The weaving of historical fact with some fiction and conspiracy theories are always good choices for me to read in novels. I know they aren't true, but they could be and that makes them even more interesting. So when I ended up seeing on Amazon a link that I should read The Bishop's Pawn, I saw that it was a part of a series, the Cotton Malone Series. Of course, I didn't even realize that I had read another one of the books at the time, The Lincoln Myth. Since I remembered liking that one, I looked through the series order and decided to start at Book Seven, The Jefferson Key. I mean who wouldn't want to read a story that links together every assassination of a United States President to a group of pirates called The Commonwealth.
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?
While I normally try to pick up a series at the beginning, I decided not to at this time. I was wondering what I would end up missing, and it didn't seem like I missed too much. Though there was a character Jonathan Wyatt who seemed to have a history with Malone. I went back and looked after, and that history was actually filled out in a short story that was attached to the end of the book in my purchase on a Kindle. So I hadn't missed anything.
The Jefferson Key started with action almost right away. The book jumped right in on the attempted assassination of the President, Danny Daniels. Cotton Malone was asked to a hotel room by who he thought was his former boss of the Magellan Billet, a fictional agency within the Justice Department, sending him a letter that she needed help. But it turns out he was lured there by Jonathan Wyatt, who held a vendetta against Malone, to both stop the assassination attempt and hopefully get killed in the process.
The rest of the novel intertwines the perspectives of four different major characters: (1) Cotton Malone, (2) Jonathan Wyatt, (3) Cassiopea Vitt, Malone's "girlfriend", and (4) Alexander Hale, the head of the Commonwealth. While there are some other charcters involved including the other three leaders of The Commonwealth and a head of another major intelligence agency in the government, these four characters are involved directly in the plot moving the book forward.
Without going a bit more into the plot, I will say the book itself is paced extremely well. I am a fan of quick chapters (less than five minutes on the Kindle timings) in novels like this, and this book provided me with those. It just makes it easier to pick up and read on the train and to end up getting a quick chapter or two completed before I end up falling asleep. I realize I haven't spoken much of the writing or plot, but these books aren't about the writing, and discussing the plot can be too much at times.
Quick Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars