The Book of Fate

The Book of Fate

3.4 145
by Brad Meltzer

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Six minutes from now, one of us would be dead. None of us knew it was coming. So says Wes Holloway, a young presidential aide, about the day he put Ron Boyle, the chief executive's oldest friend, into the presidents limousine. By the trips end, a crazed assassin would permanently disfigure Wes a kill Boyle. Now, eight years later, Boyle has been spotted


Six minutes from now, one of us would be dead. None of us knew it was coming. So says Wes Holloway, a young presidential aide, about the day he put Ron Boyle, the chief executive's oldest friend, into the presidents limousine. By the trips end, a crazed assassin would permanently disfigure Wes a kill Boyle. Now, eight years later, Boyle has been spotted alive. Trying to figure out what really happened takes Wes back into disturbing secrets buried in Freemason history, a decade-old presidential crossword puzzle, and a two-hundred-year old code invented by Thomas Jefferson that conceals secrets worth dying for.

Editorial Reviews

Eight years ago, presidential aide Wes Holloway survived the attack of a crazed assassin that killed the chief executive's oldest friend, Ron Boyle. Now permanently disfigured, Holloway receives a report that sounds impossible: Half a world away, Boyle has been spotted alive and well. Not surprisingly, Wes becomes almost unnaturally obsessed with the truth behind the sighting. Before his quest ends, it will lead him deep into Washington cover-ups, Masonic secrets, and an intricate code invented by Thomas Jefferson. Deciphering mysteries at a high-adrenaline pace.
Maureen Corrigan
Readers don't turn to Brad Meltzer's suspense stories for psychological insight or brooding atmosphere. Insider knowledge of everyday life in politics, rock-'em sock-'em action and conspiracy tales that begin tamely enough and vault into the realm of breathless improbability are Meltzer's signature strengths. Squarely in this tradition, his latest outing, The Book of Fate, is sure to please those readers who like to store up stockpiles of cynicism about the private lives of their elected officials.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Set against a backdrop of Oval Office corruption, bestseller Meltzer's overblown thriller opens with a frantic assassination attempt on President Leland Manning, who manages to elude the gunfire. Manning's deputy chief of staff, Ron Boyle, is killed, and his top aide, the cocky, ambitious Wes Holloway, is left facially disfigured. Eight years later, his motivation and confidence drained by his handicap, Holloway still toils away for the out-of-office Manning, fetching refreshments and handling the daily social calendar. On a goodwill junket to Malaysia, however, Holloway spots Boyle, surgically altered, but unmistakably the same man who was supposed to be dead and gone. From this turning point, Meltzer (The Zero Game) follows Holloway step by excruciatingly slow step as he tries to find out what really happened eight years earlier. Authentic details about Washington politics and historical mysteries enliven the predictable path. While readers looking for efficient plotting may be disappointed, Meltzer's many fans will enjoy this substantial meal of a book. 15-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
The hero, Wes Holloway, is a haunted former presidential aide scarred by an assassination attempt on his boss years before that left the President's deputy chief of staff and valued friend dead and Holloway's face horribly disfigured. Holloway is guilt-ridden because a mistake of his is what ultimately put his colleague in the line of fire. The attempt took place in the midst of a tough election campaign and, as fate would have it, a photo taken that day made the President appear cowardly instead of heroic. That image cost him the election. (8 Jan 2007)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
Presidential aide Wes Holloway has what he considers the perfect life until the fateful day that an assassin strikes. His friend Ron Boyle dies, and a ricocheting bullet hits Wes in the face. Eight years later, with a bullet scar on his cheek and limited use of his facial muscles, he continues to relive the painful memories of that day. Still aide to the now former president, Wes stumbles into a terrifying conspiracy when he discovers that Ron is still alive. Somehow, the fate of Wes and everyone he knows ties in to the secret history of the Freemasons. With rich characters, a puzzling mystery, and a compelling narrative, Meltzer (The Zero Game) has written his best thriller yet. Though the jacket flap is somewhat misleading in describing how much freemasonry history is uncovered, that is a minor quibble in the grand scheme. Don't let this book of fate pass you by. [See Q&A with Meltzer, p. 74.-Ed.]-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Trying his hand at a star-spangled version of The Da Vinci Code, Meltzer produces his biggest, dumbest book. Former presidential aide Wes Holloway still rues the day eight years ago when he allowed deputy chief of staff Ron Boyle to ride in President Leland Manning's limo to a NASCAR race. On their arrival at the track, crazy Nico Hadrian, presumably shooting at Manning, killed Boyle and left the right side of Wes's face paralyzed. Now Wes, still attached to ex-President Manning's much-diminished entourage, spots a man who's unmistakably Boyle and unmistakably alive at a conference in Malaysia. Stung by the likelihood that's he's been castigating himself in vain all these years, Wes determines to dig up the story behind Boyle's resurrection. The trail of revelations will pit him, his roommate Rogo, his predecessor Gavin "Dreidel" Jeffer and bulldog Palm Beach Post gossip columnist Lisbeth Dodson against a Masonic conspiracy stretching from the founding of the Republic to a nefarious contemporary plot involving a venal anti-terrorist tipster dubbed The Roman, a power-mad cabal calling themselves The Three and a possible Number Four of even more dastardly hue. Assiduously following the Dan Brown playbook, Meltzer (The Zero Game, 2004, etc.) salts his potboiler with secret codes, research in underground archives, cliffhanger endings, paranoid historical fantasies, cackling megalomaniacs and gunmen willing to shoot anything that moves, as several of them demonstrate in a kitchen-sink finale. Every ingredient is perfect except for clear plotting, credible threats and characters (and a conspiracy) worth caring about. How successful will Meltzer's fumbling knockoff be? If the Masons sell half aswell as Mary Magdalene and Opus Dei, expect follow-ups starring the ACLU, the Rotarians and the Mickey Mouse Club.
"Meltzer is so good."
"Meet the next John Grisham."
"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci."
People Magazine
Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci.
Miami Herald
Meet the next John Grisham.
Entertainment Weekly
Meltzer is so good.
From the Publisher
"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci."—PEOPLE"

Meet the next John Grisham."—MIAMI HERALD"

Meltzer is so good."—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
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Edition description:
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4.30(w) x 6.84(h) x 1.05(d)

Meet the Author


Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and The Book of Lies.

He is also one of the co-creators of the TV Show, "Jack & Bobby" – and is the Eisner Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed comic book, Justice League of America.

His first non-fiction book, Heroes for My Son, is a collection of heroes – from Jim Henson to Rosa Parks – that he'd been working on since the day his son was born. This December, he'll be launching "Brad Meltzer's Decoded" on the History Channel. And his newest thriller, The Inner Circle, will be released on January 11, 2011.

Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all six of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which is about a White House lawyer dating the President's daughter; then The Millionaires, which is about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate is about a young Presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200-year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that times them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate was researched with the help of two former Presidents, Clinton and Bush. His last book, The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel's father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel's family about the murder and, with his charitable site,, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.

His books have spent over ten months on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig." In the Hebrew translation, it became: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse." We're not sure if it's a Kosher thing or what!

Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's "Celebrity," co-wrote the swearing-in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko's.

Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who's also an attorney.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University

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