cover image The House of Secrets

The House of Secrets

Brad Meltzer, with Tod Goldberg. Grand Central, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4555-5949-7

Bestseller Meltzer (The Fifth Assassin) and Goldberg (Gangsterland) launch a series with a conspiracy-laden spy novel that’s at its best when it’s gleefully cutting the legs out from the genre’s tropes. After a car accident in Los Angeles, Hazel-Ann Nash wakes up to find that much of her memory—particularly around anything she had an emotional connection to—is lost, her father is dead, and an FBI agent is asking questions. Her father, Jack, was the host of a cult TV show investigating the unexplained, and he was personally obsessed with Benedict Arnold’s Bible. Meanwhile, a mysterious man known only as the Bear travels to Dubai to kill a man named Kennedy, and the body of another man named Nixon is found in Canada. The authors toss plenty of conspiracy novel zaniness into the mix, but they also temper things nicely, even as the tensions escalate. The result is slight, but it’s also highly satisfying. Agents: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME (Meltzer); Jennie Dunham at Dunham Literary (Goldberg). (June)