Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Book of Fate, by Brad Meltzer

The Book of Fate, by Brad Meltzer

I am familiar with Meltzer from his work in comics such as Identity Crisis and Justice League and was looking forward to this. With the Masonic square and compass on the cover and the blurb on the back discussing a two-hundred-year-old secret I was expecting another DaVinci Code. I didn't get it. Don't get me wrong, this was a good story, but the Freemason angle didn't really factor into this—a bit of false advertising.

The plot is set in the world of post-office Presidential politics, and Meltzer clearly did his research. The details of how a former President lives and works had a very authentic feel; in an interview he tells of the access he was granted by Bush and Clinton to create this reality. It was a fascinating glimpse into this world that made me want to learn more about life-after-office. In any case, the story was pretty complicated, including a conspiracy, a guy once thought dead suddenly reappearing, a secret cabal of spies, and a plucky reporter. Like most frenetically paced novels, there are several plot holes and clues that fall into place a bit too easily, but there was enough action to keep it interesting. I thought the ending was somewhat predictable (although I admit I wasn't sure how the escaped lunatic thread was going to work out) but well worth the time.

First Sentence:
Six minutes from now, one of us would be dead.

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