Saturday, June 9, 2012

Approved for Beach Reading Only

The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer is not my typical read.  It bills itself on the cover as being the story of a presidential aide, Wes, who is injured when an assassin kills his friend, but who finds out that his friend is really still alive.  The cover also adds the tease that Wes tries to solve the mystery of what happened through "a decade-old presidential crossword puzzle, mysterious facts buried in Masonic history, and a two-hundred-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson."  After reading that, I was expecting the book to be the literary equivalent of the Nicholas Cage movie, "National Treasure".  That it was not.

The story in The Book of Fate is that of Wes, who feels responsible for his friend's death, only to find that the friend, Ron Boyle, is still alive.  Wes works for the former president, Leeland Manning, as his personal aide.  Once Wes realizes that Boyle is still alive, he wonders who he can trust, and who else knows the secret.  He finds himself chased by powerful people who would prefer it if Boyle was truly part of the past.

The Book of Fate is action packed, and is a great summer read, especially in an election year.  However, if you are expecting to learn anything about Masonic history, you should look somewhere else.  On the beach, the reader might gloss over some of the leaps that the characters make, like when they notice letters written next to a crossword puzzle and instantly conclude that it is a list of people working for the president, ranked according to who he trusted the most.  They might also fail to notice a fatal inconsistency in the assassin's storyline, or that Boyle's story is left unfinished.  So, if you want to read this one, get to it!  It won't hold up when winter winds are blowing, and your mind is devoted to the plot.

One more down for the Off the Shelf Challenge!  Now I'm half way done!

Next up on CD:  My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Still Reading:  Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

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