cover image The Lightning Rod: A Zig and Nola Novel

The Lightning Rod: A Zig and Nola Novel

Brad Meltzer. Morrow, $28.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-289240-9

At the start of bestseller Meltzer’s exciting sequel to 2018’s The Escape Artist, a masked gunman fatally shoots Lt. Col. Archie Mint along with the thief who by chance was trying to rob Mint’s house in Elmswood, Pa. Mortician Jim “Zig” Zigarowski, who’s still grieving for his 12-year-old daughter who died in an accident a year earlier, has left the Air Force to work privately in Pennsylvania. A former colleague from Dover Air Force Base persuades him to prepare Mint’s body for an open casket. Zig is surprised on meeting the widow before the funeral that she was unaware her husband worked at Dover. Zig later learns Mint was involved in a top-secret military unit. Zig’s search for answers reunites him with Nola Brown, who was once the Army’s artist-in-residence and whose resourcefulness and kick-ass style help the pair decipher the links between the murders and dark government secrets. While the action overshadows characterizations, Meltzer makes his leads emotionally plausible. One hopes Zig and Nola will be back soon. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME. (Mar.)