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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry

Title: The Patriot Threat
Cotton Malone #10
Author: Steve Berry
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 978-1-250-05623-8
Formats Available: Hardback & E-book
How I Read It: Trade paperback ARC
Source: MLM Media Relations
Rating: 3

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?

I’m normally a huge fan of Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone Novels, but The Patriot Act just wasn’t my cuppa tea.

When a North Korean acquires classified Treasury Department files that has the potential to destroy America, retired Magellan Billet agent Cotton Malone knows he must do everything in his power to stop it from happening. But first, he must unravel a secret that Andrew Mellon left for FDR.

The premise of the novel is that Malone must stop the North Korean from discovering that Federal income tax could possibly be illegal and that the government owes a massive debt that could destroy America if the proof ever came to light.

I thought the novel had a slow start. It hinted at the mystery but then jumped into several chapters of character introductions, which dragged the pacing down. My interest wasn’t truly piqued until chapter 16.

While the premise of the book (Federal income tax is possibly illegal) was interesting and the implication vast, I felt it was a little weak and lacked the intrigue that the previous Cotton Malone novels had. Also, there were so many characters fighting for page time, Cotton’s appearance was limited.

What I did like about this novel was the fact that once it caught my attention, it held my attention. I had to know that outcome and kept reading until the last page.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite Cotton Malone Novel. I prefer the mystery aspect to be a bit more intriguing yet parts of this book entertained.

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