The Lost Order, the latest in the Cotton Malone series, finds our hero deep into his family’s own history. From the backwoods of Arkansas, to Civil War intrigues, to modern political machinations, and to the honored halls of the Smithsonian Institution, the reader is propelled through time into the most contentious period of the American story. Then along with his lady love, Cassiopeia Vitt, and former President Danny Daniels, Cotton uncovers a plot to derail the Constitution of the United States, using a loophole in the Constitution of the United States itself.
Nothing is sacred to a hand full of conspirators hell bent on turning the USA into their own little fiefdom. Think the makings of a dictator in the guise of ancient Rome. Throw in a secret southern organization, The Knights of the Golden Circle, a real group founded in the years prior to the Civil war, billions of dollars of missing Confederate gold, joined with the massive egos found up on Capital Hill and the reader is in for an intriguing treasure hunt mystery as well as an exciting political thriller.
There is murder, mayhem, and double crosses. Pointed good guys and definite bad guys. The lines are drawn, it’s only a matter of luck, perseverance, marked by sacred honor that stand between our heroes and the meltdown of the American republic.
And in the middle of all of this is the Smithsonian. It is a character unto itself. We are brought into the halls of that august museum. We learn it’s history. We are privy to it’s grandeur. The ideals and ethics of those who are honored to be associated with this Institution shadows the story. It plays a central role unlike any other.
An added bonus in the story is that we learn Cotton’s family history. He is tied to a famous civil war spy, and this mysterious subversive confederate conclave. Even more so, we actually learn the origins of the family nickname, “Cotton.”
As with all Steve Berry novels, this story is based on actual facts and events. He weaves these into a modern day cliff-hanger that keeps the reader glued to the book. The Lost Order is a fun read, and one that also leaves the reader thinking. Mr. Berry has hit upon a real snag in our government. If at anytime men or women of poor character truly get ahold of the seats of power, they can manipulate and upend our freedoms. It would all be Constitutional.
In fact, at one point the characters discuss the need for a Constitutional convention. In truth, it might not be a bad idea. If for no other reason, then to close this illiberal hole that plagues our governing document. A chasm, which could have a deleterious effect upon our nation. But then even a Constitutional Convention, with all its lack of rules and precedent, could have a questionable outcome unless it is undertaken by persons of true honorable conscience who would then lead the way.
This book is available April 4.