International bestseller Steve Berry returns with another brilliant Cotton Malone thriller involving 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 spectre 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.
Bestseller Berry's 10th Cotton Malone thriller (after 2013's e-book novella The Tudor Plot) provides startling new perspectives on the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and Abraham Lincoln's decision to fight the Civil War. At play is a secret document passed from George Washington to each new president, until Lincoln used it to seal a bargain with Brigham Young in 1861. Now U.S. Sen. Thaddeus Rowan of Utah, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, and wealthy Spanish businessman Josepe Salazar, also a Mormon, have joined forces to recover that document, which they believe will provide a legal basis for states to secede from the union. Stephanie Nelle, Malone's old boss, enlists retired Justice Department agent Malone in the effort to thwart Rowan and Salazar's scheme. Cassiopeia Vitt, Malone's love interest, plays a surprising role. The action builds to an overly neat resolution in the wilds of Utah, but Berry's skillful blend of history and supposition will intrigue his many fans.