Monday, August 25, 2014

The Lincoln Myth

by Steve Berry
429 pgs  (Cotton Malone series #9)

When I learned that Steve Berry's newest book was going to involve the Mormons, and a secret pact that was formed between Brigham Young and Abraham Lincoln, I had high hopes. As a member of the LDS/Mormon church, I was hoping that Berry would get things right when it came to the church and its history. I was hoping he would be respectful when it came to the beliefs of the church. I was hoping the story would be intriguing and entertaining. And most of all, I was hoping that a high-ranking member of the church would be the story's villain.

Berry delivered on every hope I had.

Shortly following the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, its framers drafted another now-forgotten document; one that was intended to help ensure ratification of the Constitution at the time, but one that if known about during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, would have ensured the South's legal right to secede and torn the nation apart. Lincoln, faced with the real possibility that the country was going to split apart during his presidency, reached out to Brigham Young, who years earlier had led the Mormon exodus from Illinois to the Utah territory, and loaned him that potentially volatile historical document for safekeeping. In return for safeguarding that document, Lincoln promised to leave the Mormons alone and allow Brigham Young to govern the Utah territory as he saw fit. A promise that he fulfilled.

Almost 150 years later, that same document, rumored to still be in the possession of the LDS church, is once again at the center of a battle that could tear the nation part. Thaddeus Rowan, a high-ranking U.S. senator from Utah as well as one of the Church's 12 apostles, is on a mission to find where Brigham Young hid the document, and use it to tear the nation apart. It's up to Cotton Malone to ensure that that doesn't happen.

I usually give Berry's books 3 stars. They're always entertaining and well-written, but they're not spectacular. This one gets an extra star because of the LDS Church involvement in the story.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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