The Bishop’s Pawn: A Novel

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Steve Berry’s The Bishop’s Pawn is the latest entry in his Cotton Malone series. This time, Berry takes us back to Cotton’s first case with the Justice Department. The book begins in the present day, when Cotton gets a message referencing his first case. The book then jumps 18 years back in time to Cotton’s very first case in the Justice Department. In 2000, he is sent by his boss, Stephanie Nell, to salvage a rare coin. When Cotton finally manages to have the coin in his possession, he also discovers a secret file referencing the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pretty soon, however, Cotton finds himself in the crosshairs of both the Justice Department and the FBI, who are determined to keep the truth about the real reason for Dr. King’s assassination buried in the sand. Cotton Malone must now use his wits to outsmart his adversaries and uncover a conspiracy, which, if successful, would rewrite history.

Like Steve Berry’s previous novels, The Bishop’s Pawn is a thriller full of politics, history, and espionage. The author deftly weaves little-known tidbits of history into the plot to make his story compelling and full of nail-biting suspense. Unlike his past books, however, Bishop’s Pawn breaks a tradition by having a first-person narrative. Because of this technique, the reader gets a unique glimpse into Cotton Malone’s mind. Thus, Berry takes character development, which has always been his strong suit, to a whole new level.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Bishop’s Pawn. I admire a smart thriller that looks at history from an angle different than what our teachers have taught us in school.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Steve Berry
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Minotaur Books
Publish Date 2018-Mar-20
ISBN 9781250140227
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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