"The Patriot Threat" ( Minotaur Books), by Steve Berry
Cotton Malone tackles a case that could cause an uprising over taxes in Steve Berry's new thriller, "The Patriot Threat."
A deposed North Korean leader believes he can regain his honor and return to power by bringing down the United States. He stumbles on the works of an author named Howell, who postulates that the law creating the federal income tax was technically a fraud, making it invalid. Evidence suggests the scenario to be accurate, and he sees an opportunity to bring financial ruin to the country with an angry populace demanding restitution. He decides to track down the elusive author, but doesn't expect Cotton Malone to be hot on both of their trails.
What makes Berry's novels special is the mix of suspense with history, forcing the reader to ask: what's real and what isn't? Eight pages of author notes in "The Patriot Threat" reveal the truth, and the author's insight is almost as good as the rest of the book.
The story line is compressed into a tight time frame, taking place in less than a day in real time. And Berry cleverly mixes the history of the federal income tax law with the creation of the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art.
Speculation and gunplay make "The Patriot Threat" one of Berry's best books to date.