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The Jefferson Key: A Novel | [Steve Berry]

The Jefferson Key: A Novel

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Steve Berry (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“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.” (David Baldacci)

"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." (Brad Meltzer)

"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." (Vince Flynn)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1273 )
5 star
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3.9 (806 )
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4.1 (809 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joseph Schifilliti Georgia 05-26-11
    Joseph Schifilliti Georgia 05-26-11 Member Since 2013

    joe the shmoe

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    "A silly piece of fluff"

    Not even Scott Brick can make dramatic a story as silly as this. Skip this one.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kari Oceanside, CA, United States 05-24-11
    Kari Oceanside, CA, United States 05-24-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "The Jefferson Key: A Novel"

    Scott Brick adds a dimension of suspense to this. I am a big Mitch Rapp fan and this story is right up his alley. Anyone who follows the the Rapp series will throughly enjoy..

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don LELAND, NC, United States 05-06-12
    Don LELAND, NC, United States 05-06-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    89
    33
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    "My entry point to a Great series"

    I had never heard for Steve Berry until I found this book, so I took a chance. It was a good decision as it just what I had hoped. This is a "National Treasure" type of read with just enough fact to make it believable mated with enough fiction to make it entertaining. After this book I when back and found all the others in the Cotton Malone series, enjoying every one. The characters grow in each book, which I like. My only issue is now I've read them all and have to wait on the next book to be released, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 10-06-11
    Aaron 10-06-11 Member Since 2014

    Knee Dragger

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    51
    3
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    "Scott Brick deserves the commission..."

    Being an audio-book veteran, I appreciate the production value required to make a story a "good-listen". Some of the winning qualities of a good production include a narrator that conveys emotion, posses good speaking habits, understandable transitions and clear audio quality. Scott Brick did very well as always performing the story, although transitions between characters were done very poorly. This I think is due to the writing style of the author.

    This story commit's many mistakes not expected of a veteran author. Several of the characters have similar names and are difficult to keep track of. Use of distances and measures inconsistently varies between metric and american standard (with no apparent pattern for the reason). The morals of the characters are inconsistent and are not developed logically.

    I was disappointed with this book and couldn't wait for it to end. The only saving grace was the quality performance of Scott Brick, who should earn the commission on this book. He was the only reason I gave this book a chance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perry pascagoula, FL, United States 07-13-11
    Perry pascagoula, FL, United States 07-13-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    6
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    "Worse book audible has ever recorded"

    This book is so fragmented that is impossible to follow.Steve Berry continues to jump his characters
    around to the point being agitating to the reader.As in all his books ,you never know whats going on till the end but this is the worst.I could not finish it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felix West Palm Beach, FL, United States 06-29-11
    Felix West Palm Beach, FL, United States 06-29-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    2
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    "Boooooring!"

    I try not to pay any attention to reviews unless there are just too many bad ones. When I downloaded this book there were no reviews, and I've enjoyed the other Cotton Malone books. This was absolutely the most boring book I've listened to. I didn't even finish it. I just couldn't bare it any longer. I spent days trying to convince myself that it would get better, re-listening to the same parts of the book because I found mysefl wondering away from it time and time again. Scott Brick is my favorite narrator of all time...and I've been listening to audio books on my long drive to work for almost 10 years. Don't waste your credit, your money or anything else on this one. It was an interesting idea for a story, but Steve Berry just bored me with this thing. Don't even know how it ends, and don't even care

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 06-23-11
    Stephen 06-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    831
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    "Not his best story"

    I am a Cotton Malone fan and was looking forward to this book. It had all the makings of an excellent read - a story that ties in all the assassinations of US Presidents in history; pirates, and political rivalries between government intelligence agencies. However, somewhere in the execution the story became bogged down in affairs between secondary characters, frantic jumping from one story line to another. It was also one of those stories like the old James Bond stories where the villain would rig up some elaborate trap or machine to kill Bond rather than just shoot him...in this book, only secondary characters get shot or killed directly - all the main characters escape again and again.

    Also we are led to believe that there are shootings from North Carolina to DC to Nova Scotia that doesn't seem to attract anyone's attention...the characters occasionally mention news coverage, but it never comes into play. Private sailing vessels are also blown out of the water by military helicopters without any apparent reperussions.

    The book even starts a bit oddly..Cotton gets drawn into the story because of a forged email from a government agent, Stephanie Nell that requests his help. I thought it odd that you can get a super agent to fly across the ocean on a moments notice if you just happen to have his email address...no verification?

    Berry spends some time at the end of the book separating fact from fiction. His depiction of pirates is apparently accurate, but he certainly chose the most cruel aspects of their history to present.

    I know this review sounds negative, but these are the reasons I didn't give it the 4 or 5 stars I have given to all of the other Berry books I have read. It is worth a read, but you might have to suspend your expectations a bit...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James columbus, OH, United States 06-16-11
    James columbus, OH, United States 06-16-11 Member Since 2015

    sports announcer, cyclist, enjoys to travel and the outdoors.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
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    "I enjoyed it"

    As I write this review, I am very suprised to read all the very negitive reviews of this book. I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the story and the characters. Some of the details are spot on, if you know the Grand Hyatt or Grand Central you will feel like you are right there. This is not Berrys overall best book but by no means is it his worst. I gave it a 4. The only dificulty I had with the book was how Berry bounced from on location to another back to the first back to the second back to the first... That got to be a little much. Otherwise Its a good story, Of all the books out there right now, this one is enjoyable and a good choice. There are a lot of dogs to choose from right now. However that is my opinion, please click on my profile to look at other books that I have reviewed to see if our taste matches. No one is better than Cussler. Berry and Thor are similar they have there ups and downs. I think Berry did a good job, one you will enjoy listening to and no one is better than Scott Brick. Enjoy the Summer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Dublin, Georgia, United States 05-26-11
    John Dublin, Georgia, United States 05-26-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    15
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    "Below expectations"

    Not at all near the quality of his previous work! Redundant unbelivable shoot 'um up.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 02-09-12
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 02-09-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Welcome to the Outer Banks!"

    I was abit skeptical about this BOT, given the critical reviews so many people posted. That said, I was more than pleasantly surprised. An interesting ( although abit " out there " ) plot line, and protoypical Scott Brick presentation of Cotton Malone and his usual cast of characters.

    If this series caught your ear initially, this continuation should work for you. Enjoy, as I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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