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Maggie Costello Books In Order

Publication Order of Maggie Costello Books

The Last Testament (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Chosen One (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To Kill the President (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To Kill the Truth (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To Kill a Man (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The “Maggie Costello” series is a set of novels by Sam Bourne real name Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning British broadcaster, journalist and thriller author. Bourne has been writing for “The Guardian” for more than a decade now and also used to write as a correspondent for the Washington version of the paper. He has also had some of his work featured on “The New York Times,” “The Jewish Chronicle,” “The New York Review of Books,” “The New Republic,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The New Republic,” “Newsweek” and “The Washington Post” among many other publications. Since 1990, he has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4, particularly on “The Long View” the contemporary history series.

As a child, Sam loved reading the likes of “Nancy Drew” who would then become the feisty world-class closer, political strategist, and shit-kicking Maggie Costello. He also read the suspenseful novels of Ira Levin and Frederick Forsyth, which taught him how to use the headlines to pen great stories. His journalism career has also had a great influence on his writing. For a few years, Sam worked as a journalist in the Middle East. Heck, he was the moderator of a three-day dialogue sponsored by “The Guardian” between the Palestinians and Israelis. Some of the participants in that dialogue were part of the teams that brokered the Geneva accord in 2003. This gives him first-hand political knowledge of the intrigues of the Middle East and also those of the UK and the US, which he then writes about in his “Maggie Costello” series. Sam’s first novel was “The Righteous Men” that was a New York Times bestselling novel that was translated into thirty-one languages. He also wrote two non-fiction works “Bring Home the Revolution” and “Jacob’s Gift.” He currently lives with his wife and children in London.

The themes of the “Maggie Costello” series are not mainstream political and social ones that you could find anywhere which is what makes these novels very interesting. The lead is Maggie Costello, a protagonist whose past achievements and posting include peace initiatives across the world and working in the White House. Her work has made her a very capable political operative and stellar investigator. Given that she also comes from Ireland, she has the genes that make her want to always find justice for the oppressed. She will also not accept anything until she is sure about it. Sam Bourne chronicles the interactions between Maggie and her family, in addition to her quest for romance, all of which enrich the narratives. He also incorporates a range of interesting characters and angles some of which are based on history in explaining how the world works. In seeking to incorporate a range of perspectives and a vast array of characters, she creates stories that are both entertaining and jarring. Sam is a master at questioning what his readers may believe to be self-evident and writes stories that all of his readers wish they could have written.

The first novel of the Maggie Costello series is “The Last Testament” which is set against the backdrop of the Palestinian Israeli conflict. It is 2003 and a teenage boy discovers an old clay tablet when the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities is broken into. He grabs the tablet and runs away from the scene. A few years later, there is a peace rally held in Jerusalem attended by the Israeli prime minister. A man approaches the dais from the crowd and seems to reach into his pocket causing a panic in which the prime minister’s bodyguards shoot the man. In his hand is found a note which is what he had been reaching for. The killing results in riots and revenge killings that threaten to derail the peace accord the Israelis just signed with the Palestinians. The Americans send Maggie Costello, the retired political operative to sort out the mess. She follows the trail which takes her from the Palestinian refugee camps to the West Bank Jewish settlements. Her investigations reveal that some of the killings were not random at all. All the dead are historians and archeologists with knowledge of the secrets from the ancient past. Faced with violent extremists and fanatics Costello is soon in the middle of a high stakes international game of politics and an underground trade in ancient antiquities.

In the second novel of the series, “The Chosen One” Maggie Costello thinks that she is finally working for a president she can believe in. President Baker has high approval ratings not only among the American people but also among the political operatives that believe he is the man to make the world a better place. But suddenly Vic Forbes one of the biggest enemies of the administration emerges from the woodwork. He has a cache of scandals on the Baker and he keeps releasing them one after the other in quick succession. He then threatens to release the biggest one which he says will completely destroy the president. Maggie never liked the man but she is thrown into turmoil when he is found murdered. Could President Baker have ordered the murder of the man and had his message of hope and change been a false dawn? Never one to take anything at face value, she goes on an investigative quest that unearths a massive conspiracy that has roots in the heart of the American establishment and goes back hundreds of years.

“To Kill the President” the third novel of the series sees Maggie Costello take her biggest case yet. The president seems out of control and she is faced with one of the biggest dilemmas of her career. The unthinkable happens when a volatile demagogue is elected to the office of President of the United States. Working with Crawford Mac McNamara, he has become an authoritarian and ruthless man. Advised by McNamara, he is soon in a war of words with the volatile North Korean president and America comes close to launching nuclear weapons. Someone needs to act fast if a catastrophe is to be avoided. Maggie the seasoned political operative and an avowed progressive soon unearths a plot to assassinate the president but is now faced with the biggest moral dilemma. The man is increasingly becoming a tyrant and she cannot decide between committing treason or letting her country and the world be subjected to the whims of a tyrant. Moreover, he has a lot of support and killing him could plunge the US into a civil war.

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