Friday, March 16, 2012

The Jefferson Key

The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry
(Cotton Malone series #7)

The Jefferson Key is another solid offering by Steve Berry featuring his recurring character Cotton Malone, the ex-operative for the Justice Department who can't seem to stay retired.

When the founding fathers drafted the U.S. Constitution, they included a little-known clause that has never been amended. The clause exempted those who used piracy or privateering to protect the interests of this country from criminal prosecution. Ever since the Revolutionary War, a group of pirates known as the Commonwealth has existed - operating with total immunity from the law as long as their actions served the interests of the country, and they paid a percentage of their profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Four former Presidents tried to stand up to the Commonwealth and change their constitutional loophole -  Garfield, McKinley, Lincoln, and Kennedy, and they all met with similar fates. Only one, Andrew Jackson, who survived an assassination attempt, was able to stand up to the Commonwealth and put into motion a plan that might eventually take them down.

Now, after the Commonwealth's attempted assassination of President Daniels, Cotton Malone and Cassiopia Vitt are enlisted to finish what Jackson began long ago. But to do so, they have to crack an undecipherable code that was created back when Thomas Jefferson was the President.

The Jefferson Key is good. It's exactly what I expect when I read one of Berry's books. It's got a high level of action and Berry does a good job keeping you on your toes. The plot twists are a little predictable, having read all of his other books, but his books are still fun and worthwhile reads.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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