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The Lincoln Myth: A Novel (Cotton Malone Book 9) [Kindle Edition]

Steve Berry
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,083 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Steve Berry returns with his latest thriller, a Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely—not only in Malone’s world, but in ours.

September 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: save thousands of American lives, or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever?
The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot—a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase.
All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict—a constitutional war secretly set in motion more than two hundred years ago by America’s Founding Fathers.
From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln—while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance.

Praise for Steve Berry and his Cotton Malone series
“In Malone, [Steve] Berry has created a classic, complex hero.”USA Today
“Malone, a hero with a personal stake in the proceedings, is a welcome respite from the cold, calculating superspies who litter the genre.”Entertainment Weekly
“Steve Berry gets better and better with each new book.”—The Huffington Post
“Savvy readers . . . cannot go wrong with Cotton Malone.”Library Journal
“Berry raises this genre’s stakes.”The New York Times
“I love this guy.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

From the Hardcover edition.

Books In This Series (9 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Booklist

    Cotton Malone’s old boss at the Justice Department asks a favor: go into Sweden and pull out a man, Barry Kirk, who could have key information about the disappearance of an agent. Almost immediately after Cotton gets Kirk out of the country, someone tries to kill them. As it turns out, Kirk is connected to a high-profile international businessman who’s the target of a Justice Department investigation (and who might be behind the disappearance of the missing agent). The latest Malone novel sticks closely to the series format: Cotton gets mixed up in a historical mystery that has dire implications in the present day (in this case, a U.S. senator who is a high-ranking Mormon elder has ambitious plans that trace their origins to Abraham Lincoln). Berry keeps the story moving at a steady pace, giving us enough time to get to know the characters but not enough time to pay close attention to the more implausible elements of the plot. Fans of the series and of historically based conspiracies will enjoy the book, even if it breaks no new ground. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Berry has 15 million books in print; he has been translated into 40 languages; and his titles have sold in 51 countries. That’s called reach. --David Pitt


    Praise for Steve Berry and his Cotton Malone series
    “In Malone, [Steve] Berry has created a classic, complex hero.”USA Today
    “Malone, a hero with a personal stake in the proceedings, is a welcome respite from the cold, calculating superspies who litter the genre.”Entertainment Weekly
    “Steve Berry gets better and better with each new book.”—The Huffington Post
    “Savvy readers . . . cannot go wrong with Cotton Malone.”Library Journal
    “Berry raises this genre’s stakes.”The New York Times
    “I love this guy.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

    Product Details

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    Thousands of aspiring writers would strongly consider selling their souls to have Steve Berry's career. His books are instant best-sellers and can be found in airports and bookstores across the country. He's highly regarded by his peers as a master of the thriller genre and his long-running character, Cotton Malone, shows all the signs of being able to carry a series in perpetuity.

    So he won't care when I make the following statement: I did not care for "The Lincoln Myth."

    I admit that "The Lincoln Myth" is my first foray into Berry's works, and perhaps if I had started with the first Cotton Malone book ('The Templar Legacy") I might have a different perspective on his latest work. But Berry's website states clearly that reading these novels in order is not required, so it seems fair to review the book on its own.

    "The Lincoln Myth" starts strongly enough. President Abraham Lincoln must deal with a general who is exceeding his authority by freeing the slaves . . . which seems to run contrary to the myth that Lincoln fought the Civil War to free the slaves. Berry correctly cites Lincoln's well-known statement that his primary goal was to preserve the Union - if he could do so by freeing slaves, he would do it; if he could so by freeing none, he would do that, and if he could do so by freeing some and not freeing others, he would do that. This undercuts a bit of the legend of Lincoln, doesn't it?

    But there's more that Berry uncovers - what if Lincoln had also said that he favored a state's right to secede from the Union?

    And, perhaps more worrisome, what if the Founding Fathers had agreed - unanimously - to the same thing?
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    54 of 71 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing April 14, 2014
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    I have read and enjoyed all the Cotton Malone books. It's not great literature but it is a roller coaster of fun and he has some really ideas on history. Malone is, after all, a modern day Indiana Jones. Although not a professor like Jones, he does run a book store and is well trained as a former government agent. You read him for fun. Unfortunately this book was not fun and not very plausible in both story and characters.

    This book deals with a secret pact made with President Lincoln and the head of the Mormon Church during the Civil War. Desperate to preserve the Union, Lincoln shows his good faith with the Church by sharing a secret about the Founding Fathers. That secret is probably true to some extent but I don't think it would start such a fire storm as the book predicts. There's a lot of history about the Mormon Church which was semi-interesting and centered the novel. I found some of the actions attributed to Lincoln wildly unlikely but it is an action thriller not a historical record.

    Cassiopeia has a major role and is so different than in any other books that I found her unbelievable. I don't think the Cassiopeia we have come to know would, in any way, acted the way she did. It was a complete 180 for her. Stephanie was also very uncharacteristic and acted in ways that stretched my credulity.

