The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry

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Let me give a big thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for providing me with a free advance copy of this book.

            For his 16th Cotton Malone novel, Steve Berry starts off in Belarus, goes to Poland and then spends much of the rest of the book traveling around Germany, Chile and South Africa. It is a whirlwind of action, and as always Berry does it as well as anyone in history/thriller genre.

            Cotton and his girlfriend Cassiopeia Vitt are retired yet are still on call for special requests from the former President of the United States. This time they get involved in the upcoming German election and Berry uses this event to really give us a great insight into the rise of the Nationalist Right in Europe, as well as lingering devotees of the Nazi’s. Due to the sudden death of a messenger, these two now are at the heart of the campaign by the current Centrist Prime Minister of Germany and her Right Wing challenger.

            What I enjoyed about this book is how Berry splits up Malone and Vitt. One stays in Germany while the other heads to South America. They both are trying to investigate whether the challenging candidate has ties to Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, and along the way we are treated to a history and mystery lesson as to those two and Martin Bormann. Did they really die in the bunker? Did any escape, and if so where did they go? Did they have children? And, what about the stolen Nazi golden bounty?? Oh, Berry knows how to intertwine a great fictional plot with loads of historical accuracy and once again weaves a tale that is believably true.

            Getting lots of help from siblings, one in Chile who is in her 90’s and her brother in South Africa who is in his 80’s, Malone and Vitt are actually being led by the challenger to find evidence that will incriminate the Prime Minister and lead to his election which will usher in the New Right in Germany and hopefully lead to an overthrow of the makeup of the European Union. Time is of the essence in this chase to find the truth, as campaigning heats up and the election is only days away. The candidates are tied in the polls and whatever Malone can uncover will probably sway the election.

            If you have not read many of Berry’s books there is no fear that you will feel out of sorts. He does not have to deal extensively with background material on Malone or Vitt, and that is also what makes his a wonderful author. Without even knowing it, you will pick up bits and pieces of their past adventures, and pieces are nice to know but they are not vital to this books plot, but lets you know these two have a good history together.

            Filled with mystery, history and intrigue, twists and turns that keep your head spinning until the very end, Steve Berry has written a wonderfully informative, entertaining and fast-paced novel, a novel that is a worthy new chapter in the Cotton Malone series! This review was previously published at mysteryandsuspense.com

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