The Patriot Threat

Minotaur: St. Martin's. Mar. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9781250056238. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862609. F
What if our federal income tax was illegal? Such is the premise around which Berry's tenth Cotton Malone thriller (after The Lincoln Myth) is based. Malone, retired from the Magellan Billet, a special elite unit of the Justice Department, has once again been lured out of retirement to assist in recovering sensitive Treasury Department documents that were stolen by a renegade North Korean. Malone is hot on the trail of Kim Yong Jin, whose agenda is not only to bring the United States to its knees but to overthrow the current leader of North Korea. Documents revealing that the 16th Amendment, which granted Congress authority to establish an income tax, is potentially illegal are at the center of a powerful tug of war that leads from Washington, DC, to Italy to the highlands of Croatia. Cameo appearances by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Andrew Mellon establish the historical background of the secret that could destroy America.
VERDICT Berry's fans will not be disappointed as he delivers his usual fast-paced and complex story line, highlighted by his hero's superhuman ability to overcome any obstacle and chase the bad guys to the ends of the earth. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/14.]
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