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4.0 out of 5 stars "Privateers are the nursery for pirates" (Captain Charles Johnson - 1724), June 21, 2011
What a rollicking adventure! I really enjoyed this fast-paced historical fiction tale about a secret society of privateers (pirates), the Commonwealth, who joined forces and were spurred to action in defense of the colonies during the American Revolution. With a loose connection to actual events that occurred during the early years of our nation's birth and bringing the Commonwealth to still active status in the present day, author Steve Berry devises a plot that is both plausible and entertaining.
Cotton Malone, previously a Justice Department operative, is called to New York for a meeting with an old friend and his former boss, Stephanie Nelle. He arrives in time to foil an assassination attempt on Danny Daniels, the US President! Discovering that the whole scene was a set-up, he and partner Casseopeia Vitt begin a hunt for the missing Stephanie and an investigation into the Commonwealth to find out who was involved with this plot and why.
This is great cross and double cross mystery adventure that uses some historical facts to create a complex situation that takes the characters from the quiet and secluded estates in Bath, North Carolina, to a deserted crumbling old fort in Nova Scotia. I raced through the pages as the action shifted from one point of view and scene to another. Along the way, the reader learns about the role of privateers in wartime and many interesting facts about early US presidents and a secret code devised for Thomas Jefferson that holds the key to the power the Commonwealth needs. It all makes for a nicely complex novel that readers and fans will find satisfying.
A short writer's note at the end of the book separates fact from fiction. All in all, a fun beach read with lots of action, short chapters, and a compelling story. Although this is part of a series, you don't need to have read the previous Cotton Malone books to enjoy this one -- but you might want to go back and start at the beginning with The Templar Legacy: A Novel, and read the author's other stand alone novels as well!