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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Thriller/Suspense, 2016

This program contains two versions of The Patriot Threat - one is the complete unabridged text, and the other is the writer’s cut, which includes Steve Berry’s behind-the-scenes commentary at the ends of some of the chapters. If you’d like to listen to the Patriot Threat WITHOUT Steve Berry’s comments, just play the program from the beginning. To listen to the writer’s cut version of The Patriot Threat WITH Steve Berry’s commentary, start with Download Part 3 or Chapter 74.

In an innovative new approach, Macmillan Audio and Steve Berry have produced an expanded, annotated writer’s cut audiobook edition of The Patriot Threat.

The 16th Amendment to the Constitution legalized federal income tax, but what if there were problems with the 1913 ratification of that amendment? Secrets that call in to question decades of tax collecting. There is a surprising truth to this possibility—a truth wholly entertained by Steve Berry, a top-ten New York Times best-selling writer, in his new thriller, The Patriot Threat.

His protagonist, Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired. But when his former boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files - the kind that could force the United States to its knees - Malone is vaulted into a harrowing 24-hour chase that begins on the water in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, and a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Steve Berry’s trademark mix of history and suspense is 90 percent fact and 10 percent exciting speculation, a provocative thriller that poses a dangerous question: What if the federal income tax is illegal?

©2015 Steve Berry (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I don't like the director cut format

This is a great story and Scott Brick, as always does an excellent job performing the story. But I found the that giving all the author notes at the end of each chapter a total distraction and finally after about 5 chapters I had to switch over to the other format. I do like authors that recap the highlights of writing and any interesting tidbits about the story at the end, such as Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child do at the end of their books. I do want to emphasize that this a another great book by Steve Berry and Scott Brick is one of a handful of story tellers that I really love. In fact I have listened to authors that I was not familiar with simply because he was the narrator.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

I was fascinated by the story and drawn in by the characters. I liked the commentary, it was good to hear the author's thoughts. I hope Malone and Cassieopia (I'm sure the spelling is wrong) will find their way back together.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • MALIBU, CA, United States
  • 04-24-15

Solid, some great story threads, compelling by end

Steve Berry is a great historical novelist, and can spin a great yarn. My review is against the backdrop of his excellence - and I think that this offering, while strong, was not his best. The central conflict of the story in terms of an existential threat to the US is unconvincing - it is not really a spoiler to indicate that this conflict is whether the income tax amendment was properly ratified, and if it was not, the premise that the US and Chinese economies would collapse. Perhaps because I saw that as something other than the existential threat it was considered to be, the story lost some verve. Our government is not exactly one that adheres to its own laws, and there are a dozen workarounds to having an improperly ratified amendment. But otherwise, and if you can make that leap of faith, the novel was very well done. I wish the North Korea Hana character was more fully developed, but as it was, she was just a great part of the story. Lots of good interpersonal twists. And once you read it, you'll smile at the mention of Chik-Fil-A man.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Can not tell you how much I LOVE this format

What did you love best about The Patriot Threat?

The story is great as always with Steve Berry but with Mr Berry adding his narrative at the end of chapters made this story even better!

Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Scott Brick is my FAVORITE narrator. I have found new authors because he has narrated their book

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 04-11-15

Check the bills in your pocket....NOW !

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I sure would. The Berry/Bick team have hit it again! Not the best either have done by any stretch, but a classic ,well researched and unique offering which captures the best of both performers

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Patriot Threat?

Some of the Croatia scenes are memorable.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

Hah good question. Malone is an all time fave but in this one its Stephanie Nell, as always, that works best for me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I almost did!

Any additional comments?

All good, classic Berry/Brick, but could they stop using the word " DEVOID". as frequently as they do? My only irritatiion, but a real one.


Steve?

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 08-30-15

Utterly fascinating

Patriot Threat, like Steve Berry's other 9 novels in Cotton Malone series, deals with questions of history. This book takes on the issue of whether the Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution which was ratified in 1913 was properly ratified. If it were not properly ratified the income tax would not be legal. Like all of his Cotton Malone novels Patriot Threat is thoroughly researched.

Scott Brick does his usual outstanding job of narration.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Steve Berry does it again.

Once again Mr. Berry takes us on an adventure infusing fact and fiction in a perfect balance. The addition of the authors notes was a great addition for the incites to the story. After listening to Scott Brick narrating the Cotton Malone series I can't imagine anyone else doing it.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a novel that used facts but lacked realism

struggled with the narrator because he used the same choice between dialog... very hard to tell who is saying what.This really puts you behind in understanding the story. to make it worse, I couldn't help but roll my eyes because of the story conspiracy to cover up. but it was very educational that many facts were used. I wish the author would have given more insight to his story... it was a good idea, just under utilized.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 04-11-15

This Threat Is a Treat

Cotton Malone and Co. have to solve a puzzle that jillionaire Andrew Mellon left behind for FDR back in the 1930s. And they have to stop the North Koreans and Chinese, and a rogue American conspiracy theorist, from solving it first in order to protect secrets that could bring the U.S. economy crashing down. In other words, classic Steve Berry, nicely rebounding from the disappointment of his previous effort.

Making this audiobook special for longtime Berry fans like me is a version that features post-chapter commentary by the author. Berry always includes a postscript to his books detailing what is historically accurate, what may be speculation by various entities (some scholarly, some not), and what are his own fictional creations. I often refer to his afterword as I read in order to know these distinctions as I go along. Here, we get some of that information at the end of each chapter, plus the full afterword at the end. Great stuff.

My one problem with this book, for which I deduct a star, is some weakness and distortion in the main element of the story. I don't believe the prime secret rises to the level of existential threat to our economy. We have never provided reparations for slavery or genocide, and more recently have not held anyone accountable for the fraud used to launch a war that killed thousands of Americans, hundreds of thousands overall, or held anyone accountable for crashing our economy, so I don't think we'd allow some arcane legal argument undo a century of reality.

I also find the author remiss in failing to fully explain the situation with the real-life book that is the main source material for this conspiracy theory. He notes that courts have ruled it to be without sufficient evidence to make a real case. In fact, it has been deemed to be lacking in any proof whatsoever, and indeed has been ruled to be a fraud perpetrated by its author in order to make money. Knowing that, as I did before starting this book, further diminishes the power of the McGuffin that drives The Patriot Threat.

On the other hand, there are other redeeming qualities to the book, including the second secret pointed to by the puzzle, and even more so the look inside North Korea and its prison camps. Hana, one of the main characters, and one of two windows into North Korea, is a brilliantly realized character, more compelling (in this particular volume) than Cotton Malone himself. Overall, despite the weakness of the main secret and the plodding narration of Scott Brick, The Patriot Threat is a treat, especially for Berry's fans.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • doomer
  • Loveland, United States
  • 04-26-15

Really liked the author commentary

Gotta love a good conspiracy theory, especially when the historical context is as well researched as it is in this book. The author commentary definitely added an interesting dimension. The only way to improve the author commentary would be if it were read by a woman with a smolderingly sultry voice. Sorry, Steve, truth is truth ;)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful