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The bishop's pawn
2018
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Former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone uncovers a disturbing link between a case from his past and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. that risks innocent lives and threatens the legacy of the Civil Rights movement's iconic martyr. By the best-selling author of The 14th Colony. - (Baker & Taylor)

Former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone uncovers a disturbing link between a case from his past and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. that risks innocent lives and threatens the legacy of the Civil Rights movement's iconic martyr. - (Baker & Taylor)

The first case of New York Times bestseller Steve Berry’s iconic hero, Cotton Malone.

History notes that the ugly feud between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr., marked by years of illegal surveillance and the accumulation of secret files, ended on April 4, 1968 when King was assassinated by James Earl Ray. But that may not have been the case.

Now, fifty years later, former Justice Department agent, Cotton Malone, must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis.

It all turns on an incident from eighteen years ago, when Malone, as a young Navy lawyer, is trying hard not to live up to his burgeoning reputation as a maverick. When Stephanie Nelle, a high-level Justice Department lawyer, enlists him to help with an investigation, he jumps at the opportunity. But he soon discovers that two opposing forces—the Justice Department and the FBI—are at war over a rare coin and a cadre of secret files containing explosive revelations about the King assassination, information that could ruin innocent lives and threaten the legacy of the civil rights movement’s greatest martyr.

Malone’s decision to see it through to the end —— from the raucous bars of Mexico, to the clear waters of the Dry Tortugas, and ultimately into the halls of power within Washington D.C. itself —— not only changes his own life, but the course of history.

Steve Berry always mines the lost riches of history —— in The Bishop's Pawn he imagines a gripping, provocative thriller about an American icon.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

STEVE BERRY is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of a dozen Cotton Malone novels and several standalones. He has 20 million books in print, translated into 40 languages. With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, which is dedicated to historical preservation. He serves on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers, formerly serving as its co-president. - (McMillan Palgrave)

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Booklist Reviews

It took him a while—a dozen books—to get around to it, but Berry has finally written Cotton Malone's origin story. Set 18 years in the past and narrated by Malone in the first person, this exciting tale of historical intrigue reveals how Malone wound up working for a top-secret U.S. government intelligence group called the Magellan Billet; how he met his longtime boss, Stephanie Nelle; and what he was doing before he entered the world of international intrigue. The Malone novels concern historical mysteries that reverberate into the present day, and this time it's what happened to 20-odd U.S. Double Eagle gold coins that escaped being melted down in the early 1930s. James Twining's The Double Eagle (2005) also used the elusive gold coins as his jumping-off point, but Berry is an old hand at turning well-trod ground (the Templars, the Romanovs, Thomas Jefferson) to his own uses, and he does it again here, alchemizing the gold coins into a plot about long-hidden files revealing secrets about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. As always, Berry's high-concept story lines require some suspension of disbelief, but adventure junkies are used to that. Besides, it's a small price to pay for Cotton Malone's backstory. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A 400,000 announced market distribution will get books on the shelves, and Berry's fans will do the rest. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Berry stalwart Cotton Malone is involved with FBI-Justice Department contention over an FBI file regarding Martin Luther King's assassination. With a national one-day laydown on March 20.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Library Journal Reviews

In his latest Cotton Malone thriller, Berry takes on contemporary history as he weaves another tale of conspiracy and intrigue. Malone becomes entangled in an issue that harkens back to his first assignment with the Justice Department. Eighteen years prior, Malone was a navy attorney on the brink of career suicide when DOJ lawyer Stephanie Nelle offered him an assignment to recover a rare coin allegedly lying at the bottom of the ocean off the Dry Tortugas in the Caribbean. What seems like a simple assignment turns into a dangerous mission involving Cuba, the FBI, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The narration is told mostly in flashback, as Malone remembers the twists and turns of that first case. As fast-paced and exciting as all his previous books, this is another winner in the author's best-selling series. VERDICT Berry's fans will not be disappointed. He has a knack for presenting alternative history that seems as though it might be true. [See Prepub Alert, 9/25/17; April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of King's assassination.]—Sandra Knowles, South Carolina State Lib., Columbia

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

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