    Perhaps this series has run it's course. It was a very tired book and the author seems exhausted in it. Maybe Cotton Malone should hang it up while the reader still has fond memories of him.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Cassiopia Vitt please step forward? May 27, 2014
    By Jay K
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    The storyline in this installment of Cotton Malone wasn't bad. This is historical fiction, so I don't expect every thing in the book to be true and I don't read these books for a history lesson. If I wanted accurate historical account, I'd go to the non-fiction section.

    I do have a bit of trouble placing this in the Cotton Malone timeline. It clearly happens after The Jefferson Key though.

    I don't have issues with the "cardboard cut-out" of Luke Daniels who is introduced in this novel. A nice foundation is laid to further develop this character in future novels.

    My issue isn't the storyline so much as the character development of an existing character of Cassiopia Vitt. She is a character I really enjoy in the series as a nice complement to Cotton. They have saved each others hides more than once in other situations. Her character here gave me a bit of indigestion. I wish that Mr. Berry would have researched his previous books before developing Cassiopia's character here. It took me about 30 minutes to determine that Cassiopia's mother was a Muslin from Tanzania (The Templar Legacy) not a Mormon in Spain. In The Templar Legacy she see a "historical arrogance of Christianity". It seems she suddenly changed her heritage.

    If you haven't read other Cotton Malone novels, you won't have the same issues I have with the book. If you have read the other books or go back and read them after you read this one, you may scratch your head thinking: Who is THIS Cassiopeia?
    Was this review helpful to you?
    55 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    Let me start off by saying that I have not, to-date, been a big fan of Steve Berry, as I've found him to be one of those "hit or miss" authors. Since the baseball season starts tomorrow, I'll describe my overall opinion of The Lincoln Myth in baseball terms; by saying that it is a far distance from being a home run -- but it is solid extra base hit.

    Unlike most of the books I've read lately, The Lincoln Myth held my interest from the first page (which I started reading yesterday morning) to the last page (which I finished only minutes ago). For me to finish The Lincoln Myth's 427 pages in a little over a day is unusual, as I'm not a particularly fast reader. I think part of why I read it so fast is that the non-stop heavy rain where I live kept me indoors with not much else to do. However, the main reason is that I was really in the mood for a book that could be read at a fast pace and that provided a combination of interesting historical facts, a heavily plot-driven story, at least serviceable characters and a good amount of action and excitement; all of which The Lincoln Myth provided me.

    I won't provide a description of the book's plot, as this can be gotten from the Amazon product description above. I'll just say that the elements fueling this action-packed thriller include Cotton Mather (the main character in most of Berry's books), secrets of Mormonism, a U.S. Senator's stealthy secession plan, and a long-lost letter handed down from President to President until it shocked Abraham Lincoln and changed American history.

    If you are a fan of Berry's books or a reader who enjoys historical thrillers or a reader in the mood to escape into a fast-paced, fun, and not particularly mentally challenging book, I think The Lincoln Myth is worthy of your consideration.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Berry's books never disappoint me!
    Steve Berry continues to climb in my world of 'favorite authors.' I have never been disappointed in any of his books including The Lincoln Myth. Read more
    Published 3 days ago by Ms. Lucy
    4.0 out of 5 stars What if............
    This is the first Steve Berry book I've read in some time. It didn't take long to remember why I like his books. Read more
    Published 3 days ago by Bob C,
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! This book reads like it's real.
    I love it when an author does his research and includes facts from history with his fictional charcters and their actions, their decisions, and their movements through well-planned... Read more
    Published 4 days ago by Paula Kay
    5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Berry writes excellent stories. He is a wonderful story teller...
    Steve Berry writes excellent stories. He is a wonderful story teller and a chronicler of facts in such a manner as to relate history in a more accurate manner than would please... Read more
    Published 4 days ago by C. Daniel McClean
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good storytelling to the end
    With the girl friend out of the picture, the story continues in good fashion. Look forward to her return. A bit too heavy on tax history. But history makes these stories good. Read more
    Published 6 days ago by Jon - Seattle
    5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time.
    Great book. Berry does Historical Fiction better than anyone. His research is always sound and character development (especially spanning various books) is superb.
    Published 6 days ago by Chris
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Intriguing Thriller
    The Lincoln Myth is one of the more recent Cotton Malone adventures, as Patriot Threat has just come out.

    Lincoln is an over mythologized American figure. Read more
    Published 8 days ago by Andrew Olsen
    4.0 out of 5 stars James Bond Meets James Mitchner
    This is as my first book by Steve Berry. I found the writing largely quite good and the plot lines excellent. It is a historical novel about the U.S. Read more
    Published 8 days ago by Capt. Flash
    3.0 out of 5 stars Only because I finish what I start
    Always enjoy the history lessons in Mr. Berry's books but this was a long read. It didn't really pick up to standard speed until shortly before the end. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by J. R. Hozendorf
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 9 days ago by Roger Dale Reynolds
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    More About the Author

    Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 19,000,000 copies in 51 countries.

    History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have crossed the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and their popular writers' workshops. To date, over 2,500 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the 2013 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award; his novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and International Thriller Writers bestowed him the 2013 Silver Bullet for his work with historic preservation. A 2010 NPR survey named The Templar Legacy one of the top 100 thrillers ever written.

    Steve was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers--a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world--and served three years as its co-president.

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