book reviews

The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry

The Story of Cotton Malone first assignment

as a Justice Department Operative

In this fictional thriller released in April 2018, Steve Berry stays true to his habit of building an exceptional adventure based on historical facts. This conspiracy story brings us back in time when the FBI, under the iron-hand of J. Edgar Hoover, ran a counter-intelligence program to incriminate Dr Martin Luther King and assassinate him.

As the story unfolds, we relive the difficult times of the divided American society between blacks and whites and all its violence. After being hired by Stephanie Nelle from the Justice Department, Malone will thread to recuperate and keep a rare gold coin worth millions and some secret documents from Hoover`s COINTELPRO operation.

Gradually, along the way, fighting with rogue FBI agents from the Hoover area, he will slowly discover the implication of King’s confident and of the FBI in the murder of the Bishop, Dr King’s code name.

Like in other Berry’s novels, the historical flashbacks and the revelations from the past occupy a lot of estate and can be tedious to read. These long rollbacks break the rhythm of the plot and many of them could have been shortened. However, they are more manageable than some in previous Berry’s books and they don’t distract the reading too much.

The Cotton Malone of this novel is quite different than the one in the following missions, he is often unsure and has a tendency to justify most of his actions.

In spite of that, The Bishop’s Pawn makes for an entertaining reading while Berry offers a complex conspiracy on the death of Dr Martin Luther King. This is definitely is a book to read.