cover image The Bishop’s Pawn

The Bishop’s Pawn

Steve Berry. Minotaur, $28.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-14022-7

Bestseller Berry’s 13th thriller featuring U.S. government operative Cotton Malone (after 2017’s The Lost Order) is an effective conspiracy yarn centered on Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. In the present, Malone has a secret meeting in Atlanta with an unnamed man who sent him a note stating, “Fifty years have passed. Bring them.” Flash back to 18 years earlier. Malone, a member of the JAG Corps, is recruited by the Justice Department’s Stephanie Nelle to handle a special assignment—to retrieve a waterproof case containing a stolen Double Eagle coin, worth millions, from a sunken boat off the south Florida coast. Malone makes the dive, only to find that he hadn’t been told the truth; the case is also the target of some armed men and turns out to contain confidential documents relating to an FBI program connected with King’s murder in Memphis in 1968. Berry makes Malone accessible to newcomers by presenting his numerous rookie mistakes as a field operative, but the anticlimactic reveal may disappoint some readers. 400,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Mar.)