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The Jefferson Key (with bonus short story The Devil's Gold): A Novel par [Berry, Steve]
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client

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Longueur : 475 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Description du produit



6:13 pm

One mistake was not enough for Cotton Malone.

He made two.

Error number one was being on the fifteenth floor of the Grand Hyatt hotel. The request had come from his old boss Stephanie Nelle, through an email sent two days ago. She needed to see him, in New York, on Saturday. Apparently, the subject matter was something they could discuss only in person. And apparently, it was important. He'd tried to call anyway, phoning Magellan Billet headquarters in Atlanta, but was told by her assistant, "She's been out of the office for six days now on DNC."
He knew better than to ask where.

DNC. Do Not Contact.

That meant don't call me, I'll call you.

He'd been there before himself the agent in the field, deciding when best to report in. That status, though, was a bit unusual for the head of the Magellan Billet. Stephanie was responsible for all twelve of the department's covert operatives. Her task was to supervise. For her to be DNC meant that something extraordinary had attracted her attention.

He and Cassiopeia Vitt had decided to make a New York weekend of the trip, with dinner and a show after he discovered what Stephanie wanted. They'd flown from Copenhagen yesterday and checked into the St. Regis, a few blocks north of where he now stood. Cassiopeia chose the accommodations and, since she was also paying for them, he hadn't protested. Plus, it was hard to argue with regal ambience, breathtaking views, and a suite larger than his apartment in Denmark.

He'd replied to Stephanie's email and told her where he was staying. After breakfast this morning, a key card for the Grand Hyatt had been waiting at the St. Regis' front desk along with a room number and a note.

He'd wondered about the word exactly, but realized his former boss suffered from an incurable case of obsessive behavior, which made her both a good administrator and aggravating. But he also knew she would not have contacted him if it wasn't truly important.

He inserted the key card, noting and ignoring the do not disturb sign.

The indicator light on the door's electronic lock switched to green and the latch released.

The interior was spacious, with a king- sized bed covered in plush purple pillows. A work area was provided at an oak- top desk with an ergonomic chair. The room occupied a corner, two windows facing East 42nd Street, the other offering views west toward 5th Avenue. The rest of the décor was what would be expected from a high- class, Midtown Manhattan hotel.

Except for two things.

His gaze locked on the first: some sort of contraption, fashioned of what appeared to be aluminum struts, bolted together like an Erector Set. It stood before one of the front windows, left of the bed, facing outward. Atop the sturdy metal support sat a rectangular box, perhaps two feet by three, it too made of dull aluminum, its sides bolted together and centered on the window. More girders extended to the walls, front and back, one set on the floor, another braced a couple of feet above, seemingly anchoring the unit in place.

Was this what Stephanie meant when she'd said important?

A short barrel poked from the front of the box. There seemed no way to search its interior, short of unbolting the sides. Sets of gears adorned both the box and the frame. Chains ran the length of the supports, as if the whole thing was designed to move.

He reached for the second anomaly.

An envelope. Sealed. With his name on it.

He glanced at his watch. 6:17 pm.

Where was Stephanie?

He heard the shrill of sirens from outside.

With the envelope in hand, he stepped to one of the room's windows and glanced down fourteen stories. East 42nd Street was devoid of cars. Traffic had been cordoned off. He'd noticed the police outside when he'd arrived a few minutes ago.

Something was happening.

He knew the reputation of Cipriani across the street. He'd been inside before and recalled its marble columns, inlaid floors, and crystal chandeliers a former bank, built in Italian Renaissance style, leased out for elite social gatherings. Just such an event seemed to be happening this evening, important enough to stop traffic, clear the sidewalks, and command the presence of half a dozen of New York City's finest, who stood before the elegant entrance.

Two police cars approached from the west, lights flashing, followed by an oversized black Cadillac DTS. Another New York City police car trailed. Two pennants rose from either side of the Cadillac's hood. One an American flag, the other the presidential standard.
Only one person rode in that car.

President Danny Daniels.

The motorcade wheeled to the curb before Cipriani. Doors opened. Three Secret Service agents sprang from the car, studied the surroundings, then signaled. Danny Daniels emerged, his tall, broad frame sheathed by a dark suit, white shirt, and powder- blue tie.

Malone heard whirring.

His gaze found the source.

The contraption had come to life.

Two retorts banged and the window on the other side of the room shattered, glass plunging downward to the sidewalk seventy-five feet below. Cool air rushed inside, as did the sounds of a pulsating city. Gears spun and the device telescoped through the now empty window frame.

