After twelve novels, Steve Berry is finally going back to tell Cotton Malone’s origin story in The Bishop’s Pawn.
If you’ve ever wondered how Cotton Malone got his start working with Stephanie Nelle, Berry’s next book is set to detail Malone’s first case with the the Justice Department. Set eighteen years ago, back when Malone was a Navy lawyer with a reputation for not playing by the rules, Nelle enlists his help on a delicate matter. See the cover and the plot details below!
The first case of New York Times bestseller Steve Berry’s iconic hero, Cotton Malone.
History notes that the ugly feud between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr., marked by years of illegal surveillance and the accumulation of secret files, ended on April 4, 1968 when King was assassinated by James Earl Ray. But that may not have been the case.
Now, fifty years later, former Justice Department agent, Cotton Malone, must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis.
It all turns on an incident from eighteen years ago, when Malone, as a young Navy lawyer, is trying hard not to live up to his burgeoning reputation as a maverick. When Stephanie Nelle, a high-level Justice Department lawyer, enlists him to help with an investigation, he jumps at the opportunity. But he soon discovers that two opposing forces―the Justice Department and the FBI―are at war over a rare coin and a cadre of secret files containing explosive revelations about the King assassination, information that could ruin innocent lives and threaten the legacy of the civil rights movement’s greatest martyr.
Malone’s decision to see it through to the end ―― from the raucous bars of Mexico, to the clear waters of the Dry Tortugas, and ultimately into the halls of power within Washington D.C. itself ―― not only changes his own life, but the course of history.
Steve Berry always mines the lost riches of history ―― this time he imagines a gripping, provocative thriller about an American icon, just in time for April 2018 and the 50th anniversary of the assassination.
There’s no doubt that fans have always wanted to see Malone’s first case, and we knew this day was coming. Back in April of 2016, we reported that the author was working on a first-person story about how Malone joined the Magellan Billet. Now we’re close to finally seeing how it all went down when The Bishop’s Pawn comes out on March 20, 2018.
Going back in time to tell the origin story of a series protagonist is certainly not a new concept. Vince Flynn did this with great success when he published American Assassin back in 2010, a prequel to his other novels that showed how his character, Mitch Rapp, joined the CIA and became the elite operator that fans had come to know and love. Now Berry will attempt a similar type of prequel story, and the plot sounds very intriguing.
Nobody combines action and history quite the way Steve Berry does. This year’s The Lost Order was, by far, the highest we’ve ever rated one of his thrillers. And while we can’t yet say if The Bishop’s Pawn will live up to the new standard Berry set for himself, it does appear that he found another fascinating piece of history to mix into the fold.