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
excellent agent. Quite intuitive. Unfortunate that no discipline accompanies that admirable trait.” “I get what’s at stake here,” she told him over the water’s roar. “I know what Northern Ireland is capable of starting up again. I don’t agree with the Americans meddling in our business, but I also understand why they did. That bloody terrorist should stay in jail. All of you have handled this wrong.” “Sharp criticism from a disgraced agent.” She absorbed his insult. “A disgraced agent, who
back and I’ll provide a meet point. And, Malone, the sooner the better.” “You got that right.” He clicked off the phone and wondered what was happening below. So he stepped over to the window for a look. KATHLEEN WAS LED OUTSIDE, HER WRISTS BOUND BEHIND HER back. People on the sidewalk were stopped by the officers so she could pass and she hated the looks on their faces, wondering who she was and what she may have done. What was the purpose of taking her into custody? Of humiliating her?
centuries he’d be a little worried. “We’ll pass the palace soon,” Tanya said. “It’s quite wide above us. Then we traverse the garden for a little while until there is an exit.” The kitchens were located on the palace’s north side, the river to its south, maybe three football fields in between. A lot of being underground, as far as he was concerned. “For a sewer, this doesn’t smell that bad.” “Oh, my, this hasn’t been used for waste in centuries. Can’t go dumping in the river anymore. It’s
chairs and a wall of windows that faced a quiet street. The hotel had provided her a laptop computer, which they’d used to access Miss Mary’s email account, so they could read more of what Robert Cecil wrote four hundred years ago. “This is quite amazing,” Tanya said. “What a life that imposter led.” “How could no one know?” he asked. “Because Elizabethan England wasn’t like today. There was no television or newspapers to invade one’s privacy. If you breached royal etiquette you could lose
yesterday, when he first revealed that he was the man who’d been with Gary’s mother. Things had changed. He watched as Antrim hoisted the knapsack from the floor and walked over. “We have to go.” “Where to?” “To the place the journal mentions. I know where that is now.” “What about my dad?” “I have no way of contacting him. Let’s check this out, then we’ll figure out how to find him.” That sounded logical. “But I’m going to need you to do something for me.” Fifty-six MALONE WAS