This review contains no spoilers.
Book Name: The Lincoln Myth
Author: Steve Berry
Series: #9 in the ongoing series featuring “Cotton Malone”
Publisher(s): Ballantine Books
Format(s): Hardcover/Mass market paperback/audiobook/eBook
Genre(s): Historical fiction/Thriller
Release Date: May 20, 2014
If you’re a student of history Steve Berry’s books might not be as enjoyable as they are to others as Berry uses actual places and events in his stories and then fictionalizes things to come up with his novels. Sometimes knowing what’s real and what’s been added takes away from the story, and that was an issue with The Lincoln Myth for me. I know a significant amount about the two main plot points in the story, being interested in the development of the US Constitution and while I’m not a Mormon I am very familiar with the tenants and history of the LDS church. As both play a huge role in The Lincoln Myth I had to several times stop and remind myself it was historical fiction and go back and reread sections with that in mind.
I’m also not a huge fan of the end game in The Lincoln Myth, which made little sense to me when compared to the rest of the story. Without giving anything away while Malone does what longtime readers would expect him to do during the final confrontation with the bad guys, everyone else’s action don’t really match what they’ve done in the past. There’s a new character in the book that looks like he’s about to become a regular to the series, but after 480-plus pages of acting one way at the end of the story does something that his previous actions make implausible. It’s glaring, and really causes issues in the ending.
As with all Berry novels The Lincoln Myth has a great Author’s Note section that indicates what he’s added and what’s real. Of course I knew most of those things in the book, but his notes are still a great addition to the books.
If you’re a fan of Berry’s previous books I’d say go ahead and continue on with The Lincoln Myth despite you likely being a tad disappointed. If you’ve not read anything by Berry don’t start with this one. Read them in order (including the non-Cotton Malone books) if you can and you’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of them than not understanding some of the stuff in The Lincoln Myth.