• The Malta Exchange

  • Cotton Malone Series, Book 14
  • By: Steve Berry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Steve Berry
  • Length: 26 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (727 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Brick is a masterful narrator, raising the tension in the action scenes while keeping the listener engaged in the slower historical segments." (AudioFile magazine)

In this audiobook, Steve Berry and Macmillan Audio team up again to bring listeners an expanded, annotated Writer's Cut edition of The Malta Exchange. This Writer's Cut edition features fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary read by the author. Critically-acclaimed and award-winning narrator Scott Brick returns to his role as Cotton Malone - eponymous hero of Berry's iconic New York Times best-selling series - as he enters a deadly race for the Vatican's oldest secrets.

The pope is dead. A conclave to select his replacement is about to begin. Cardinals are beginning to arrive at the Vatican, but one has fled Rome for Malta in search of a document that dates back to the 4th century and Constantine the Great. 

Former Justice Department operative, Cotton Malone, is at Lake Como, Italy, on the trail of legendary letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini that disappeared in 1945 and could re-write history. But someone else seems to be after the same letters and, when Malone obtains then loses them, he’s plunged into a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta. 

The knights have existed for over 900 years, the only warrior-monks to survive into modern times. Now they are a global humanitarian organization, but within their ranks lurks trouble - the Secreti - an ancient sect intent on affecting the coming papal conclave. With the help of Magellan Billet agent Luke Daniels, Malone races the rogue cardinal, the knights, the Secreti, and the clock to find what has been lost for centuries. The final confrontation culminates behind the walls of the Vatican where the election of the next pope hangs in the balance.

Praise for Scott Brick as Cotton Malone in other audiobooks:

"Scott Brick continues to bolster his status as one of the best narrators of international thrillers with his excellent reading of Berry's latest...Brick easily negotiates his way through this complex plot, his confident delivery keeps the suspense high while bringing a solid reality to a story that often walks a fine line between the believable and the improbable." (Publishers Weekly on The Venetian Betrayal

"Narrator Scott Brick's smooth voice flows with the twists and turns of Berry's political thriller...Secrets unravel, and tensions rise as Brick shifts vocal focus from the historical secret society to contemporary conspirators who include corrupt politicians and judges." (AudioFile magazine on The Lost Order)

©2019 Steve Berry (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Scott] Brick is a masterful narrator." (AudioFile magazine)

"The intrigue is intense.... Thriller fans will have their violence fix, but the real fun is in learning about the inner workings of the church, its history dating all the way back to Constantine, and the troubled past of Malta.... This one will appeal to Dan Brown fans and anyone else in the mood for a page-turning yarn.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about The Malta Exchange

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Maybe it’s just me

I found this to be a bit confusing and to have a lot of side note information that distracted from the story. I guess I’m spoiled as I love the other books in this series. This one was ok, but not as gripping as any of the previous ones. If you’re a fan of the series, like me, you won’t be disappointed.

9 people found this helpful

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meh - my least favorite

I've listened to all of Steve's books and this is, by far, my least favorite. Story line was very complicated and hard to follow and clearly he has an axe to grind with organized religion (which doesn't have anything to do with my review). Same characters, consistent audio delivery by Scott Brick (great!), and as always - well researched. I just didn't find the story interesting and would often get some of the characters confused. Still a Berry fan / will buy his next book.

4 people found this helpful

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Good but very biased.

Steve Berry is a great author who expertly blends fiction and history, and with this book he’s done that again. However this time it appears he has done so not to tell a good story but to slight Christianity and the Catholic Church, he usually is slightly biased towards these but not to the detriment of the story. This time it was blatant and constant, every other line seemed to be an attack or subtle remark against these. I mention this as it made the story feel more of a political or philosophy rant in the guise of a story rather than his usual work. I hope this is not a sign of the authors future works as I have been a fan for many years and the new direction would change this stance. Overall it was a good book with an intriguing story, yet filled with biases and some kind of personal vendetta against the Church on the authors part, I would recommend if a fan of Cotton Malone but not if you are new to the series or author.

11 people found this helpful

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Trying to stay in love with Steve Berry's style

This book was a hard listen. Within two hours, we were thrown backwards and forwards with Mussolini, Napoleon, Malta Knights, Luke, Cotton, Laura (who he can't stop describing), and a host of new characters. I think Steve tried to hard to loop in ALL historical references he could because it's a winning formula with his readers. However, it just became overkill. You can't go 20 minutes without a LONG DRAWN out history lesson on some benign and inconsequential topic in the story. To me the story got lost and/or never developed beyond the already expected. So in essence, this was just a history book with a bit of fiction mixed in to wake you up when you start to doze off. Hope he can adjust for next book because this one was underwhelming. If not, I just pickup a regular history book next time.

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Great Listen

Another wonderful book from one of my favorites. I really appreciate the research and intrigue Mr. Berry puts into his books. As usual Scott Brick is fantastic. I certainly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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Painfully slow and dragged out

I think I've read every other book in the series and I abandoned this less than half way through. Even the author's notes couldn't punch it up. I don't even like action end of this genre, but I found myself craving a little something to perk things up. Long descriptions of obscure things and the picture painted of the Catholic church was so bad it became cartoonish. Not of this world at all. I finally realized while listening I was wanting to be doing something else so stopped. There might be a good book in there heavily edited from this one.

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Not my favorite

Had high expectations for this story. My least favorite book from the author in the series. Seem to drag on and many chapters that really did not add to the overall story. Still love the entire book series and look forward to the next one.

3 people found this helpful

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Not For Me

Far too much back and forth for me. Story would have been fine without the deadly dull descriptions of everything. I started over 4 times before giving up. Will be returning.

7 people found this helpful

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Too many moving parts

Story was difficult to follow,, but held my interest in most cases. I wanted to quit more than once, but was rewarded in the end. I am not Catholic,nor wish to be, but the highly detailed story showed the true face of the Church. overall, a good read, lots of effort by Steve. in detailing the history of the order. My thanks to him and to Scott Brick.

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Confusion is My Name

This is the first time I have had to keep re-winding an audiobook because I didn't realize the story had switched to different characters. This was especially true when the narrative went from Cotton Malone's group to Luke Daniels' group. The accents for both groups seemed the same. Especially the accents for Malone and Daniels. Not to mention the switch from the past to the present made me feel like I was riding a roller coaster. The only reason I finished the book was in case future books mentioned scenes from this book; I did not want to wonder what those books were referring to.