, it's hard to know who's on who's side. This formula is used often in Berry's writing but it never gets old for me. The betrayal's keep the story moving forward amongst all the historic background that's given. On the topic of historic background, readers will find themselves researching topics in ANY Berry novel and comparing what's fact or fiction. The lines are so obscure at times. Love That!
The one gripe I have about this novel is that I don't believe for one second Cotton is this gullible... or stupid. The novel begins with Cotton telling his ex-wife about the adventures he had with his son Gary in England, two years earlier. I don't understand how Cotton didn't figure there was some sort of setup. He's supposed to be a bookseller. Why would he need to personally escort a teenage fugitive when the government has plenty able bodies. I thought that was a little thin but I dismissed it for the good storytelling.
I recommend The King's Deception to all Steve Berry fans and lovers of suspenseful historic fiction. We all know how essential it is to keep up with our favorite ex-agent of the Magellen Billet division of the Justice Department. There is no shortage of mystery, cunning characters, or suspense.****