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The Jefferson Key

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The Jefferson Key

A Novel
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Four United States presidents have been assassinated--in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963--each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time. But what if those presidents were all killed for the same...
Four United States presidents have been assassinated--in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963--each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time. But what if those presidents were all killed for the same...
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Description-
  • Four United States presidents have been assassinated--in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963--each murder seemingly unrelated and separated by time.

    But what if those presidents were all killed for the same reason: a clause in the United States Constitution--contained within Article 1, Section 8--that would shock Americans?

    This question is what faces former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone in his latest adventure. When a bold assassination attempt is made against President Danny Daniels in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the killing--only to find himself at dangerous odds with the Commonwealth, a secret society of pirates first assembled during the American Revolution. In their most perilous exploit yet, Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt race across the nation and take to the high seas. Along the way they break a secret cipher originally possessed by Thomas Jefferson, unravel a mystery concocted by Andrew Jackson, and unearth a centuries-old document forged by the Founding Fathers themselves, one powerful enough--thanks to that clause in the Constitution--to make the Commonwealth unstoppable.

 
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  • From the book

    ONE

    NEW YORK CITY
    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, THE PRESENT
    6:13 pm

    One mistake was not enough for Cotton Malone.

    He made two.

    Error number one was being on the fifteenth floor of the Grand Hyatt hotel. The request had come from his old boss Stephanie Nelle, through an email sent two days ago. She needed to see him, in New York, on Saturday. Apparently, the subject matter was something they could discuss only in person. And apparently, it was important. He'd tried to call anyway, phoning Magellan Billet headquarters in Atlanta, but was told by her assistant, "She's been out of the office for six days now on DNC."

    He knew better than to ask where.

    DNC. Do Not Contact.

    That meant don't call me, I'll call you.

    He'd been there before himself the agent in the field, deciding when best to report in. That status, though, was a bit unusual for the head of the Magellan Billet. Stephanie was responsible for all twelve of the department's covert operatives. Her task was to supervise. For her to be DNC meant that something extraordinary had attracted her attention.

    He and Cassiopeia Vitt had decided to make a New York weekend of the trip, with dinner and a show after he discovered what Stephanie wanted. They'd flown from Copenhagen yesterday and checked into the St. Regis, a few blocks north of where he now stood. Cassiopeia chose the accommodations and, since she was also paying for them, he hadn't protested. Plus, it was hard to argue with regal ambience, breathtaking views, and a suite larger than his apartment in Denmark.

    He'd replied to Stephanie's email and told her where he was staying. After breakfast this morning, a key card for the Grand Hyatt had been waiting at the St. Regis' front desk along with a room number and a note.

    PLEASE MEET ME AT EXACTLY 6:15 THIS EVENING

    He'd wondered about the word exactly, but realized his former boss suffered from an incurable case of obsessive behavior, which made her both a good administrator and aggravating. But he also knew she would not have contacted him if it wasn't truly important.

    He inserted the key card, noting and ignoring the do not disturb sign.

    The indicator light on the door's electronic lock switched to green and the latch released.

    The interior was spacious, with a king- sized bed covered in plush purple pillows. A work area was provided at an oak- top desk with an ergonomic chair. The room occupied a corner, two windows facing East 42nd Street, the other offering views west toward 5th Avenue. The rest of the décor was what would be expected from a high- class, Midtown Manhattan hotel.

    Except for two things.

    His gaze locked on the first: some sort of contraption, fashioned of what appeared to be aluminum struts, bolted together like an Erector Set. It stood before one of the front windows, left of the bed, facing outward. Atop the sturdy metal support sat a rectangular box, perhaps two feet by three, it too made of dull aluminum, its sides bolted together and centered on the window. More girders extended to the walls, front and back, one set on the floor, another braced a couple of feet above, seemingly anchoring the unit in place.

    Was this what Stephanie meant when she'd said important?

    A short barrel poked from the front of the box. There seemed no way to search its interior, short of unbolting the sides. Sets of gears adorned both the box and the frame. Chains ran the length of the supports, as if the whole thing was designed to move.

    He reached for the second anomaly.

    An envelope. Sealed. With his name on it.

    He glanced...

About the Author-
  • Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15,000,000 printed copies in 51 countries.

    History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's this passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, that led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have traveled across the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners, and their popular writers' workshops. To date, nearly 2,000 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award and the 2013 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers. His novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award, and his historic preservation work merited the 2013 Silver Bullet from International Thriller Writers.

    Steve Berry was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers--a group of more than 2,000 thriller writers from around the world--and served three years as its co-president.

    For more information, visit www.steveberry.org.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Cotton Malone, former Justice Department operative, finds himself back in the heat of chasing villains when he foils an assassination attempt on the president. Little does Malone know that all four successful presidential assassinations in American history are linked to this attempt, as well as to an obscure clause in the U.S. Constitution that endorses privateering. Scott Brick's robust narration style carries listeners through fast-paced fights with modern-day pirates and lends introspection to Malone's sharp-witted and elegant girlfriend, Cassiopeia Vitt. Brick paints Malone as a reluctant hero who's still got the moxie and moves to thwart the villains. Brick also adds color to Thomas Jefferson's legacy of ciphers and the blustery history of American privateering. N.M.C. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • David Baldacci

    "One of the most spellbinding and ingenious openings in all of thrillerdom. The cast of characters is huge but every one of them is memorable. The action is intense and masterfully choreographed. As always with Steve Berry, you're educated about significant things while your knuckles are turning white and the pages are flying. Easily Cotton Malone's most epic, swashbuckling adventure."

  • Brad Meltzer "The Constitution. . . secret codes . . . loads of history. . . AND pirates! What else does anyone need? The Jefferson Key won't just haunt your nights--it'll haunt your life. Cotton Malone is coming back to the scariest place of all: Home."
  • Vince Flynn "THE JEFFERSON KEY starts with a bang and holds the reader in its grip until the last page. Fascinating American history, up-to-the-minute politics, pulse-pounding action. This is a story Mitch Rapp would love."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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A Novel
Steve Berry
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