Book Review: The 14th Colony, by Steve Berry

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This is a thriller that weaves together historical facts to create an exciting, tense situation. There’s not much substance, though, to this light read. It features Cotton Malone, a James Bond type hero who figures in multiple books in this series. The enemy in this novel is a former KGB agent who longs for the glory days of communism. He seeks revenge against the U.S. and is hatching a diabolical plan. The plan involves using information dug up from an old society of American patriots known as the Society of Cincinnati. This information has to do with the pursuit of the annexation of Canada—hence the title of the book, the 14th colony. The ex-KGB guy is seeking to disrupt a coming presidential inauguration using nuclear warheads that have long been resting in hiding in the United States, unbeknownst to authority figures there. The disruption of the inauguration will be catastrophic because of the thorny legal issues around succession if leading members set to take office end up dead.

As I said, I wouldn’t invest too much time in this book, or other books in the series, because they are just light thrillers. They aren’t even that exciting, as they are thematically and stylistically immature. That said, the book does exercise a pull that I’m almost embarrassed by. It gets kind of fun to follow Berry as he reworks different historical facts into a totally unrealistic and silly plot.

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