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COTTON MALONE

Full Name: Harold 'Cotton' Malone
Nationality: American
Organization: Magellan Billet
Occupation: Agent

Creator:Steve Berry
Actual Time Span: 2007-2013
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Cotton Malone is an agent with the Magellan Billet.
       The Billet is a division inside the Justice Department that concentrates on international investigations. It is described as "twelve lawyers the Justice Department put together to do some very specialized things." While not spies per se, their assignments are world-wide, varied, exotic, and highly dangerous. Legal skills are by no means the only abilities Malone had to possess to last as long as he did. The cases these twelve are assigned take them into the most dangerous parts of the world, usually alone and relying only on their training and their wits. Knowing how to shoot and how and when to duck were required skills as well.
       As the series begins, Malone is a retired agent, having left the Billet at least a year before after over a dozen years working for it. Tired of the travelling and tired of people taking shots at him, he had moved to Copenhagen, a city he fell in love with during his travels. Using the good graces of a Danish billionaire who feels indebted to him, Malone has opened a rare book store. He had expected his exciting days, which cost him his marriage and for a while his son, were behind him. He was wrong.
       Malone is in his early 40s, having been a Navy JAG officer for several years when the offer to join the Billet came. He remains a tall, muscular man with full wavy hair of a light sienna color. He does not show outwardly the abuse his body has taken from his former profession but he feels it nevertheless.
       Whether it is continued friendship with his former boss or his association with the influential billionaire or his new closeness to a beautiful, rich, and deadly young woman with an exotic past, Malone is never at a loss of adventure even if he truly wants to stay in his book store and take things easy.

BOOKS

Number of Books:8
First Appearance:2007
Last Appearance:2013

1 The Templar Legacy The Templar Legacy      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2007
When Cotton Malone sees a purse-snatcher through himself off a roof to escape capture, he is understandably curious. That inquisitiveness takes him deep into the world of the secret Knights Templar and a plot to change the course of history.

2 The Alexandria Link The Alexandria Link      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2007
A wealthy mastermind believes Cotton Malone has something he wants and he kidnaps Malone's son to force the return. Unfortunately, Malone doesn't have it and isn't sure what it is.

3 The Venetian Betrayal The Venetian Betrayal      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2007
The supreme minister of the Central Asian Federation has a plan to further his expansion goals by using a bioweapon to destroy Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, even if it plunges the world into WWIII. Cotton Malone plans to stop him.

4 The Charlemagne Pursuit The Charlemagne Pursuit      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2008
Cotton Malone learns his father's death in a sub accident years before was related to a search beneath Antartica for the same item hunted by Nazis during WWII. Now he wants to know what it was.

5 The Paris Vendetta The Paris Vendetta      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2009
An American Secret Service operative turns to Cotton Malone for help when he is pursued by assassins hired by a group called the Paris Club, a secret cabal of wealthy businessmen out to manipulate the world's economy.

6 The Emperor's Tomb The Emperor's Tomb      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2010
When Cassiopeia Vitt asks Malone to help on a mission to recover a priceless Chinese lamp, he is willing but neither know that two high ranking Chinese ministers, each vying for the top leadership spot, want the lamp and will do anything to get it.

7 The Jefferson Key The Jefferson Key      written by Steve Berry     copyright 2011
A special code created by Jefferson two centuries before holds the answer to a conspiracy being unhatched by several powerful families in a plan to take over the country and run it the way they see as correct. Malone is determined to stop them.

8 The King's Deception The King's Deception           written by Malone_Cotton     copyright 2013
Cotton Malone's son, Gary, finds himself in the middle of a conflict between the US and UK governments and ripe for the picking of a man who has his own agenda, one very deadly for the young Malone. As Cotton gets involved he comes across a mystery dating back to Elizabethan times.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2012

1. The Balkan Escape The Balkan Escape      novella     copyright 2010
As a favor to an old friend, Cassiopeia Vitt is in Bulgaria searching the mountains for a tomb of an ancient Thracian king. When she comes upon a mining operation run by Russians, though, she knows old artifacts are not the goal but she cannot just walk away without knowing the truth

2. The Admiral's Mark The Admiral's Mark      novella     copyright 2012
Though Cotton Malone never had much use for his ex-father-in-law, the death of the man while scuba-diving gets the man's daughters certain foul play the cause and they pressure Malone into checking it out. The mystery leads to the hunt for the wreckage of the Santa Maria.

MY COMMENTS

       Mr. Berry had already published several exciting thrillers when he tried his hand at a recurring character and I, for one, am glad he did. I love a good globe-trotting adventure and this terrific author has been kind enough to give me several.
       I like the character of Cotton Malone. I like his former boss. I REALLY like his female protege.
       I love the plots. I love the locales. I REALLY love the bad guys who have the indecency to be really good bad guys.
       I like this series. You probably figured that out.

Oh, I also liked reading a tip-of-the-hat in one book to James Rollins' series Sigma Force. And I liked another tip in Brad Thor's Scot Harvath series to this one. You made me grin, fellas. Thanks.

GRADE

My Grade:   A


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