Note: I purchased this book.
Every time I read a Brad Meltzer book I am reminded of how much I love his books. More than being ‘just’ an author, he is a gifted storyteller. Over and over, I am swept away into a world of political mystery and intrigue. I was introduced to him years ago by a friend of mine who swore I would love his books and she was dead-on. His books are always fast-paced and punctuated by short chapters that lead to the “fly through the book” effect and I am always left wanting more. The Fifth Assassin is no different. Bringing back his character, Beecher, The Inner Circle, this book focuses on a killer who is copying the last four presidential assassinations in a lead-up to the assassination of the current president. I won’t give away any more than that, but this might one ranks up there with my favorite Meltzer book, The Book of Fate.
One of my favorite things about Meltzer is that he writes historical fiction without being labeled an historical fiction writer. He’s not lumped into that genre, and yet his books are always heavily entrenched in truths and theories that exist in present day. For example, in this book, he draws on the history of playing cards, the origins of their symbols, and the real-life storage of body parts at a Washington, DC museum (where I would love to visit….). This makes sense because his show, Brad Meltzer Decoded, is hugely popular and delves into the backstories of various codes and symbols, so he knows his stuff.
In sum, this is a must-read for anyone who likes fast-paced, action-packed books that tell a real story. It’s also great for people (like me) who are interested in history because I was left Googling a lot of the nuggets of information that were dropped so surreptitiously into the novel (did they really put maps on the inside of playing cards during WWII?!). If I did star ratings (which I don’t), I would give this one 5.
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