The Malta Exchange

Cotton Malone

Book 14
Sold by Minotaur Books
20
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"The result is a thriller that intrigues and provides historical context. Berry is the master scientist with a perfect formula." Associated Press

One of USA Today's "Five Books Not to Miss!"

A deadly race for the Vatican’s oldest secret fuels New York Times bestseller Steve Berry’s latest international Cotton Malone thriller.

The pope is dead. A conclave to select his replacement is about to begin. Cardinals are beginning to arrive at the Vatican, but one has fled Rome for Malta in search of a document that dates back to the 4th century and Constantine the Great.

Former Justice Department operative, Cotton Malone, is at Lake Como, Italy, on the trail of legendary letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini that disappeared in 1945 and could re-write history. But someone else seems to be after the same letters and, when Malone obtains then loses them, he’s plunged into a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta.

The knights have existed for over nine hundred years, the only warrior-monks to survive into modern times. Now they are a global humanitarian organization, but within their ranks lurks trouble — the Secreti — an ancient sect intent on affecting the coming papal conclave. With the help of Magellan Billet agent Luke Daniels, Malone races the rogue cardinal, the knights, the Secreti, and the clock to find what has been lost for centuries. The final confrontation culminates behind the walls of the Vatican where the election of the next pope hangs in the balance.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Minotaur Books
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Published on
Mar 5, 2019
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781250140272
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / Espionage
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
Fiction / Thrillers / Political
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes . . . until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost.

But now two forces vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was–and its true nature could change the modern world.

Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.

It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’ s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize– and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.

Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steve Berry’s The King's Deception and a Cotton Malone dossier.
THE 14TH COLONY Exclusive Preview

Download the first 14 chapters of Steve Berry’s The 14th Colony!

What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office? The answer is far from certain—in fact, what follows would be nothing short of total political chaos.

Shot down over Siberia, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, a man whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States.

Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin and another ex-KGB officer, this one a sleeper still embedded in the West, are headed overseas to Washington D.C. Noon on January 20th—Inauguration Day—is only hours away. A flaw in the Constitution, and an even more flawed presidential succession act, have opened the door to disaster and Zorin intends to exploit both weaknesses to their fullest.

Armed with a weapon leftover from the Cold War, one long thought to be just a myth, Zorin plans to attack. He’s aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America’s oldest fraternal organization—the Society of Cincinnati—a group that once lent out its military savvy to presidents, including helping to formulate three invasion plans of what was intended to be America’s 14th colony—Canada.

In a race against the clock that starts in the frozen extremes of Russia and ultimately ends at the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront a crippling fear that he’s long denied, but which now jeopardizes everything. Steve Berry’s trademark mix of history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller.

Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: “You have something I want. You’ re the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don’t hear from you, you will be childless.” His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone’s Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

A cradle of ideas–historical, philosophical, literary, scientific, and religious–the Library of Alexandria was unparalleled in the world. But fifteen hundred years ago, it vanished into the mists of myth and legend–its vast bounty of wisdom coveted ever since by scholars, fortune hunters, and those who believe its untold secrets hold the key to ultimate power.

Now a cartel of wealthy international moguls, bent on altering the course of history, is desperate to breach the library’s hallowed halls–and only Malone possesses the information they need to succeed. At stake is an explosive ancient document with the potential not only to change the destiny of the Middle East but to shake the world’s three major religions to their very foundations.

Pursued by a lethal mercenary, Malone crosses the globe in search of answers. His quest will lead him to England and Portugal, even to the highest levels of American government–and the shattering outcome, deep in the Sinai desert, will have worldwide repercussions.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steve Berry’s The Columbus Affair and a Cotton Malone dossier.
“The Good Assassin opens up Hemingway’s Cuba. Possessing Alan Furst’s attention for period detail and the deft character touches of John Le Carré, Vidich has quickly carved out a place for himself among the very first rank of espionage writers. It’s a masterful effort and the author’s best work to date.” —Michael Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicago Way

“The Good Assassin is first-rate literary espionage…Author Paul Vidich has evoked not only the intrigue and brutality of Batista’s Cuba, but the island itself…a masterful work of noir fiction.” —Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author of A Hint of Strangeness

Paul Vidich follows up his acclaimed debut spy thriller An Honorable Man with “a keen historical adventure from the best noir tradition” (Elizabeth Kostova, #1 New York Times bestselling author) set in 1950s Cuba, as foreign powers compete to influence the outcome of a revolution.

