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
every week. They could not be blocked. So the trains kept coming, back and forth, though none stopped here. Gary finished his descent and stood beside him. More lights on tripods illuminated the work area. Tile was being applied to the walls, a cheery color in a mosaic pattern. The entire platform was being refurbished, construction materials everywhere. “Mr. Antrim.” The gravelly voice startled him. He turned to see Sir Thomas Mathews standing fifty feet away, without his signature cane.
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
“Have others really been looking for Ian?” “A month ago men came around to the shops. Some of the owners know Ian and they pointed them my way. But I lied and told them I had not seen him. Unfortunately, Ian disappeared a week after that and did not return. Until today. I prayed he’d be okay.” “Like I said, he’s in trouble. He has something those other men want.” “The flash drive.” He caught the meaning in her words. “You’ve read it?” “I read the same two files you viewed.” Then he saw
granddaughter of King Henry VII, great-granddaughter to King Edward IV. Mother of her country, a nursing mother to religion and all liberal sciences, skilled in many languages, adorned with excellent endowments both of body and mind, and excellent for princely virtues beyond her sex. James, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, hath devoutly and justly erected this monument to her whose virtues and kingdoms he inherits.” He caught the key words. Excellent for princely virtues beyond her
and replace each A with a J for Jane Seymour, his new bride. In their rush to accomplish that task an A was missed, and still could be seen in the ceiling of the archway now above him. Entering the paved courtyard beyond, he glanced up at the astronomical clock. An ingenious device, with the earth at its center and the sun revolving around it. In addition to the time of day, its outer dials reflected the phases of the moon and the number of days since the New Year. Even more clever was its