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Showing 1-10 of 700 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 888 reviews
on July 11, 2013
Steve Berry has established a very comfortable niche for himself in the world of repeating heroes. Cotton Malone is a real person with real problems in a real world. And Berry's obvious erudition in support of his history-based story lines is enjoyable to behold.


For some reason.

Berry has started writing

Like this.

As if giving five words.

Their own paragraph.

Somehow adds emphasis.

And. He. Also. Does. This. Thing.

Which is so over.

He is being lazy. Emphasis and importance come from words, not paragraphs.

C'mon, Steve! You're way too good for this! Get a new editor--one who might God forbid challenge you--and start writing as well as you tell a story.
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on June 25, 2017
The King's Deception by Steve Berry is another historical figure with twists and turns. I asked my English son inlaw if he knew of the Bisley Boy theory and he did not know the specific yearly event celebrating a boy dressed as a girl in Elizabethan England. However he was familiar with the conspiracy myth of Henry VIII's daughter who became later queen as Elizabeth I. The readers will have to determine for themselves whether a conspiracy was committed or not? I love that fact that Berry at the end of the book separates fact from fiction so you have a sense of what is genuine and what helped move his story line along. Cotton Malone is again his protagonist with contemporary situations that could be highly influenced by the outcome of his story. It's a good read and will have you guessing, how he is going to resolve the crises.
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on January 13, 2017
I'm a fan of Steve Berry, and have bought all of his Cotton Malone books. Perhaps because my favorites are hard to beat (read The Third Secret and The Alexandria Link by Berry and you'll know why), it's hard for his other books to come close.

This one is good, with familiar characters returning. It takes place in England and I enjoyed it, but the theme was not as exciting as previous stories with Cotton Malone. Still, if you're a Cotton Malone fan, you'll enjoy it. I also suggest 'The Amber Room,' by Steve Berry too. It's not a Cotton Malone story, but very entertaining and one that is hard to put down.
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on April 10, 2014
Just finished reading "The King's Deception" by Steve Barry.
Cotton Malone's latest adventure finds him making a stop over in Englad with his 15-year-old son Gary. It was just supposed to be a simple stop over. Malone had agreed to "babysit" a teenage runaway and escort the boy into the hands of the British police before heading back to his home/bookstore in Denmark; when unknown men attempt to kidnap the boy - who just happened to have stolen a hard drive off a dead man that contains information that could plunge England and Ireland into a bloody war.
A breathtaking read that explores a mystery surrounding Queen Elizabeth 1.
Another great Cotton Malone adventure.
Highly Recommended!
Five Stars!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Steve Berry and his main character Cotton Malone since I picked up his first novel while just browsing, not looking for anything particular to buy. Now I'm hooked and can't get enough from Steve Berry.

I've always referred to Berry's books as "historical thrillers." Berry chooses a historical mystery and then builds his book around it. This book takes as its starting point the mystery of The Bisley Boy and is set in the UK. Cotton Malone and his son Gary are tasked with merely transporting a suspect from the United States back to the UK before they set off for Malone's home in Copenhagen. Of course things immediately go wrong and Malone is drawn in to a deepening mystery about Queen Elizabeth I that has come to interest the CIA and MI6. In a surprise, Malone's son Gary becomes a major character for the first time. I really enjoyed the character of Gary Malone and hope this isn't the last time he'll be a major character along with his father.

As per usual, Berry's book takes place both in the present day and back when the historical mystery occurred. Berry uses many different real life people and places in all of his books and this one is no different. While the book is still fiction, sometimes I feel like I'm getting a historical education while reading. This book has actually spurred me in to reading much more about the legend of The Bisley Boy.

