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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 (1301 )
5 star
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3.9 (829 )
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Story
4.2 (831 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eric MALIBU, CA, United States 05-25-11
    Eric MALIBU, CA, United States 05-25-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    118
    48
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    FOLLOWING
    9
    1
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Jimmy Lubbock, TX, United States 05-28-11
    Jimmy Lubbock, TX, United States 05-28-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    26
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    4
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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 2014

    Dr. FPN from Portland,OR

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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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
  •  
    Nan Buckingham, VA, United States 05-25-11
    Nan Buckingham, VA, United States 05-25-11 Member Since 2011

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
    ratings
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    11
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    6
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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 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Schifilliti Georgia 05-26-11
    Joseph Schifilliti Georgia 05-26-11 Member Since 2013

    joe the shmoe

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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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
    ratings
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    1
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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
  •  
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 05-26-11
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 05-26-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    482
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    62
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    Overall
    "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 19 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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    "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
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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
  •  
    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
    114
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    Overall
    "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
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  • Salter
    Herefordshire, UK
    6/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Berry at his best again!"

    Superb from Berry once more. Gripping story spanning the USA and Canada. Historical fact laced with '007-like' action and gripping intrigue.
    Can't wait to continue my way through Steve Berry's books, and already know that I'll be returning to this one again one day :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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