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The Patriot Threat: Cotton Malone    by Steve Berry order for
Patriot Threat
by Steve Berry
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Cotton Malone is back in another romp through history and international intrigue in The Patriot Threat. It comes with an intriguing premise - what if US income taxes (based on the 16th Amendment to the Constitution) were illegal, not properly ratified? Malone is pulled out of his book selling retirement in Denmark to find out.

The villain of the piece (there always is at least one) is a North Korean outcast, eldest son of its Great Leader and brother of its current ruler. Kim Yong Jin has made contact with Anan Wayne Howell, tax protester and author of The Patriot Threat, and seeks proof that will change the world, allow North Korea to gain ascendancy, and restore him to the country's leadership as he is so certain he deserves.

It all begins for Malone when his former boss, Stephanie Nelle (who heads the secret Magellan Billet intelligence agency) asks him to track down Kim Yong Jin in Venice. The expected violent, action-packed chase ensues, taking readers across the Adriatic to Croatia and involving Kim Yong Jin's daughter Hana (who has her own ax to grind) as well as Malone's young colleague, Luke Daniels, and by the book Treasury agent Isabella Schaefer.

Back in 1936, readers encounter Franklin Roosevelt and his political nemesis, Andrew Mellon, secretary of Treasury for several presidents. The latter offers to create, at his own expense, the National Gallery of Art, and leaves Roosevelt with a malign quest, that he threatens could end the President and his New Deal.

The Patriot Threat is yet another very entertaining read from Steve Berry. Though formulaic, it's a formula that works. And don't miss the fascinating Writer's Note at the back that digs into fact versus fiction.

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