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The Malta Exchange

Cotton Malone Series, Book 14
Written by: Steve Berry
Narrated by: Scott Brick, Steve Berry
Length: 26 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this audiobook, Steve Berry and Macmillan Audio team up again to bring listeners an expanded, annotated Writer's Cut edition of The Malta Exchange. This Writer's Cut edition features fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary read by the author. Critically acclaimed and award-winning narrator Scott Brick returns to his role as Cotton Malone. If you'd like to listen to The Malta Exchange without Steve Berry's commentary, just play the program from the beginning. To listen to the Writer's Cut version with Steve Berry's commentary, start with Download Part Two at 13 hours, six minutes.     

The pope is dead. A conclave to select his replacement is about to begin. Cardinals are beginning to arrive at the Vatican, but one has fled Rome for Malta in search of a document that dates back to the fourth century and Constantine the Great. Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone is at Lake Como, Italy, on the trail of legendary letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini that disappeared in 1945 and could rewrite history. But someone else seems to be after the same letters, and when Malone obtains and then loses them, he’s plunged into a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta. 

The knights have existed for more than 900 years, the only warrior-monks to survive into modern times. Now, they are a global humanitarian organization, but within their ranks lurks trouble - the Secreti - an ancient sect intent on affecting the coming papal conclave. With the help of Magellan Billet Agent Luke Daniels, Malone races the rogue cardinal, the knights, the Secreti, and the clock to find what has been lost for centuries. The final confrontation culminates behind the walls of the Vatican, where the election of the next pope hangs in the balance. 

©2019 Steve Berry (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"Brick is a masterful narrator, raising the tension in the action scenes while keeping the listener engaged in the slower historical segments." (AudioFile magazine)

"Scott Brick continues to bolster his status as one of the best narrators of international thrillers... his confident delivery keeps the suspense high while bringing a solid reality to a story that often walks a fine line between the believable and the improbable." (Publishers Weekly on The Venetian Betrayal

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gman
  • 2019-03-26

Maybe it’s just me

I found this to be a bit confusing and to have a lot of side note information that distracted from the story. I guess I’m spoiled as I love the other books in this series. This one was ok, but not as gripping as any of the previous ones. If you’re a fan of the series, like me, you won’t be disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eva
  • 2019-03-09

Trying to stay in love with Steve Berry's style

This book was a hard listen. Within two hours, we were thrown backwards and forwards with Mussolini, Napoleon, Malta Knights, Luke, Cotton, Laura (who he can't stop describing), and a host of new characters. I think Steve tried to hard to loop in ALL historical references he could because it's a winning formula with his readers. However, it just became overkill. You can't go 20 minutes without a LONG DRAWN out history lesson on some benign and inconsequential topic in the story. To me the story got lost and/or never developed beyond the already expected. So in essence, this was just a history book with a bit of fiction mixed in to wake you up when you start to doze off. Hope he can adjust for next book because this one was underwhelming. If not, I just pickup a regular history book next time.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2019-03-12

Good but very biased.

Steve Berry is a great author who expertly blends fiction and history, and with this book he’s done that again. However this time it appears he has done so not to tell a good story but to slight Christianity and the Catholic Church, he usually is slightly biased towards these but not to the detriment of the story. This time it was blatant and constant, every other line seemed to be an attack or subtle remark against these. I mention this as it made the story feel more of a political or philosophy rant in the guise of a story rather than his usual work. I hope this is not a sign of the authors future works as I have been a fan for many years and the new direction would change this stance. Overall it was a good book with an intriguing story, yet filled with biases and some kind of personal vendetta against the Church on the authors part, I would recommend if a fan of Cotton Malone but not if you are new to the series or author.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • hgpilot - MM
  • 2019-05-04

meh - my least favorite

I've listened to all of Steve's books and this is, by far, my least favorite. Story line was very complicated and hard to follow and clearly he has an axe to grind with organized religion (which doesn't have anything to do with my review). Same characters, consistent audio delivery by Scott Brick (great!), and as always - well researched. I just didn't find the story interesting and would often get some of the characters confused. Still a Berry fan / will buy his next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lou
  • 2019-03-19

Great Listen

Another wonderful book from one of my favorites. I really appreciate the research and intrigue Mr. Berry puts into his books. As usual Scott Brick is fantastic. I certainly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-11

Not For Me

Far too much back and forth for me. Story would have been fine without the deadly dull descriptions of everything. I started over 4 times before giving up. Will be returning.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-15

Not my favorite

Had high expectations for this story. My least favorite book from the author in the series. Seem to drag on and many chapters that really did not add to the overall story. Still love the entire book series and look forward to the next one.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Darla
  • 2019-08-17

If you’re looking for a great book, look elsewhere

I have all of The Cotton Malone books, including, unfortunately, The Malta Exchange. In the 18 years have been an Audible member, I think I have only returned one or two books. this will be my next one. If you are looking for a treatise on the rise of the Catholic Church, then this book is for you. If you’re looking for another great Steve Beery book, look elsewhere. I am not exaggerating when I say that 75% of this book is about the formation and doctrine of the Catholic Church. I am not religious nor anti-religious and I love history but this is nothing like previous Steve Berry books. Even Scott Brick’s usual outstanding narration could not get me to,finish it. Sorry, Nr. Berry, you can do better than this.

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  • Thomas
  • 2019-07-11

Tired of the Lecture....

I listen to this genre as a form of escapism. I don't need to listen to a moralizing about organized religion wound around a suspense novel. Plenty of that in the real world. Looks like the next book is more of the same.

The relationships between the characters that I have come to very be fond of have become stilted and more of an afterthought than more deeply developed. I think Steve has lost his way here. Scott Brick is as wonderful as always!

For the first time ever I will not be looking forward to the next Steve Berry book. I have revoked my pre-order.

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  • John
  • 2019-07-10

was a Cotton Malone fan

overly long winded with a tad too much info on Italian sites that didn't fit into the story