The 14th Colony: Steve Berry
During a special private meeting at Vatican City, President Reagan and Pope John Paul II discuss the fate of Russia and how they would orchestrate a plan to bring down the USSR. The plan they thought foolproof called Forward Pass and players many but the end result would bring the USSR crawling on her knees and a fallout what would come back to haunt the United States in the present. Terminating the Soviet Union by creating an economic and political demise was just the beginning as the story continues in the present with the final days of President Danny Daniels administration, the end of the Magellan Billet, found as the central of key in all of the author’s novels being a covert intelligence unit that is under the radar and whose primary purpose is working within the Justice Department on missions that the government would prefer go unnoticed. As her reign as the head is coming to an end Stephanie Nelle decides to send Cotton Malone on one more mission to Russia. A mission that should have gone off with no hitches but author Steve Berry supplies a heart stopping beginning as Cotton is sent to bring back a Russian archivist but instead his plane is shot down and he is taken prisoner.
What would happen if at a Presidential inauguration both the President elect and Vice President Elect died before they were sworn in? Who would run the country? The “zero amendment,” or the 20th amendment addresses this notable point as we learn about a plot so diabolical it stretches back to the downfall of Soviet Union and one man who wants to take revenge hoping to ignite an explosion during the inauguration of the new president that would not only take out the President and Vice President Elects but those in succession or in line for that position too. Sending Cotton Malone to Siberia hoping to learn more about the unstable Russian government and rumors about a man named Zorin a former KGB operative who wants to access a suitcase filled with nuclear bombs that would do more than just destroy and kill those at the inauguration. The story continues with his capture, how he manages to get away and finding out that these bombs really do exist and in the final days or hours of the Daniel’s administration he, Stephanie and his nephew Luke risk it all to stop what has been put into place.
The Society of Cincinnati is at the heart of this novel and was created after the Revolutionary War in order to protect the male descendants and veterans. The Organization’s longtime goal was for a 14th colony namely Canada to become part of the United States. It started after the War of 1812 when the United States wanted Canada to become our 14th colony and part of our great nation. The British were against this and author Steve Berry recounts the history behind how the British came in burned down the home of President Madison in Washington D.C. while we burned Toronto. The plan devised is outlined in Chapter 39 as we learn about the Keeper of the Secrets named Brad Charon who leaked the information needed to stop what Zorin learned about a case of nukes that does exist and his plan to blow up the White House. Within the secret hiding place in St. John’s Church a journal called the Talmadge journal written by a man named Talmadge was hidden. He headed the our efforts during the war of 1812 drawing on those “ Canadian invasion plans for Madison.” His work was recorded in this journal that so many are looking for and almost takes the life of Luke Daniels when he is sent to watch the actions of a young Russian girl named Anya Petrova hoping to find the journal but does not. The founding fathers wanted Canada to become the 14th colony . Chapter 39 shares the plan and the history as you the reader along with Stephanie Nelle learn the truth. As Stephanie and Luke race the clock to learn more about the Society Of Cincinnati and learn just what the secrets someone his holding they find themselves alone with the man and his daughter who just might hold the key. While Cotton and his former lover Cassiopea Vitt come together to hunt for Zorin and hopefully foil his plans lives are at stake and the reign of this President is ending and they might not be able to stop the attack in time.
Reagan and the Pope were the only two present for the 50 minute meeting while in the same wing the of the papal apartments, , Agostino Cardinal Casaroli and Archbishop Achille Silvestrini met with Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Judge William Clark, Reagan’s National Security Adviser. The Pope and the President spent most of the time dealing with Poland and the Soviet Union and their presence in Eastern Europe. From this meeting they both agreed that something had to be done to take down the communist empire. A secret meeting that would focus on Poland and the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe and the birthplace of the Pope. Their purpose was to see if Poland could be taken out of Soviet control if both the Vatican and U.S. used their resources to take down the Polish government and destabilize it and allowing the Solidarity movement to stay in place after the declaration of Martial Law in 1981.
Implementing the Strategic Defense Initiative as described in the novel explains that Reagan thought this defense shield could make nuclear war impossible never thinking the technology would be so advanced to make this happen but those against him named the SDI “Star Wars.” As Zorin and the man who knows where to find the journal battle it out to take down the U. S. while Cotton, Stephanie and Luke attempt to get the information needed to thwart the attack, along with Cassiopea Vitt, the author provides some tense, heart stopping and critical scenes that will make readers wonder just who will come out alive and who will pay the ultimate price.
From Siberia to Lake Baikal to Prince Edward Island, Zorin will stop at nothing to get within the proper distance to complete what he feels is the just rewards for what we did to Russia. While struggling to stop this man we learn more about the Society of Cincinnati the nation’s oldest patriotic organization. This was founded by the officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served in the American Revolution together and whose primary goal is to show their respect for our American Independence and to help teach understanding and true friendship to the members. As a nonprofit organization the author relates that it is devoted to maintaining and honoring the principles and values of its founding fathers. Within the novel we are allowed entrance to the Anderson Museum along with our major players to help search for the missing documents that could stop the entire attack.
Interactions that are powerful especially between Cotton and Belchenko. Loyalties are broken, trusts are betrayed and all sides pull out all the stops to prevent what was started in 1982 from becoming a bloodbath in the present. The tortures are real, the black baths existed as described and the cache of bombs did exist and one still remains a mystery.
Will they get there in time? What role does Susan Begyn and her father play in helping to clarify information about the Society to Stephanie and Luke? Just who decides to attack them and will Luke once again live to tell his story? Will Malone stop Zorin? What happens when Nelle relates her story to the acting A.G. and he escapes thinking he will become the next President not telling anyone what is about to happen or care about the fact that they might die. The characters are straight out of the headlines today. Aleksandr Zorin is tough, smart and just might not lose. Cotton is determined more than ever to deal with this situation and win as Stephanie learns her final fate from the newly elected President. The author’s research is impeccable and the plot line riveting, hard-core and intense, the topic quite timely and the end result explosive. The 14th Colony: What would have happened if Canada was part of the U. S.? What would have happened if Reagan’s plan backfired? What would happen if Zorin succeeds? Read this outstanding novel to find out and the author’s notes to learn just what is fact and what is fiction.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine