Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry Raises Major Historical Issue for United States... Out May 20th!

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...
Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Christus Statue in the North Visitors' Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Goodbye, Senator."
He tapped the screen on his smartphone
and found the email. Two images
downloaded. The first was an open
pocket watch [that Lincoln always wore]
The second was a close-up of the watch's
back plate, inner side, two words etched
into the silver.
Missing Nothing...
He smiled, stared up at Heavenly Father,
and whispered, "Thank you."

Americans certainly do love their heroes, don't they? Why else, for instance, are there statues all around extolling the virtues of one of our former Presidents? Then along comes one of today's internationally best  seller authors and lays out some "alternative historical" facts for all of us to consider...

Abraham Lincoln felt that American states must stay as a union, no matter whether the government was an effective one... No state could secede. Thus the Civil War...

Then along comes Berry, who demonstrates through a highly researched book that it is highly unlikely, in fact, quite unrealistic that our founding fathers would create the exact type of government from which they had first fled and worked to establish their new lives in America...

Hmmm, logic seems to support the author's words, methinks...   

But adding the connection to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints seemed to push it for me, at least... But it also has an intriguing touch to it related to "separation of church and state" since the Senator who would become President of the State would also, by that time, have become the Prophet--head of the Mormon Church! Another interesting possibility which, at least one of the members was already planning for, was the move back to multiple wives [polygamy]... Then again, the church had a solid financial base and was not greatly in debt. Something the Federal Government could not claim...  A poll had been done; Utah wanted to secede. Should it be permitted? 

The Lincoln Myth
                                                                                  By Steve Berry

This is an extremely complex novel with just under 450 pages... Cotton Malone, the main character of this series is a wonderful, likable guy.  He was once with the government, but has retired and now owns and operates a small bookstore. He has fallen in love with his companion but they've not made any commitment and, in this story, she is requested to work with a member of the Latter Day Saints, who is also a former man with whom she was in love. Now, she's being pulled back and forth between the two men who have played major parts in her life!

He could not recall the precise moment when
he became a secessionist, but he was utterly
convinced that his position was correct.
Whenever any form of government becomes
destructive, it is the right of the people to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
government, laying its foundation on such
principles and organizing its powers in such
form, as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their safety and happiness. Thomas
Jefferson and the fifty-five other patriots
who signed the Declaration of Independence
were right. Interesting how those men
supposedly possessed the natural and
unalienable right to violently rebel against
an oppressive England. Yet if their descendants
tried to do the same against the United States
of America, myriad federal statutes would be
brought to bear against their every act.
When did Americans lose those
"natural and unalienable rights?"
Is it because we are a secretive people that keeps personal thoughts close to ourselves... Or, is it that we are a curious people who wonder about the past, hoping it will help us understand what has gone wrong?

Because I think most Americans, these days, wonder about the way government is being handled by those we have voted into positions of power... For me, these thoughts began in the 80s. Was that just because I had been involved long enough to start asking my own questions?

Berry certainly lays the issues  back to and even before Lincoln became president. Using some facts that are true from our history, and some that are fiction [and fortunately provides an afterword clarifying fact of fiction at the end] Berry describes an ongoing plan of conspiracy by a high-ranking official in the Mormon Church hierarchy, who is also the ranking Senator of Utah.

Add a mentally ill church member with an invisible angel who guides him in his actions, including the selection and leadership of a group of young church members to become Danites, a secret order within the church to do the wet work that needed to be done and you may begin to question all of it!

To expedite the Senator's plan, much research is being done--and many past rumors are now being re-examined, hoping to find the actual documentation to prove what occurred between Lincoln and others and, in particular, the Prophet who was in charge of the church at that time. I have to say that this becomes tedious at times and somewhat hard to keep track of, so be prepared to spent some time within America's history.

They left the cellar and traipsed west through the woods, paralleling the sea, the pound of surf clear in the distance. The lit mansion that awaited them was an excellent example of Dutch Baroque. Three stories, three wings, hip roof. 
The exterior was sheathed with the trademark thin red brick--Dutch clinkers. Malone had learned to call them. He counted thirty windows facing their way, only a handful lit, and all on the ground floor.
"Nobody's home," Luke said.
"How do you know that?"
"The man's out for the evening..."
Luke tried the latches. Locked.
A light came on inside.
Which startled them both.
Malone darted left into a shrubbery bed, where darkness and the exterior wall offered protection. Luke found refuge in a similar spot on the terrace's opposite side, the French doors and windows between them. They both peered around the edge into the lit space beyond the glass and saw a red-walled parlor dotted with elegant period furniture, gilt mirrors, and oil paintings.
And two people.
One face--a man's--he did not recognize. But it didn't take a rocket scientist to know his identity.
Josepe Salazar.
The other, though, was a shock. No one that said a word about her involvement.
Not Stephanie. Not Frat Boy. Nobody.
Yet here she was.
His girlfriend.
Cassiopeia Vitt.

Cotton Malone was not even given a hint that he might run into Cassiopeia. A cruel decision, in my opinion. He knows why he is there and he knows the background of Salazar. What he does not yet know, but will discover is that Cassiopeia was not only born a Mormon, but that she was earlier involved with Salazar!

One thing Stephanie, his handler knew, though, was that Cotton would not leave while Cassiopeia was in the hands of this man... This puts both of them in danger, as well as in places where they are deeply confused and hurt by the other's actions. A sad possible ending is that Cotton will never see her again...

On the other hand, the ending was quite a surprise, not so much as to what happened, but rather who and how people were discovered, involved, and working on the desire to secede. Frankly, I never would have thought of this ending...Yay!

 Then there's the White Horse Prophecy, the hidden gold, the page The Senator tore from an early hidden copy of The Church's writings... The old wooden wagons found in the cave--so many secrets, on nearly everybody's part... Will you be able to clear all those secrets up?

The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition ...
The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition Soft Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aside from all that, there are a couple of family issues for Cotton and the U.S. President that bring a touch of warmth into what is essentially, a tedious pursuit of secrets, a prevention of the beginning of states wanting to secede, starting with Utah and perhaps the dissolution of the United States..

By now, you should have already decided whether to read or not. The Amber Room was my first Steve Berry and he's been sending readers out on some sort of treasure hunt from then on... On a lighter side, I certainly hope Cotton and Cassiopeia work their way back to each other in the next book! LOL


Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 17,000,000 copies in 51 countries.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have crossed the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and their popular writers' workshops. To date, nearly 2,500 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the 2013 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award; his novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and International Thriller Writers bestowed him the 2013 Silver Bullet for his work with historic preservation. A 2010 NPR survey named The Templar Legacy one of the top 100 thrillers ever written.

Steve was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers--a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world--and served three years as its co-president.

For more information, visit
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