He glanced down.

The window's shattering had attracted the Secret Service's attention. Heads were now angled up, toward the Grand Hyatt.
Everything happened in a matter of a few seconds.

Window gone. Device out. Then—
Rat- tat- tat.

Shots were fired at the president of the United States.

Agents smothered Daniels to the sidewalk.

Malone stuffed the envelope into his pocket and raced across the room, grabbing hold of the aluminum frame, trying to dislodge the device.

But it would not budge.

He searched for and spotted no power cords. The thing, apparently a remote- controlled, high- powered weapon, kept firing. He saw agents trying to maneuver their charge back to the car. He knew that once Daniels was inside, armor plating would provide protection.
The device spit out more rounds.

He dove out the window, balancing himself on the frame, and grabbed hold of the aluminum box. If he could yank it from side to side, or up and down, at least he could deflect its aim.

He managed to force the barrel left, but motors inside quickly compensated.

Below, with incoming fire momentarily deflected, agents stuffed Daniels back into the car, which wheeled away. Three men remained, along with the policemen who'd been waiting at Cipriani.

Guns were drawn.

His second mistake now became evident.

They started firing.

At him.

Revue de presse

The Constitution . . . secret codes . . . loads of history . . . AND pirates! What else does anyone need? The Jefferson Key won't just haunt your nights--it'll haunt your life. Cotton Malone is coming back to the scariest place of all: Home. (Brad Meltzer)

One of the most spellbinding and ingenious openings in all of thrillerdom. The cast of characters is huge but every one of them is memorable. The action is intense and masterfully choreographed. As always with Steve Berry, you're educated about significant things while your knuckles are turning white and the pages are flying. Easily Cotton Malone's most epic, swashbuckling adventure. (David Baldacci)

THE JEFFERSON KEY starts with a bang and holds the reader in its grip until the last page. Fascinating American history, up-to-the-minute politics, pulse-pounding action. (Vince Flynn)

'Ingeniously plotted . . . Berry offers plenty of twists and vivid action scenes in a feat of historical imagination' (Publisher's Weekly)

'Berry builds on actual historical facts to create a no-holds-barred thriller guaranteed to increase the pulse of the reader' (The Associated Press)

'[a] page turner' (Los Angeles Times)

A top-notch, gripping, intelligent thriller in the very finest traditions of the genre (Peter James on THE PARIS VENDETTA)

You don't just read a Steve Berry novel. You live it. (James Rollins)

Steve Berry always finds intriguing ways to link the past to the present in his fast-paced thrillers. (Harlan Coben on THE PARIS VENDETTA)

All the Berry hallmarks are here: scale, scope, sweep, history - plus breathless second-by-second suspense. I love this guy. (Lee Child on THE PARIS VENDETTA)

Sexy, kind of thriller (Dan Brown on THE AMBER ROOM)

In Malone, Berry has created a classic, complex hero (USA Today on THE CHARLEMAGNE PURSUIT)

'Pure intrigue. Pure fun.' (Clive Cussler on Steve Berry)

Action-packed, fast paced and engaging (Sunday Express on THE VENETIAN BETRAYAL)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 5219 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 475 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books (17 mai 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004P8JPIQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°213.865 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3.0 étoiles sur 5
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j'ai supprimé cet article de ma liste d'envie car j'ai trouvé le même livre Kindle moins cher . A quoi joue Amazon, veut il donner raison à es détracteurs
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Très bonne lecture si l'on aime les manigances au sommet de l'état et les forces qui sont à l'œuvre au plus haut sommet de l'état.
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Il y a beaucoup d'action, et j'aime les chapitres courts. Tres bonne lecture. C'est assez excitant. Je l'ai achete pour un ami.
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Un roman dans la lignée des Steve Berry. L'histoire est plaisante à lire mais moins prenant que ses precedentes œuvres.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 3.9 étoiles sur 5 515 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Did Pirates Assassinate Presidents to protect their Letters of Marque? 2 mars 2016
Par Karen Degenhart - Publié sur
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
This book develops a fictional theory that the group behind Presidential assassinations is a group of pirates who had letters of Marque (Sp?) in which a President can allow privateers to use their ships to attack an enemy and keep a portion of the loot they get. There is something in the Constitution that allows this. During the Revolutionary War Washington signed some law that allowed this, and it helped us to win, since we had no Navy then. However, a fine line often developed between privateers and pirates, and some characters in this book took on more extreme behavior of pirates. The book makes up the idea that a couple pages of Congressional records were missing and hidden on an island near Nova Scotia, by Andrew Jackson, and the only way to find them is to crack the Jefferson Code, using a device located now in the Jefferson house museum. There are good and bad intelligence agents, our hero Cotton Malone, his girlfriend Cassiopeia, the US President, and other characters. It is fast paced and I kept reading it for several days till I was done. I found the historical background fascinating, but at the end he says the actual Commonwealth group of pirates was made up, but based on something that could happen. These pirates were going to start being prosecuted for continuing to do these things even when we were not at war, and they needed to get those missing pages to support their position and defense. So, both good guys and bad guys are trying to get these missing pages. The one thing I did not like about his theory was that he still assumed Oswald was the murderer of President Kennedy, but that the pirates had found him and somehow put him up to it. It was clever, but that stuck in my craw, as I do not believe Oswald did it. But, the idea was still interesting as many assassins do appear to be lone nut cases. In any case, it was fascinating as a theory. I did not like all the tortures pirates do, and the author did a lot of research on pirates, but I guess that is part of these kinds of novels. I sometimes wonder why I want to read about tortures and such life risking adventures. But that is another story.... I like history and intrigue and speculations about history, I guess.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 > Starts Silly, Gets Better 21 avril 2012
Par Stoney - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The following is technically a spoiler, but is probably essential to avoid getting totally confused by the many virtually distinguishable characters and the overly intricate plot:

