The Book of Fate

book of fateMeltzer, Brad. The Book of Fate. New York: Warner Books, 2006. Wes Holloway is an aide to former president Manning, whose actions indirectly led to the Manning’s loss of office, the death of his friend Ron Boyle, and his own disfigurement. Now, years later Wes discovers that greater forces have been at work as Boyle reappears, the president no longer seems trustworthy, and the would-be presidential assassin is again on the loose. Chased by demons literal and in his own mind, Wes (along with friends who may or may not really be friends) races to uncover evidence pointing to a conspiracy among the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service and to justify his own path in life.

Meltzer creates an intriguing page-turner, and while not especially deep, The Book of Fate takes a thought-provoking look at governmental checks and balances while revealing some lesser-known historical factoids. Fate is billed as an ages-old conspiracy, but really, the Masonic allusions are largely tacked on rather than central to the plot (which is better in my opinion, as most stories either overplay the Free Mason angle or completely cheese it up. Let’s face it, cabals do run the world, but there’s nothing mystical---or even secretive—about it). Meltzer’s use of shifting narrative voice (first-person for Wes’ chapters, third-person for the others) was a bit clunky, but otherwise The Book of Fate was an entertaining summer thriller.