I had not read any of Allan Folsom's earlier novels before I picked up The Machiavelli Covenant. I am now a Folsom fan and will probably go back and read his previously published books.
The Machiavelli Covenant is truly a thriller and truly Machiavellian. While it is 690 pages long, I had a hard time putting it down.
The book's website included the following synopsis of the story line:
"For five hundred years, a despotic order of the supremely rich and powerful has kept a manuscript by political thinker Niccolo Machiavelli hidden away under heavy guard: The Covenant, a terrifying blueprint for the gaining and keeping of true political power. Bonded by complicity in ritual murder and dedicated to a singular vision of global domination, the group, guided by this document, has prospered far beyond any dreams of power and avarice.
"In Washington, DC, former LAPD rogue detective Nicholas Marten comes out of hiding to hunt down the killers of his childhood sweetheart. And in Europe, US President John Henry Harris flees for his life, afraid to trust anyone after a secret cabal within his own administration orders him to have the president of France and the chancellor of Germany assassinated. Harris joins forces with Marten and the beautiful but enigmatic French photo-journalist Demi Picard, and together they uncover the truth about the most powerful group the world has ever known. Outmanned, outnumbered, and outgunned, these three stand alone against the secrets and power of The Covenant."
I finished the book in a marathon reading session that ended about 2:00 a.m. I had to keep going! I had to know what happened next! I had to discover how it all ended! It is one of the best thrillers I have read, right to the final page. Even the ending of the epilogue was Machiavellian, leaving me wondering whether Folsom might be planning to write a sequel.