The Fourteenth Colony by Steve Berry

Reviewed by Richard Goldman
Hardcover April 2016

Buy it at Mystery Lovers Bookshop

Cotton Malone, never very retired, is back in action in this latest clever thriller from Steve Berry. As always, we can count on flawless research into obscure corners of American history that Berry expertly weaves into a conspiracy plot that will threaten the existence of the republic just until the moment that Malone, Cassiopeia Vitt and along with Stephanie Nelle of the Magellan Billet put a spoke in the wheels of the bad guys. If you’re new to the series, incidentally, The Magellan Billet is Berry’s imaginary agency that serves the President when something really, really has to get done.

This particular book takes place at a pivotal moment just days before the inauguration of a new President. With the handoff of the White House to the other party Stephanie Nelle and the Magellan Billet are finished so she and Malone will have to work off the books to put a stop to a plot right out of the Cold War.

I won’t spoil your fun by revealing any of the plot details but you’ll be interested to know that the title refers to Canada which the Founding Fathers very much hoped to get into the Union one way or another. I was also tickled by Berry’s inclusion of the Society of the Cincinnati, a philanthropic organization founded by George Washington’s officers after the war and still very much in existence with a membership made up entirely of descendants of the founding officers. Their headquarters near Dupont Circle plays a part in the plot and I recommend a visit for a tour next time your in the Capitol.

Great fun, full of interesting facts and history, lots of action and a totally satisfying resolution to all plot threads.