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
hesitancy. With his mahogany cane Mathews again gestured to the hall. For the first time she noticed the ivory globe that formed its handle, the continents etched in black upon its polished surface. “This building has stood 500 years, and remains one of the last Tudor structures. Supposedly, the War of the Roses started just outside, in the garden. Sides were chosen in 1430 by the pick of a flower. The Lancasterians plucked a red rose—the Yorks white—and fifty-five years of civil war began.” He
was gone. Whatever was happening was not going right. He stopped and turned back. Antrim came close and said, “We have a big problem. A national security problem. And Ian Dunne may have something we desperately need to solve it.” “A flash drive?” “That’s right. Did you see it?” He nodded. “Ian has it. He took it when he ran.” “Did you read it?” “Some.” “Care to share what was on it?” “I don’t remember.” “Really? Your eidetic memory gone?” “You been checking up on me?” “After I learned
what happened and that you had seen to her safety. That I appreciate, by the way.” More people passed them by. “Mary is the timid one. She runs her bookshop and keeps to herself. Neither one of us has ever been married, though mind you, there were opportunities for us both.” “Are books your passion, too?” Malone asked. She smiled. “I am half owner of Mary’s store.” “And Elizabeth I is a subject you’ve studied?” Tanya nodded. “In minute detail. I feel as if she is a close friend. It’s a
was presumably the last sound that entered the queen’s consciousness. A few hours later the breath left her body. At three o’clock in the morning of March 24, 1603 her body was pronounced lifeless. It was prepared for burial by her ladies and was not dissected and embalmed as was the rigorous custom in those days for sovereigns. The leaden mask and the waxen effigy were prepared, but no man’s hand touched the body of Elizabeth after it was dead. She went to her grave with her secret inviolate.
liked the maze. One of its gate handlers had taken a liking to him and allowed him to roam among the tall bushes for free. He walked toward where Antrim had pointed out the toilet. Then, after a quick glance back to make sure Gary and Miss Mary were talking, their attention not on him, he detoured to the warehouse exit door. Carefully, he turned the knob and eased open the metal slab, just enough to peek out. Antrim was twenty meters away, near another building, a phone to his ear. Too far away