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Steve Berry's New York Times bestseller, The Patriot Threat, finds Cotton Malone racing to stop a rogue ex-KGB agent plotting revenge against the United States.
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.
Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.
With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: What if the Federal income tax is illegal?
Bestseller Berry comes up with a highly unusual premise for his 10th Cotton Malone thriller (after 2014's The Lincoln Myth): a historical flaw in the U.S. income tax code has the potential to destroy the country's economy. In Berry's timely what-if scenario, North Korean leader Kim Yong Jin has been dropped from the line of dynastic succession because of a disgraceful abortive trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Kim, now known as a playboy, sees an opportunity to regain his former glory when he stumbles on a 1936 mystery involving then secretary of the treasury Andrew Mellon and president Franklin Roosevelt. Kim's accidental but fortuitous reading of a book about the American tax code, The Patriot Threat, written by tax resister Anan Wayne Howell, puts him on the path of the mystery, which he, along with his warrior daughter, Hana, are determined to solve, no matter how many people they have to kill to do so. Fans of political conspiracy fiction will find plenty to like.