Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Henry VIII & Cotton Malone

The eagerly anticipated 11th book in the always thrilling Cotton Malone series, The King's Deception,  by Steve Berry will be released in a few hours. I have to say my excitement for this new book came after reading the excerpt at the end of Berry's The Columbus Affair (a stand alone novel). It's not really fair for an author to include these teasers at the end of a previous book. It's like showing a toddler a cookie (in June) and then saying, you can have a crumb now, but you cannot eat the rest of the cookie until October! It might as well be when they turn 18! Seriously, you expect readers, especially bibliophiles such as myself, to be patient and just wait for the book to come out?!? No way! I searched for the opportunity to read The King's Deception pre-pub and was thrilled beyond belief when I was approved for the advanced reader copy via electronic delivery Oh, how times have changed!! My reading addiction can be now be fed simply by opening a webpage, downloading a book, sending it to my device, and then syncing the library on my e-Reader! FREE! Now, can you say addicted? Why, yes I am. I'm not a member of Bibliophiles Anonymous (BA) I am a loud and proud member of Bibliophiles Out Loud (BOL)! I really tried to come up with a cool acronyms, but my husband really hates them!

Okay, onto my praise for The King's Deception. Like other Steve Berry books, I was captured by the first pages and had a very difficult time putting it down . The book begins in Whitehall Palace in January 1547 [For those of you not familiar with English history, this is where Henry VII lapsed into unconsciousness and ultimately died, following a reign of over 37 years] and then moves to May 2012 where Cotton Malone and his ex-wife begin to discuss the death of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted murderer for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The real story begins as Cotton and his teenage son travel to London on Thanksgiving holiday.

I don't want to ruin any of the action, suspense, and adventure for you. So I will just say, if you have plans for the evening, weekend, etc. do not pick this book up because your plans will either be forgotten or cancelled because you will not want to put the book down ~ for any reason. Yes, it is a long book (432 pages), but you will be so engrossed in the story line you won't realize the world is continuing to function around you.

This novel is a wonderful marriage of historical events ~ distant past and not so distant past (because I can remember these events). The way Berry intertwines historical fact with his own story line, thus creating historical fiction, makes the reader wonder, could this really be the case? Is this what happened? If you are not questioning your knowledge of history when you finish a Steve Berry novel, then I don't think you really read the book!

I am a huge fan of historical fiction. While reading a book, such as The King's Deception, I make an effort to do my own research in order to have a better grasp of the actual history and geography of an area. It is not that I don't trust the author. On the contrary, I believe them to such an extent that I have to be able to separate fact from fiction, for my own sake. If I don't do this additional research and investigation I feel that I am not an informed reader. Now, for some this would cause you to move as far away from historical fiction as possible. I, however, love history and always want to learn more. As I have gotten older I have found that I read about times and events in history in which I never studied in school through the historical fiction books I pick up to read.. Historical fiction provides me with the opportunity to learn in an entertaining and suspenseful manner, especially when Cotton Malone has anything to do with the story!

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