A consortium (called The Commonwealth) of four privateer companies received Letters of Mark from George Washington, essentially providing them (and their heirs) immunity against U.S. law, for actions against enemies of the United States. As the years progressed, the Commonwealth became more of a private intelligent agency, specializing in inflicting economic damage. Recently, they had nearly bankrupted on Dubai, nominally a U.S. ally, enraging the CIA, which engaged the assistance the IRS to punish the Commonwealth. When U.S. President Danny Daniels refused to help the Commonwealth, they attempted to assassinate him. This action had precedence. President Andrew Jackson (who had little respect for the Supreme Court, any laws, or treaties) attempted to extort concessions from the Commonwealth, they had attempted to assassinate him. Jackson retaliated by physically removing and hiding the pages from the Congressional Record, leaving no evidence that Congress had authorized the Letters of Mark.

Unfortunately, the story opens with the convoluted implausible scene in which long-retired former US intelligence agent Cotton Malone is lured to a NYC hotel room, just in time to thwart an assassination attempt by automated weapons and rockets from the hotel room--with the secondary purpose maybe having Malone killed by the Secret Service. Every aspect of the scene is beyond implausibility, and I suspect ruined the novel for most readers before they got into it. Suspension-of-disbelief is an essential part of many action novels, and resembles a rubber band. If the author stretches the rubber band beyond the breaking point on the first page, readers instantly cease to be an audience, and instead become annoyed critics, reading for shortcomings--and they find plenty. Those of us who are Steve Berry fans expect him to fumble the ball at some point, and are more willing to cut him some slack, because he usually comes through, because he usually plays a great game, despite the fumbles. Although the opening is awful, this is actually one of Steve Berry's best novels.

Daniels essentially assigns Cotton Malone and his girlfriend Casseopea Vitt to find Stephanie Nelle (who has been kidnapped) and the missing pages from the Congressional Record---even though Cotton has been living in Denmark for 5 years or so, and has not been employed by the U.S. for at least that long, and Casseopea is some sort of unspecified non- (maybe even anti-) American agent. Complicating things, yet another U.S. intelligence agency, the NIA, is playing both sides, working for and against the Commonwealth. Rouge former agent Jonathon Wyatt is similarly working for the NIA and on his own, and is betrayed by the NIA.


Magellan Billet (a U.S. intelligence agency)
Director: Stephanie Nelle
Former Agent: Cotton Malone

NIA director: Andrea Carbonell
NIA agent: Scott Parrot--intermediary with the Commonwealth

Commonwealth Members: Quinton Hale, Bolton, Cogburn, Kirchoff
Hale's girlfriend: Shirley Kaiser
Commonwealth agent ("Quartermaster"): Clifford Knox

White House
President: Danny Daniels
First Lady: Pamela Daniels
Cheif of Staff: Edwin Davis

If you can keep track of the preceding cast of characters, the "Jefferson Key" is a fast-paced engrossing story, with interesting tidbits about American History. Unfortunately, the author makes the story difficult to follow, by fragmenting the storyline. Chapters are short with storylines abruptly cut off--often in the middle of a sentence. Usually another storyline abruptly continues, but the reader doesn't know who the current characters are, and cannot remember where that particular storyline was last chopped off. This is especially a problem listening to the audiobook version, where one doesn't have physical chapter breaks to warn of the change.

