‘The 14th Colony’ by Steve Berry is gripping novel


Cotton Malone fights a ticking clock and a Russian conspiracy to give the United States government payback in Steve Berry’s latest adventure, “The 14th Colony.”

This is his third book in the Constitution trilogy, and while “The Lincoln Myth” and “The Patriot Threat” dealt with specific clauses in the U.S. Constitution, “The 14th Colony” reflects on what isn’t covered in a particular section.

The 20th amendment has a provision for when the new president will assume office and mentions the vice president in case the president cannot take office.  But what if both are incapacitated on Inauguration Day?  The amendment and the 1947 Presidential Succession Act don’t cover this possibility.

A Russian named Aleksandr Zorin has hated the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union, and he wants revenge.  Cotton learns Zorin is working with a sleeper agent stationed in Canada and that they have possibly uncovered nuclear devices.  The two agents have concocted a plan that will disrupt the inauguration of the incoming president on Jan. 20, less than two days away.

Cotton works with his love Cassiopeia and the outgoing president’s nephew Luke Daniels to stop the plot.  Cotton’s former boss, Stephanie Nelle is, like the president, on her way out of office.  The incoming administration believes the plot is nothing more than a ruse for Nelle to keep her job, so they don’t believe there’s any danger.

The race to stop Zorin will have readers turning the pages, and the action is tighter and more gripping than some of Berry’s other titles.  Besides the history surrounding the significance of moving the inauguration date, the novel delves into the history of a secret society started during the Revolutionary War and a secret plan to invade Canada.

Berry makes history exciting, and he has written another winner. (AP)