THE KING'S DECEPTION was a taut, well-paced thriller that had me on the edge of my chair. This was the first book I have read in the Cotton Malone series but I did not feel that I was missing anything. Berry provided enough backstory that I felt comfortable. This book was peopled with an overabundance of villains. I didn't really think any of the viewpoint characters, excepting perhaps Cotton Malone himself, were very likable people. The CIA guy Antrim was a self-centered abuser and the SIS guy Sir Thomas Mathews was pragmatic to the point of being indifferent to the loss of life among innocents. While I thought each one of them had worthy goals, I hated the things they were willing to do to achieve them. I was fascinated with the Tudor and Elizabethan history that formed that background of this thriller. I kept going to the internet to see if Berry was making things up or if the events happened. I loved the way the story mixed current and past history and showed that events--even events that happened 400 years ago--can still have modern consequences. I liked Cotton's relationship with his son Gary though the relationship was tested in this one because of something they both recently learned. I liked the characters of Miss Mary and Tanya and want to be that kind of old lady myself someday. The writing was excellent and the plot nicely twisty. Fans of thrillers will enjoy this story.