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COTTON MALONE

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

Creator: Steve Berry
Time Span: 2006 - 2021

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:16
First Appearance:2007
Last Appearance:2021

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:8
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2017

1 The Devils' Due The Devils' Due
short story
Written by Steve Berry
Copyright: 2006

First published in the anthology Thriller, this tells of an early mission in Cotton Malone's career with the Magellan Billet which sends him to a small Asian nation to bring in the world's most infamous criminal who has had enough and wants to surrender.
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2 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
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3 The Devil's Gold The Devil's Gold
Written by Steve Berry
Copyright: 2011

He was called the Sphinx and he was an intelligence officer as hard to read as his namesake. Then his career fell apart and years later he blames two men, a man named Combs and Cotton Malone. He is out to destroy both.
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4 The Admiral's Mark The Admiral's Mark
novella
Written by Steve Berry
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.
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5 The Tudor Plot The Tudor Plot
Written by Steve Berry
Copyright: 2013

While working for the Justice Department, Cotton Malone is in London when he gets invited to meet with the Queen, learning that her son and grandson have been threatened and the man doing it may have been murdered. Malone is asked to find the truth.
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6 The Devil's Bones The Devil's Bones
Written by James Rollins, Steve Berry
Copyright: 2014

First published as a story in Face-Off, this tells of a mad botanist with a new orchid hybrid that has toxins deadly to man. Both Guy Pierce and Cotton Malone are after him.
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7 Extenuating Circumstances Extenuating Circumstances
Written by M. J. Rose, Steve Berry
Copyright: 2014

Contained in the collection In Session: In [this story] with Steve Berry's Cotton Malone, a woman seeks help for her lover, and sends Dr. Snow overseas on a most unusual house call...."
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8 Past Prologue Past Prologue
Written by Diana Gabaldon, Steve Berry
Copyright: 2017

[plot unknown] Contained in the anthology MatchUp.
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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

Your Average Grade:   B

YOUR OPINIONS

sl1m75 A 2018-09-17


zulutime C 2018-12-05

Just started on series with The 14th Colony. At times too much verbiage that makes you want to skip the lengthy portions of such. Will read others and again have an opinion.


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