Steve Berry's THE JEFFERSON KEY

I love that Steve Berry mixes history in with his Cotton Malone thriller series. In The Jefferson Key, he explores the idea that the four American presidential assassinations and the other attempts were related. This one has a lot of car chases, gun fights, intrigue, and pirates.

A lot of the action takes place in and around Virginia and Washington, DC. His protagonists drive a motorcycle down the beautiful staircase at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. They shoot out the window and make their escape. They also have a battle at Monticello in Charlottesville over one of Mr. Jefferson's inventions that holds the key to a cipher.

The pirate stories take place in and around Bath, North Carolina and Ocracoke Island (Blackbeard Territory), and the characters even end up near Oak Island near Nova Scotia.

The book is fast-paced with great page-turning action. And Berry does a nice job with explaining fact from fiction at the end. Add this one to your beach bag for a fun, summer read.

THE KING'S DECEPTION - Steve Berry

I found thriller author, Steve Berry, through his short story in Faceoff.

I started near the end of Berry's series with The King's Deception, so now I have novels on either side of it to catch up on the story. But, I don't think you lose anything. Berry does a good job with building his characters and providing enough backstory, so you can read his works out of sequence.

The King's Deception is action-packed. It starts with retired state department investigator (and current bookstore owner), Cotton Malone doing a favor for a former boss. He's supposed to escort a youth back to London on a trip that he is taking with his son. The one good deed gets him involved with a 400-year-old hoax that could have major implications for the United States and Great Britain.

I love how Berry weaves history throughout his novel. His research is detailed. I had my iPad out while reading to look at the art and European locations that he described. I had to see the "rainbow" portrait.

And Berry has a knack for dropping bombshells throughout the work. All the roller coaster plot twists kept me turning pages. It was definitely hard to put down.

The King's Deception is a worthwhile read. And I'm hooked on Steve Berry. The Lincoln Myth is next.