“Patriot Threat”

by

9781250056238_p0_v2_s118x184When an author combines historical events and figures, with fiction, the result can be an intriguing story.  Steven Berry has done that with his latest “The Patriot Threat.”

The premise involves the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.  This amendment, ratified in 1913, dealt with the levying of a federal income tax. The key plot element of Berry’s novel is that the amendment was never legally ratified because of changes that individual states made to the amendment.  This idea is not new.  Goggle 16th amendment and you can read any number of theories relative to the illegality of the amendment. If the amendment was not legally ratified, then any number of interesting problems could result.

Berry then introduces two historical figures into his plot:  FDR and Andrew Mellon.  These two larger than life figures were known to have hated each politically and personally.  During the last months of his life, Mellon met with FDR at the White House.  Here is where Berry creates a fictional scenario of what transpired between the two men.  Mellon taunts FDR with two pieces of information that he has relative to the 16th Amendment and a debt owed to the family of Haym Solomon, a Revolutionary War patriot.

Against this backdrop, Berry creates a modern-day espionage tale involving the information that Mellon supposedly had, and an attempt of a dishonored member of the North Korean ruling family to destroy the US economy.

There is a lot going on in this novel.  The reader should definitely read Berry’s notes to help clarify what is fiction and what is not.  Take this one along on vacation.  It will keep your attention.

 

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