The Book of Fate

Brad Meltzer, Author . Warner $25.95 (510p) ISBN 978-0-446-53099-6

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.)

Reviewed on: 07/24/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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