A provocative thriller for fans of Dan Brown and David Baldacci, from the top-ten New York Times bestselling author.
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution legalized federal income tax, but what if there were problems with the 1913 ratification of that amendment? Problems that call into question decades of tax collecting, and could even bring down the US economy. There is a surprising truth to this possibility - a truth wholly entertained by Steve Berry in this fast-paced thriller.
His protagonist, Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired. 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 water in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.
With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, and a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Steve Berry's trademark mix of history and suspense is 90% fact and 10% exciting speculation.
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.