The author exacerbates the problem by his exceedingly poor choice of character names which do nothing to distinguish the characters. For example, it might be camp to call the bad guys "Boris" and "Wilhelm"---but at least the readers would be able to identify them. Stephanie Nelle/Cassiopea Vitt---what's the difference?---similarly uncommon, same cadence spoken out-loud, almost the same number of syllables. Jonathon Wyatt/Quinton Hale/Clifford Knox---what's difference?---similarly upper-class Anglo-Saxon, same cadence spoken out-loud, almost the same number of syllables. Even "Davis" is sometimes a first name. So when you re-encounter "Davis" after a break of many chapters, is that "Somebody Davis?" or "Davis Somebody"? For the most part, the reader cannot even identify which names are first names and which are last names---much less associate the pairs of names with particular characters.

POP QUIZ: (No peeking at the preceding paragraphs) Is Bolton a different character from Cotton? Is Quinton a different character from Daniels? Is Parrot a different character from Scott?. Is Davis different from Daniels? Is Wyatt a different character from Jonathon? Is Nelle a different character from Stephanie?

Key: x=no, z=yes. Answers: z z x z x z
> Click on “Stoney” just below the product title to see my other reviews, or leave a comment to ask a question.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 hard to follow plots 26 avril 2012
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I would actually give this book 2 1/2 stars, not three. The writing was extremely choppy, dashing on a single page from one plot line and character to the next. Also, I found the presumably professional agents to be somewhat bumbling and confused, with lots of bullets flying, with little effect, except in a couple of instances. The author seeminly cannot make up his mind as to just what system of measurement he wants to use, using both pounds, kilos - meters, feet, etc. throughout the story. So, which is it? Pick one and stick to it. I finally got tired of all this jumping around and quit reading about 2/3 of the way through. I am pretty good at following diverse plot lines and characters, but this writing was extremely difficult to follow. There are better thriller type books out there. I recommend buying one of those, instead of this one. Also a lot of descriptive redundancy throughout the story, which was annoying, as explanations had already been given earlier in the book.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Gives New Meaning to "Page Turner!" 27 juillet 2011
Par J. North - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I like the premise but had to give up in frustration.

I understand that it's an accepted technique to end a chapter with some dramatic event, a "cliffhanger" so to speak, then switch to some other scene on the very next page to somewhat artificially accentuate the suspense. But really, Berry tends to do this after what seems to be only a page or two of narrative. (I was reading in on the Kindle; hard to tell how many actual pages.) You just start a new chapter, a character gets out of a car, somebody shoots at him and BANG; next chapter in a different locale with different characters. They have an exchange a page of dialogue, and one says something like "I've got something to show you." and BANG; next chapter with entirely different set of characters and scenario. (I'm exaggerating only a little, really!)

Too much switching between scenes involving too many different characters. Give me a protagonist to care about, maybe two, and I'm happy. This is precisely why I gave up on Stephen King way back when. After his early successes he started pounding out his 10 lb. epics, with dozens of characters and storylines.

This is all subjective, of course. Your mileage may vary.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Modern Day Pirates 4 juin 2013
Par Jennifer M. - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I can't believe that I've had this book for 10 months and didn't read it sooner.

Steve Berry brings us back into the world of Cotton Malone for a 7th full length novel. It begins with a romantic get-a-away for Cotton and Cassiopeia Witt in New York City while Cotton comes to the aid of his friend and former boss, Stephanie Nelle.

But what Cotton and Cassiopeia hope to be a nice weekend in New York ends up with Cotton foiling an assassination attempt on the President and trying to find Stephanie whose location is unknown. And the people responsible, a group called The Commonwealth, can trace their roots back to the founding of our nation.

This is the first book that predominantly takes place on US soil. We get to visit New York City, North Carolina, and Virginia. The core of the story is based around solving a 300 year old cipher that a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson created. And what would a Steve Berry book be without a little conspiracy theory ... this time centering around the assignation of four US presidents.

What I love about Steve Berry's books is he always thread just enough history throughout the story to make you think that his story and character conclusion's could be real. Even though this is 7th book with Cotton, you can read it without reading the previous ones (even though I recommend them as well). There are some subtle subplots that are helped with knowing the background, but it doesn't detract from the story.
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