A Book Spy Review: ‘The Kaiser’s Web’ by Steve Berry


Cigarettes can kill you.

Especially when they’re laced with cyanide.

Such is the case for Hanna Cress, a Belarussian operative who meets with former American president Danny Daniels in a Bavaria interrogation room at the request of German Chancellor Marie Eisenhuth. Daniels, who traveled across the world to receive an envelope containing coordinates to a specific GPS location from Cress, then watches as the mysterious agent lights up and dies from a poisoned cigarette. In her final moments, Cress manages to whisper the word “Kaiser” to Daniels, which sends the former POTUS scrambling for answers, and naturally, he turns to former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone for help.

Fresh off the events of The Warsaw Protocol, Cotton answers Daniel’s call, and together, the duo unearths a conspiracy 76-years in the making that begs the question: what really happened in the Fürherbunker on April 30, 1945?

Meanwhile, two candidates are vying to become Chancellor of Germany, and as the political race becomes heated, the world watches to see if a newcomer spewing nationalistic hate can unseat Eisenhuth, who has been in power for more than a decade and a half. Daniels, a friend of Eisenhuth, intends to help her become elected, but as he and Cotton follow a web of deceit and long-buried secrets, it becomes clear that both candidates have skeletons in their closets—and that those revelations are just the tip of the iceberg.

Soon, Cotton will travel to Chile, South Africa, and then Switzerland to learn the true fates of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, and Martin Bormann (Hitler’s closest confidant), as well as the whereabouts of billions of German dollars that went missing during WWII. Together, the answers will shake all of Europe, as Berry delivers one of his most shocking endings to date.

Now 16 books into his New York Times bestselling series, Steve Berry continues to find plenty of trouble for Cotton Malone, along with earth-shattering conspiracies for him to unwind. In what’s no doubt his best book since The Lost Order (2017), The Kaiser’s Web features another riveting plot that perfectly weaves historical truth into a devilish thread that, even though it’s fiction, will leave readers unsure of what’s true and what’s not. As always, it’s that ability to blur the lines between where fact ends and fiction begins that makes Berry one of the best in the business, and his latest offering proves that Cotton has plenty of adventures left in him moving forward. Moreover, Berry keeps rounding out his deep cast of characters by utilizing Daniels, a fan-favorite, and introducing a scene-stealing Chilean officer who gives Cotton a run for his money in more ways than one.

Told with his signature page-turning pacing and packed full of tightly-would mysteries just begging to be revealed, The Kaiser’s Web is one of Steve Berry’s best Cotton Malone thrillers to date.

Book Details

Author: Steve Berry
Series: Cotton Malone #16
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 125014034X
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Real Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. Additionally, he co-hosts ThrillerTalk, a new podcast with K.J. Howe. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.


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