Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Patriot Threat

by Steve Berry
386 pgs  (Cotton Malone Series #10)

You can almost set your calendar with the annual release of a book by Steve Berry. Every once in awhile that book is a stand-alone story, but the majority of the time, it's a new book featuring Cotton Malone, a former operative of the Department of Justice's Magellan Billet. The Patriot Threat is the tenth in that series.

The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to levy an income tax. Undoubtedly it is the least popular of all the amendments, and each and every one of us would love to see it disappear. But what if it could be proven that the ratification of the 16th Amendment was invalid and that every penny of income tax ever collected by the government was done so illegally?

Most would agree that eliminating the income tax would be a tremendous boon to the budget of every citizen of this country. But what would happen to the country's economy--to say nothing of the global economy, if the country was suddenly faced with the elimination of 90% of the money used to run it and make the monthly payments on all its debts?

There have long been rumors that evidence of the amendment's invalidity exists, and when the head of the Magellan Billet learns that that evidence may have fallen into the hands of a rogue North Korean, she enlists the help once again of Cotton. Cotton's investigation leads him on a fast-paced race from Venice to Croatia.

Berry is nothing if not reliable as an author. You know what you're going to get when you pick up one of his books. It always involves an obscure element of history set in the middle of an exciting and fun thriller. I always enjoy reading his books, both the Cotton Malone series as well as the occasional stand-alone.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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