cover image The Book of Fate

The Book of Fate

Brad Meltzer. Hachette Audio, $49.98 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59483-545-2

When you've got a plot that includes a secret 200-year-old Masonic code map hidden somewhere under Washington, D.C., plus a top aide to a former U.S. president who's killed in an assassination attempt in chapter one, but then is discovered alive and kicking in Malaysia in chapter two, you need all the skill and professionalism you can muster to avoid overkill. Luckily, Meltzer's latest bestseller has Brick, a solid veteran narrator who reads every word as though he believes it, adding fresh nuance to characters who range from a Bill Clintonesque ex-president named Leland F. Manning-now making more money as a public speaker and fund-raiser than he ever did in the White House-to the formerly dead Ron Boyle and especially Wes Holloway, a tragic figure who might remind listeners of Ronald Reagan's press secretary James Brady. Holloway, wounded and disfigured by the lunatic who tried to kill Manning but apparently hit Boyle, is at the center of most of Meltzer's hyperactive hyperbole, and Brick helps build a strong foundation by making him both touching and believable.