Tuesday, June 10, 2014

“The Lincoln Myth” by Steve Berry – House of Cards with Stars and Stripes

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry – book cover
History is a rather curious thing, in the sense that we accept the fact that much of it is shaped by the desires and interests of those who record it. In other words, the history we are being taught and accept is not a completely accurate reflection of the objective reality which transpired; rather, it is distorted and modified by countless factors from faulty memory to the need to advance an agenda.

In The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry the line between what history remembers and what actually happened is shattered. A discovery is made leading certain people, a demented Mormon millionaire being one of them, to believe that Lincoln as well as the founding fathers were unanimously in favor for states to have a right to secede from the union. The millionaire, who also communicates with a Mormon ghost on occasion, hatches together a plot involving the United States President, the Senate as well as a violent and extremist Mormon sect. As it happens, Cotton Malone gets entangled into the whole thing and must find a way to unravel the whole thing, with the help of his girlfriend, Cassiopeia Vitt, a former Mormon who was once in love with the ghost-loving millionaire.

And so the stage is set for what is meant to be a rather grandiose thriller taking Malone from peaceful streets of Copenhagen to the remote mountains of Utah. There are certainly enough plotlines and elements for the author to develop, making for few dull moments in terms of the pace itself. Malone is an interesting hero to lead the way forward, though I believe that in the end, the large scope of the novel ended up hurting it more than anything.

It is important to have an ability to suspend your disbelief when reading a novel, but frankly, this one felt like it had a bit too many ridiculous elements coming together in equally-ridiculous ways. The whole dastardly plan seemed rather cartoonish and rather senseless, with the antagonist being, for the most part, clichéd. Though Cotton Malone is certainly a very well-crafted protagonist, his simplistic approach in terms of trying to move forward and solve problems rather than dwell on the meaning of things makes it seem like all the ridiculousness around him is perceived as yet another day at the office.

With these things being said, I have to admit that Berry truly has a magnificent talent for writing, at least from a technical perspective. The chapters are short and eventful with all the descriptions and such being vivid and palpable. If you feel like you can go the extra mile to suspend your sense of disbelief and enjoy a somewhat ridiculous thriller that is extremely well-written, then I wholeheartedly recommend you give this book a chance, despite the flaws it may bear.

Steve Berry (1955)

Steve Berry (1955)

Personal site

Steve Berry is an American professor, author, as well as a former attorney who graduated from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law. He is known for his Cotton Malone series, as well as his short stories and standalone novels, including The Romanov Prophecy and The Third Secret.

More of the Steve Berry's book reviews:
The Patriot Threat

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