The Bishop's Pawn

The Bishop's Pawn

A Novel

Book - 2018
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The first case of New York Times bestseller Steve Berry's iconic hero, Cotton Malone.

History notes that the ugly feud between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr., marked by years of illegal surveillance and the accumulation of secret files, ended on April 4, 1968 when King was assassinated by James Earl Ray. But that may not have been the case.

Now, fifty years later, former Justice Department agent, Cotton Malone, must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis.

It all turns on an incident from eighteen years ago, when Malone, as a young Navy lawyer, is trying hard not to live up to his burgeoning reputation as a maverick. When Stephanie Nelle, a high-level Justice Department lawyer, enlists him to help with an investigation, he jumps at the opportunity. But he soon discovers that two opposing forces--the Justice Department and the FBI--are at war over a rare coin and a cadre of secret files containing explosive revelations about the King assassination, information that could ruin innocent lives and threaten the legacy of the civil rights movement's greatest martyr.

Malone's decision to see it through to the end ---- from the raucous bars of Mexico, to the clear waters of the Dry Tortugas, and ultimately into the halls of power within Washington D.C. itself ---- not only changes his own life, but the course of history.

Steve Berry always mines the lost riches of history ---- in The Bishop's Pawn he imagines a gripping, provocative thriller about an American icon.

Publisher: New York, New York :, Minotaur Books,, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781250140227
Branch Call Number: FICTION BER
Characteristics: x, 340 pages ; 25 cm


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Jan 10, 2019

An excellent start and an enjoyable read that encompasses a historical context. Details about Martin Luther King brought back significant memories; and the revelation about his death came as a shock. While the distinctive name of the main character exhibits the narrator’s creative attributes, “Cotton Malone” is certainly an unusual, but excellent choice. As an intellectual individual with a low profile, Cotton articulates his thought processes profoundly. His flexibility to face challenges and his abrupt decisions when facing difficult situations also perpetuate resilience. Numerous characters like Jim Jansen, Juan Lopez, Nate Perry, Tom Oliver, James Earl Ray, J.Edgar Hoover and Ralph Abernathy make deciphering the good, bad or ugly difficult. Yet, the main hero facing the unknown unhesitatingly to define his optimistic trait.

Exceptional narrative!!!!!

Sep 30, 2018

I always enjoy the Srteve Berry books, and this is not exception. It is different from most of the other books as it is all written from the perspective of Cotton Malone and takes place when he first hooks up with Stephanie Nelle. The plot revolves around Hoover and the FBI’s focus on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the SCLC. It is very interesesting and fun to read the “Author’s Note” nat the end and see how much of the story is actually true - more than you might have imagined!

May 17, 2018

Already a fan of Steve Barry, this is one of his very best! I loved that the story was told in the first person by Cotton Malone. It is action packed and I could not put it down, finishing it the day I started reading. The subject matter exposed numerous things I was unaware of through the Notes section at the end. This is "must reading" folks!

May 11, 2018

In SB, latest installment(maybe the last) I was not sure if I would like it. The more I read about the Civil Rights act, Hoover, FBI, Martin Luther King Jr, etc, it was a fascinating read, along with seeing a young, hotshot rookie named Cotton Malone start his career in the Magellan Billet.

Apr 02, 2018

Steve Berry's books, with main character Cotton Malone, have always had a historical connection. Sometimes thin, unproven history and sometimes more established events. He always does a great job of weaving a great story around whatever those events are. In THE BISHOP'S PAWN, he has taken on one of the most challenging historical events in America's history, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. This novel, more that any other of his that I can recall, lays out more authenticated historical facts as part of the story than any of his previous ones. Some of it is little stuff that reveals glimpses of Dr. King not widely known (or at least to me), some of it direct from the Church Committee investigation by Congress and other internal documents showing government abuse of the law, and some of it is hard facts that are uncomfortable when considering someone who has become so revered by many. The book never questions Dr. King's motives regarding racial equality, the horrors of poverty and non-violent civil disobedience. Berry weaves an interesting tale that does provide a creative, alternative explanation for the motives behind the assassination and he does a truly masterful job of basing that explanation on hard facts. One thing I do like about Berry is that at the end of his books, he goes out of his way to separate what is fact from fiction in the book. [NOTE: I would suggest not reading that part until you finish the book.] In this book, that section is longer than I ever recall, largely because he has so much factual material that he drew from. Yet he is very clear that the alternative explanation of why Dr. King was assassinated, is entirely his own creation. This story is his masterpiece as an author so far. It is a great read and well crafted. Maybe more importantly, for someone of my generation, it is a vivid reminder of what was at stake and what we were watching as events in civil rights movement unfolded in the first half of the 1960s. It is also a reminder of the behind the scenes stuff we didn't know of at the time.
Well done Mr. Berry!

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