The King's Deception (Cotton Malone)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This Cotton Malone adventure blends gripping contemporary political intrigue, Tudor treachery, and high-octane thrills into one riveting novel of suspense.
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.
Don’t miss Steve Berry’s novella The Tudor Plot and an excerpt from The Lincoln Myth in the back of the book.
Praise for The King’s Deception
“A Dan Brown-ian secular conspiracy about the Virgin Queen driving nonstop international intrigue.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Steve Berry
“Berry raises this genre’s stakes.”—The New York Times
“I love this guy.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child
“Forget Clancy and Cussler. When it comes to this genre, there is simply no one better.”—The Providence Journal
I have kept for a long time. One my father passed to me. I wish it passed to Edward and ask you to do such.” “It would be my honor to do anything for you.” The king’s eyes closed and she saw that his brief respite from pain had ended. His mouth opened and he cried, “Monks. Monks.” Terror laced the words. Were the ghosts of clerics sent to the flames thronged around his bed, jeering at his dying soul? Henry had laid waste to the monasteries, seizing all of their wealth, punishing their
and the men waited. Slowly, her arms rose from the sheets to her head. Her fingers joined in a circle, forming a crown, which she held there for a moment. No one could now argue as to her intent. A few hours later, Elizabeth, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, died. “Cecil was ready,” Eva said. “He assembled the council and informed them of her announced choice. The witnesses who were there confirmed the truth. Then, the next morning, from Whitehall Palace, heralded
shake. “Blake Antrim.” Twenty OXFORD KATHLEEN’S MIND SWIRLED. SHE’D FACED DRUG TRAFFICKERS who’d fired fourteen hundred rounds from Uzis and AK-47s at her. A hotel room on Tenerife shot up by a child sex offender who’d not wanted to return to England. Being submerged in a car that had catapulted off a bridge. But she’d never experienced anything like the past few minutes. A woman assassinated by a sniper. Her own body Tasered. And some man who was protecting royal secrets, threatening
Ian Dunne and the flash drive. Since Antrim clearly does not have the drive, I want you to make contact with Malone and acquire it. Do whatever you have to do in accomplishing that task. Make haste, though.” She wondered why. “Mr. Malone is about to find a spot of bother.” GARY WALKED WITH ANTRIM TO ANOTHER TABLE, WHERE A book rested beneath a glass lid, similar to one his mother used for cakes and pies. Antrim lifted off the cover. “We keep this one protected. It’s the whole ball of wax.”
you dead?” She nodded. “I have apparently outlived my usefulness.” “Could it have been a bluff?” “Maybe. But I didn’t want to stay there and find out.” “How about we trade what we know. Maybe, among the three of us, we’ll actually begin to make some sense out of all this.” Which they did. She told Malone everything that happened, since yesterday, at Windsor and Oxford, adding her suspicions about Eva Pazan and what Mathews had told her in the car. Malone recounted his past twenty-four