Fans of this series will notice that this latest installment is a departure from the six previous Cotton Malone adventures. In this novel the author brings the action to the North American eastern coast all the way up to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia Canada. As always he has written an entertaining action –packed fiction that incorporates some historical facts along the way.
“The Jefferson Key” is developed around a connection between pirates and privateers and the main thread has an exciting opening with the bold assassination attempt made against U.S. President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan.
Now with a grave threat against the very foundation of the country, Malone risks his life only to find himself at odds with the Commonwealth, a centuries-old society of privateers, who have operated with impunity since the Revolutionary War. Thrust into the middle of their operations, Malone and his sometime love interest, Cassiopea need to unearth a centuries-old document (The Letter of Marque) and terminate the Commonwealth’s privileges at any cost.
Meanwhile during a subsequent investigation, Stephanie Nelle, Malone’s boss at the “The Magillan Billet” disappears while exploring a link tying Andrea Corbonell, the head of the Intelligence Agency to the recent events. Malone and Cassiopea suddenly find themselves tasked with another important mission: find Stephanie and track down the person who betrayed the president.
This story has a convoluted plot with many characters to keep track of. It is filled with mystery, intrigue and plenty of action throughout. I have always had a soft spot for mystery novels based on some historical content and Mr. Berry blends the two admirably.