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'The 14th Colony', Steve Berry

Steve Berry is on the top of his game in this, the eleventh Cotton Malone thriller. Set in the near future, but with a backstory that sits in the early years of the Reagan administration and takes its protagonists from Washington to Rome, with stops in Moscow and various points in the old Soviet block along the way, The 14th Colony will have you on the edge of your seats from start to finish.

Picking up just a few short weeks after the conclusion of The Patriot Threat, The 14th Colony sees Cotton Malone tasked to investigate a reclusive community in Siberia, after intel that some of its residents might plan to harm Russian-US relations. That turns out to be only the tip of a very cold and very old iceberg though, and we are soon rushing from continent to continent, from government office to military base and back, as Malone and his boss try to figure out exactly what their enemies have planned, while at the same time preparing for the inauguration of a new administration, and quite possibly the end of their own careers in the process. Centuries-old secret societies at the heart of the republic blend with Soviet-era nuclear threats, Vatican politics, and political manoeuvring at the highest level to produce a rollercoaster ride, filled with the action, the pace, and the attention to detail that we have come to expect of a true master of the modern thriller. And before long, each of these divergent yet increasingly tangled strands combine to pose a single, chilling question: what would happen if both the President-Elect and his Vice-Presidential nominee are killed just hours before their inauguration?

The answer to that, and so much more will be found in the pages of what must be one of Berry's most adept and compelling novels yet. Meticulously researched, and carefully crafted, this high octane tale of Malone and the Magellan Billet will charm old friends and new comers alike, while serving to secure Steve Berry in his position near the front of an impressive field of writers dedicated to thrills, spills, and kills in all their glory. This one's a winner!

The 14th Colony will be released in trade paperback here in Australia by Hodder & Stoughton on 5 April 2016.

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