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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 (1206 )
5 star
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3 star
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3.9 (740 )
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4.1 (743 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric MALIBU, CA, United States 05-25-11
    Eric MALIBU, CA, United States 05-25-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
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    43
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    "Great listen; great narration, worth the credit"

    this was my first cotton malone story. I have listened to a number of scott brick narrations, jack reacher, harry bosch, and pedergast thrillers. i think this is the best brick - mostly because his voice does not get in the way. if you know scott brick's melodramatic style, you know he has a great voice, but it does get in the way too often. the story is very clever, has lots of sharp turns on a dime, and the style of back and forth between the story threads worked well. i am glad for the person who could tell what was coming next... but i am quite confident that is not the case. if you are predicting cotton malone survives, that might be a safe bet since the series revolves around him, but the ins and outs that make the story - nope - too many twists and turns. a great listen.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nan Buckingham, VA, United States 05-25-11
    Nan Buckingham, VA, United States 05-25-11 Member Since 2001

    I am a commercial artist working in my studio in central Virginia. Audible keeps me company and extends my painting hours.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    116
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    "Saved by Scott Brick ( Sort of!)"

    I could listen to Scott Brick read the local phone directory. Unfortunately, that is about how interesting I found this book. In spite of dashing back and forth between locations and characters, the author failed to arouse any suspense or excitement in me. I generally knew what was going to happen next and simply waited for the inevitable. The characters were one dimensional and I really didn't care what happened to them.The plot was tiresome and I am sorry I wasted a credit.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy Lubbock, TX, United States 05-28-11
    Jimmy Lubbock, TX, United States 05-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    21
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    3
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    "Wow, what a great story"

    Warning! Do no get this book unless you can afford to get locked into a story that you can't walk away from. The scenes change rapidly through a plot of intrigue. This is super storytelling with just enough history (and some of it true) to make the story spellbinding.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FPN PORTLAND, OR, United States 05-29-11
    FPN PORTLAND, OR, United States 05-29-11 Member Since 2007

    Dr. FPN from Portland,OR

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cotton & Cassiopeia come to America"

    The Jefferson Key is the eleventh (I think) Steve berry novel that I have read, and despite its "Continental locale", it is one of his best efforts.
    I normally enjoy Berry's superior research that will introduce me to a new and interesting place or "time & place". I especially appreciated the author's notes, read at the end of the audiobook. These notes serve to distinguish 'historical fact' from 'author's fiction'.
    I was literally stuck to my seat, in anticipation of the finale-- as I was caught listening to the few chapters in my car, and I sat in my car (in my garage for the 30 minutes), rather than interrupt the rescue of Cassiopeia. The author does a n excellent job constructing a villain that was dastardly in thought & deed, though quite believable. Scott Brick provides an excellent narration-as always. (Brick is one of my two favorite narrators).
    If you enjoy the Cotton Malone-Cassiopeia Vitt characters, you will enjoy this audiobook. You may even discover some interesting history concerning the 'Founding & Political History' of our country(USA), -I did. I enjoyed it. {4.25/5 stars}.
    fpn

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riverman63 Riverside CA 07-15-11
    Riverman63 Riverside CA 07-15-11 Member Since 2005

    Drudge

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
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    324
    31
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    2
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    Overall
    "Too Much Literary License?"

    With apologies to the author - I know you wroked hard on this and all your novels, this one is just too far fetched. I found myself shaking my head numerous times over the books premise, the incredible luck the main characters have in finding extra ammunition, clothes, food, etc and the travelling from Nova Scotia to the Carolina's and back, as if they were going to lunch. The whole thing was just too much. Sorry, could not make the book believable. I was actually glad when it was over --

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlon Edgewater, NJ, United States 06-30-11
    Marlon Edgewater, NJ, United States 06-30-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Don't Do It! (spoiler alert)"

    I'm about half way through this one, and it's all I can do to keep listening to it. It is nothing more than a conglomeration of poorly disguised story lines lifted from everything from National Treasure to 24 (remember the whole story line with the secret service agent and the First Lady in 24 one season?).

    Also, the way the story is told makes keeping up with the characters very difficult. I listen to lots of audiobooks, even several read by Scott Brick, and have never had this problem before. Perhaps it's because SB doesn't alter his voice between characters as much as some other readers, but I think the way it's written is the real problem.

    I find myself at this point listening, not because the story is enjoyable, but because I'm determined not to waste the credit I used to purchase the darned book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Reno, NV, United States 06-30-11
    Patricia Reno, NV, United States 06-30-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't Bother"

    This book is about a group of pirates who have a family liniage from the time of the revolutionary war when they were issued "Letters of Mark" allowing them to pillage the enemies of the US. They are desperate to get back the missing parts of the Letters, so they can WHAT?? attack and pillage the current enemies of the US??? This is so far-fetched, filled with conflicting secret government agencies, and illogical reasoning that it was painful to finish. Don't bother.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Hungary 06-27-11
    Bruce Hungary 06-27-11
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    "Possibly the silliest thing I've ever read"

    It begins with two devices that would require an expert in computer programming, ballistics, metallurgy, networking and covert ops that assumes everyone working at a major NYC hotel is an idiot. It continues with two characters (Cotton Malone and Danny Daniels) that have southern drawls so similar as to be indecipherable. We are introduced to a document still intact and readable 200 years after being secreted in an underground grotto that floods on a regular basis. And finally, 3 female characters, at least 2 of whom have lead relatively sedentary lives, have the ability to leap into the open ocean from a sinking ship and be picked up from rocket firing helicopters ill-equipped to deal with air-sea rescue. Absolutely preposterous. Get it it if you wish to sacrifice 12-15 hours of your life that you will never get back.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 05-26-11
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 05-26-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "hardly worth the money"

    Why did I come back to Steve Berry? One dimensional characters, boring story line and so-so narration.
    This book goes no where

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Armand Glenville, NC, United States 05-27-11
    Armand Glenville, NC, United States 05-27-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Terrible"

    I made the mistake of buying this audible book early on because it was on the "most downloaded" list and needed a book for my travel. This was before their were any audible customer reviews. Something I never do and learned a lesson! The book was terrible and had I read the reviews that now exist I would never have purchased it. The comments about how the author kept flipping from one scene to another constantly made it incoherent and the plot so disjointed it became impossible to follow.. I agree the Scott Brick did a great job and one of the reasons I purchased it....however the plot was so discombobulated ...even with his great reading ability...I couldn't finish it.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
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