Book Review: “The Jefferson Key” by Steve Berry

Genre: Thriller

This is book #7 in the Cotton Malone series.

The Constitution, Article 1, Section 8:

Congress has the ability to grant letters of Marque to individuals or groups that could allow them, and their families, immunity from prosecution for helping the U.S.A.




An “unbreakable” code developed by colleagues of President Andrew Jackson after a failed assassination attempt by the members of the Commonwealth. If the code can be deciphered….it will lead to the two pages of Marque the Commonwealth wants more than anything in this world.

Without these pages, future Presidents are free to abide by the unwritten (or as yet unfound) rules, or ignore them.

Four dead Presidents have ignored them…….

Present Day

The Commonwealth consists of four families that have helped the United States since the Revolutionary War. These families, lead by Quentin Hale, have decided that President Danny Daniels is trying to destroy them…..

Cotton Malone received a message from his old boss, Stephanie Nelle, telling him to go to a hotel room (she sent him a key as well) at a certain time.

Arriving in the hotel room, Cotton saw an automatic weapon that……when President Daniels arrived accross the street…….started firing!

Luckily, Malone was able to mis-direct the firing and save Daniels…..

But the intrigue mounts as Cotton finds out that Stephanie did not send that note….she is missing.

The Commonwealth is behind the assassination attempt, and possibly Stephanie’s disappearance as well.

But remember….

The only thing that can save the Commonwealth from prosecution are the hidden Marque pages placed somewhere in the world by Andrew Jackson way back in 1835.

Oh…..the code has just been broken!


All hell breaks loose as Cotton, Cassiopeia Vitt, the NIA lead by Andrea Carbonell, and Malone’s arch enemy Wyatt…..all try to grab the solution to the code, find the missing Marque pages, and, while all that is going on… / or kill Stephanie (depending on who finds her first).

“The Jefferson Key” is a terrific, complex, action-packed novel with everything from “unbreakable” codes, to pirates, to assassination attempts, to kidnappings, to torture, and……..murder.

The last 100 pages will leave you breathless!


More Steve Berry….


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