As always, as soon as I finished this book I couldn't wait for more. For Kindle owners, before or after reading this book I highly recommend reading Steve Berry's recent novella The Tudor Plot: A Cotton Malone Novella.
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on August 27, 2014
I have to agree with most of the negative reviews. The King's Deception is far too long and drawn out, with little but a repetitive series of unresolved chases and cat-and-mouse games that in the real world of high-level secret intelligence would have been quickly decided by lethal force. On the plus side, I rather enjoyed the author's conceit that Elizabeth I was actually a man, though it bothers some other readers. But, it's fiction, meant to entertain. One major problem I have with Berry is his spotty, often inaccurate historical "knowledge." He loves to fill his pages with historical background of all sorts -- this book is overloaded with such -- but he demonstrates the shallowness of his knowledge with multiple errors of fact which, individually insignificant, accumulate into a mighty big annoyance for me. A few examples: King Harold did not die at Oxford, but far away at the Battle of Hastings; Edward VI died at age 16, not age 15; Berry greatly overstates the role of William Cecil in protecting Princess Elizabeth during the reign of Mary I; the First Baron's War was 1215-17, not 1200; Charles I died in 1649, not 1648; Charles II was the brother, not the father, of James II. Etc. etc. Berry several times references as "probably" true the alleged event in the Temple garden where the proponents of the York and Lancaster factions chose white and red roses as their heraldic emblems; this scene, from Shakespeare's play Henry VI Part I, is purely fictional, since the red rose didn't become a Lancastrian symbol until AFTER the Battle of Bosworth Field, at the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485. And it's Lancastrian, not "Lancasterian!" Then there's the clumsiness of things like stating that Katherine Parr's mother was a "courtesan" of Henry VIII -- he meant to say "courtier," for she was nobody's mistress. None of these errors is "literary license," since they have nothing to to with advancing the plot. They are simply mistakes. In addition to revealing Berry's shaky grasp of historical details, theyalso demonstrate the low state into which professional editing has fallen. Editors used to have command of these subject areas. But nowadays, we're all dumbed down, it seems.
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on June 1, 2016
It is a little plodding and the added novella was just torture (I really didn't need to learn the reason why Cotton and Sir Matthews had history!) but I stuck with it. I do like Cotton Mallone and I am enjoying the series. Read the first few years ago and just picked this one up recently. I am already barrelling through the next one (and it is really quite good). My suggestion is that Steve Berry sticks with American history because British history is just too "royal" -- haha
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on April 25, 2014
This is the second Cotton Malone book I have read by Steve Berry. Unlike his other novels, the Kings Deception begins essentially after everything in the story has pretty much already happened. Not only are these books entertaining, but meticulously researched as well. I felt educated as I was reading--unlike Dan Brown's Inferno, which felt only like I was being told interesting tid-bits of history revolving around Dante's Inferno. A lot less interesting in my opinion.

The history revolving around the Throne of Britain is endlessly fascinating--not the least of which is also a bit disturbing, especially if true (and I suspect much of it is). At the heart of the story is an amazing tale of lost riches, but also, as the title implies, a deception, while if true, could be one of the biggest ever perpetrated by anyone, anywhere. I won't spoil the surprise, but lets just say its a doozy.

Action on top of intrigue and lies, lies and really BIG lies make the Kings Deception a fun and fast read. I am by no means a quick reader, but I found myself wrapping up the last page a lot faster than I usually do. Cotton Malone, his son Gary, spies and Elizabeth the First all become carefully woven into a plot which, while intricate is never far from being in very good hands, regardless of how off topic you may think one chapter is from another.

Essentially the Kings Deception is a tapestry of complex storylines which all come together with a LOAD of action thrown in for good measure. Some have said this story wasn't as action-packed as earlier Cotton Malone thrillers, and while that seems impossible to understand, I'm just going to have to purchase all the Cotton novels in order to gain a better understanding of it all...because IMO I felt the storyline was almost TOO frantically paced (well, actually that isn't true, you can't really be TOO frantic). I just felt it had more than enough action to suit my tastes, and I really like my novels to MOVE. I suppose everyone is different, right?

All I can say is this: of the last 2 Steve Berry books I've read, I have loved them all and have absolute, concrete plans to pick up the earlier ones just as soon as I can get my hands on them. The Kings Deception was really awesome, if you ask me.
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on November 29, 2014
Berry's latest Malone installment has Cotton unknowingly becoming involved with a US CIA plot to blackmail the British government into not releasing the Lockerbie bomber by first obtaining and then threatening to release some embarrassing and potentially governmentally destabilizing information about England's past. At the same time, more background information about Cotton's failed marriage and his adopted son is revealed and figures centrally in the plot as the true biological father are involved. Cotton manages to save the day with his usual style of piecing together the correct historical elements with insightful reasoning and conclusions.

This is not one of Berry's better stories. The entire plot felt forced. The setup of the US government trying to dig up dirt on an ally with a deadline seems highly implausible. The British spy side is equally both inept and omniscient at the same time with a convenient female cowboy agent ready to take the fall, but adding a feminine version of the typical Cotton monkey wrench. Other than his son Gary, other usual Cotton confidants were absent. The supporting characters were unengaging and the mystery was revealed way too early.
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on July 23, 2016
I am a fan of Mr. Berry's writing and his leading man, Cotton Malone. Unfortunately, The King's Deception does not live up to his previous novels. The Tudor Plot was better than the novel, but both just seemed like vehicles used to delve into English history. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy history, but this novel tried to squeeze too much into what is supposed to be an action/suspense story. The story seemed forced and convoluted. Mr. Berry's novels always highlight little known history, but his past novels did so more successfully.

I would only recommend this book to readers who have read the other Cotton Malone novels and like me, don't like to miss any in a series.
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