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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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 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
"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."
Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci.
Meet the next John Grisham.
Meltzer is so good.