Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guest Review and Blog Tour: The King's Deception by Steve Berry

I like to joke with my friend and fabulous Guest Reviewer that she is such a dude reader.  Her love for authors like Nelson Demille, John Jakes and Steve Berry is so funny to me because she also is a fan of seriously fluffy chick lit. Cheryl's got range and that is what makes her a book know-it-all and lover of all things literary.

 I could not pass up this blog tour so I asked her to hop on with me.

Book description from the website (

Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his old boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. After a gunpoint greeting in London in which both the fugitive and Gary disappear, Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown-an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.

At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for ‘humanitarian reasons.’ An outraged American government wants that stopped, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.
Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception.
Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.
CIA Operative Blake Antrim, in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire: the one thing that every Irish national has sought for centuries-a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire 45 year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another-and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to stop the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.

Cheryl’s review:

I started reading Steve Berry several years ago. Once I find an author I like, I do my best to read all or as many as possible of his or her books. When Michelle asked me if I wanted to review The King’s Deception, I realized I was behind on my Steve Berry reading. So within a week, I read two novels and four short stories to catch up before starting the new one.

Berry’s short story “The Tudor Plot” is a prequel to The King’s Deception and provides a bit of a back story but it’s not necessary to read it first. With The King’s Deception, Berry continues his Cotton Malone series and delivers his usual fast-paced thriller with numerous twists and turns. Having read all his books, Berry follows his usual formula of creating a race between bad guys and slightly less bad guys trying to expose or bury a deep dark historical secret while the good guys (Cotton Malone) try to figure out the mystery to stop the world from finding out the secret that could change the course of history and the future.

What is enjoyable about Berry’s book is knowing what to expect and having him deliver, while he always adds a few unpredictable twists and turns. The King’s Deception transports the reader to England’s royalty history filled with secrets and conspiracies. He leads readers in a direction where they think they have it all figured out, then surprises the reader by veering in a different direction. It was strange to have a book without Cassiopeia Vitt, but Berry always brings in new and sometimes returning characters to provide Malone with friends, enemies, and frenemies. As someone who works alone and on the fringe, Malone has to figure out who the enemies are and who is on his side, with alliances often changing for surprising reasons.

I read a lot of thrillers and Steve Berry is always one I return to. I like that he takes historical events and twists them into modern day conspiracies, providing a history lesson that leaves you thinking “what if?” One aspect I appreciate about Berry is his explanations at the end to clarify what’s true and what he concocted. It’s easy to tell that Berry does extensive research to ensure he portrays historical facts and figures accurately prior to adding his own layer of intrigue. After reading The King’s Deception, and after I read any of his books, I always want to go to the library to read more about the central historical plot.

The King’s Deception is a perfect summer read. Even though there are references to previous books’ plots and characters, it’s not necessary to read Berry’s books in order. Unless he comes out with more short stories, I will have to wait until next year to see where Berry’s imagination and research collide into an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride through the past and present.

What an awesome review Cheryl! Thanks!

Doesn't it make you want to read it? Check out his website for more info and some rave reviews under the below link.

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Unknown said...

Thank you very much Cheryl, a really nice review, and I enjoyed your Berry formula very much - too true! I didn't know about the short story "The Tudor Plot" which comes as great relief as I haven't yet acquired "The King's Deception"...even more so it's warranted my noseying about review sites before reading a book. Also I just got wind of Berry being interviewed by Elaine Charles, the host for the Book Report radio show. I missed the show yesterday but apparently it has a updated archive section on it's website (yes I went to check but I might be proving to be a little impatient as it's not yet up...Dr Ruth being the last interviewee) bookreportradio dotcom. Thanks again for the short story heads-up.