A New York Times Bestselling AuthorPrior to a papal conclave in Rome, a cardinal heads to Malta in search of an ancient document. Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone is also in Italy, pursuing lost letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini -- a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta. Meanwhile, a sect within the Knights, the Secreti, plans to influence the conclave. Teaming with Magellan Billet agent Luke Daniels, Malone races the cardinal, knights, and Secreti to find what has been lost for centuries -- culminating in a confrontation at the Vatican, where the pope's election hangs in the balance.
"The latest Cotton Malone thriller begins with the assassination of Benito Mussolini and then jumps forward several decades to the present day, where Malone, a former field agent for the U.S. Department of Justice who gets into life-threatening situations with startling regularity, is hot on the trail of some letters allegedly exchanged between Mussolini and Winston Churchill. As he tends to do, Cotton winds up embroiled in a centuries-old conspiracy, this time involving the real-life Knights of Malta, a humanitarian organization founded roughly a millennium ago. The events unfold at a breakneck pace, as usual, but Berry slows things down once in a while to give the reader some much-needed exposition and historical context. He really is very good at the historical-conspiracy thriller; he's a skilled writer much more so than Dan Brown, to whom he's often compared and a more dexterous plotter than many of his contemporaries. Fans of the Malone series will give this one an enthusiastic thumbs-up.--David Pitt Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Bestseller Berry's enthralling 14th Cotton Malone novel (after 2018's The Bishop's Pawn) finds former U.S. Justice Department operative Malone on a freelance assignment to retrieve long-lost correspondence between Benito Mussolini and Winston Churchill. Malone goes to Malta, the home of the Knights of Malta, an ancient order dedicated to serving the Vatican. The current pope has died, and Luke Daniels, who works with the Magellan Billet, the special investigations unit of the Justice Department that once employed Cotton, is also in Malta, investigating why Cardinal Kastor Gallo has fled Rome to the island nation. Kastor seeks the Nostra TrinitA , the Catholic Church's "ultimate secret," to secure his ascension to pontiff. Luke and Cotton team with Laura Price, an agent with the Malta Security Service, and Pollux Gallo, leader of the Knights of Malta and Kastor's estranged twin brother, to stop Kastor from seizing the throne of the Holy See. Fans of Dan Brown will have fun, and some may even prefer Berry's action-oriented hero to Brown's cerebral Robert Langdon. 400,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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