Former CIA Agent George Mueller arrives in Havana in August 1958, during the last months of dictator Fulgencio Batista’s reign, to look into the activities of Toby Graham—an in-country CIA officer suspected of harboring sympathies for the rebels fighting the unpopular Batista regime. Specifically, Mueller’s old friend Graham may be putting weapons into the hands of Castro’s forces, in bold defiance of the United States arms embargo on the island.

But when Mueller uncovers a world of deceit as the FBI, CIA, and State Department compete to influence the outcome of the revolution in the face of the brutal dictatorship’s imminent collapse, he realizes that nothing and no one is what they seem.

This is a powerful story of ideals, passions, betrayals, and corrupting political rivalries in the months before Castro’s march into Havana on New Year’s Day, 1959. As New York Times bestselling author Michael Harvey raves, “It’s a masterful effort and the author’s best work to date.”
A family’s secret, a ruthless fanatic, and a covert arm of the American government—all are linked by a single puzzling possibility:
 
What if everything we know about the discovery of America was a lie? What if that lie was designed to hide the secret of why Columbus sailed in 1492? And what if that 500-year-old secret could violently reshape the modern political world?
 
Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when one of his stories from the Middle East is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile—haunted by bad decisions and a shocking truth he can never prove:  that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger.  This stranger forces Sagan to act—and his actions attract the attention of the Magellan Billet, a top-secret corps of the United States Justice Department that deals with America’s most sensitive investigations. Sagan suddenly finds himself caught in an international incident, the repercussions of which will shudder not only Washington, D.C., but also Jerusalem. Coaxed into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, unsure who’s friend and who’s foe, Sagan is forced to Vienna, Prague, then finally into the Blue Mountains of Jamaica—where his survival hinges on his rewriting everything we know about Christopher Columbus.
 
Don’t miss Steve Berry’s short story “The Admiral’s Mark” and a sneak peek of his new novel, The King’s Deception, in the back of the book.
Steve Berry’s bestselling thrillers have mesmerized suspense fans around the world, but his novels alone can’t contain all the exciting exploits of death-defying agent Cotton Malone and his smart, sexy sidekick, Cassiopeia Vitt. Catch all the action between the blockbusters in this trio of suspenseful short stories that capture Cotton and Cassiopeia at their history-hunting, heart-stopping best. Read them as prequels to Cotton’s full-length epics or stunning stand-alone adventures. Either way, this eBook bundle packs all the punch adrenaline junkies have come to expect from the bold imagination of Steve Berry.
 
“In Malone, Berry has created a classic, complex hero.”—USA Today
 
THE BALKAN ESCAPE
Prequel to The Emperor’s Tomb
 
As a favor to enigmatic billionaire Henrik Thorvaldsen, Cassiopeia Vitt treks into Bulgaria’s Rila mountains in search of a buried stash of exceedingly rare artifacts from a bygone civilization: the ancient tomb of a Thracian king. But when her presence is discovered by a shadowy group of Russians secretly mining the area, she needs a way out. Whom can I trust? becomes the question, and her life depends on making the right decision.
 
THE DEVIL’S GOLD
Prequel to The Jefferson Key
 
For eight years he’s been plotting, waiting, scheming to kill Federal agents Christopher Combs and Cotton Malone, whom he blames for the loss of his career. But as rogue agent Jonathan Wyatt prepares for a final confrontation in a remote South American village, he makes a discovery that stretches back to the horrors of World War II, to the astounding secret of a child’s birth, to Martin Bormann and Eva Braun—and to a fortune in lost gold.
 
THE ADMIRAL’S MARK
Prequel to The Columbus Affair
 
Cotton Malone never cared for the shady dealings of his brother-in-law, Scott Brown. But after Scott dies while scuba diving, Malone heads to Haiti where he learns that, beneath the crystal clear waters, his brother-in-law had found the sunken wreckage of the Santa Maria, the fabled flagship of Christopher Columbus. Setting out to piece together what happened, Malone quickly realizes that he’s not the only man there with questions—and that he’ll have to fight just to get out of Haiti alive.
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