By: Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg
Publisher: Grand Central
Publication Date: 6/7/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
A secret worth killing for.
A woman with no past.
An act of treason that changed America.
#1 bestselling author Brad Meltzer returns with award-winning author Tod Goldberg for
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS
When Hazel Nash was six years old, her father taught her: mysteries need to be solved. He should know. Hazel’s father is Jack Nash, the host of America’s favorite conspiracy TV show, The House of Secrets.
Even as a child, she loved hearing her dad’s tall tales, especially the one about a leather book belonging to Benedict Arnold that was hidden in a corpse.
Now, years later, Hazel wakes up in the hospital and remembers nothing, not even her own name. She’s told she’s been in a car accident that killed her father and injured her brother. But she can’t remember any of it, because of her own traumatic brain injury. Then a man from the FBI shows up, asking questions about her dad-and about his connection to the corpse of a man found with an object stuffed into his chest: a priceless book that belonged to Benedict Arnold.
Back at her house, Hazel finds guns that she doesn’t remember owning. On her forehead, she sees scars from fights she can’t recall. Most important, the more Hazel digs, the less she likes the person she seems to have been.
Trying to put together the puzzle pieces of her past and present, Hazel Nash needs to figure out who killed this man-and how the book wound up in his chest. The answer will tell her the truth about her father, what he was really doing for the government-and who Hazel really is. Mysteries need to be solved. Especially the ones about yourself.
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A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
TV host and bestselling author, Brad Meltzer (The Fifth Assassin) and Tod Goldberg (Gangsterland) launch a new exciting conspiracy/spy series THE HOUSE OF SECRETS—a modern day thriller mixed with history, for a nonstop fast-paced mystery suspense. Highly entertaining!
"The House of Secrets," the story of a fictional TV host secretly working for the U.S. government, and a daughter's search to find the truth.
As the novel opens it is LA, thirty years prior. Jack Nash decides it is time for his daughter, Hazel to be told “The Story.” He was told “The Story” at age six, and Hazel, is now the same. He feels it is the appropriate time. His son, Skip was five. The Story had not stuck. Jack wonders how old you have to be to retain an event for the rest of your life.
He begins The Story, slipping into The Voice. The same one his dad used, and the one Jack now uses on his TV show, (host of The House of Secrets), where every week he explores the world’s most famous conspiracies. Of course, Hazel is not allowed to watch. His wife thinks it will give her bad dreams.
The story begins a hundred and fifty years ago. The farmer finds a young man on the ground frozen to death. When the doctor arrives he takes him back to his office and performs an autopsy. Inside the chest, he finds a small object the size of a deck of cards. Encased in sealing wax. Inside he finds a miniature book. A Bible. Inside the Bible he sees four handwritten words: “Property of Benedict Arnold.”
The only thing is that there was no scar on his chest or his body, so how did it get there?
Of course Hazel does not know the name. He explains he was a complicated solider during the Revolutionary War. How did it get there? A mystery. A mystery to be solved. She receives three guesses per night. Magic? Impossible? Or Someone trying to fool you?
Fast forward 200 years from the original farmer story and you have the family of Jack Nash, the host of a TV Show "The House of Secrets". Jack and his son Skip travel the world trying to solve mysteries and uncovering secrets.
Jack has three rules.
1) There was a rub in every deal—a snag or drawback; always a catch. Once you understood that, there were no bad deals 2) Nothing goes missing. Everything is somewhere. 3) Honor the people who love you.
Years later, Jack’s wife, Claire has been gone for ten years. Brain cancer. He is ending his TV show, to enjoy his time left. Hazel had the same temper as Claire—and the same reckless attraction to destruction.
People weren’t happy unless they believed at least part of the world was some grand hoax. It’s what made Watergate so compelling. Everything everyone suspected was true. Government was corrupt, the world was being manipulated, nothing was on the level.
Jack knows most times mysteries did not have satisfying endings. Like the death of JFK. No one wanted to believe Oswald acted alone, because then that story was done.
The world was different now. He cannot be happy until he finds the book. The Bible. The last mystery.
Traveling through Utah, Jack suffers a heart attack. A car crash. Skip will be OK, Hazel injured. Eight days later in LA, Hazel wakes up from a coma. Jack is gone; however, Hazel cannot remember the details. She has severe brain injuries, leaving her without memories from the past.
An FBI shows up, asking questions about her dad and the corpse of a man found with the object in his chest. Did her father kill this man named Nixon? Hazel remembers The Bible. She recalls hearing the story. Mysteries need to be solved. A dead body and something hidden. Some details were clear and others lost. She thinks her dad told her. The last mystery.
Skip is confused, not knowing about the Bible. He often helped his dad chase leads, while investigating conspiracies.
Hazel begins trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Who killed this man and how in the heck did he get the book in his chest? She could not believe anything she was hearing. How could she have woken up from a coma to find herself in this life? She had tried to remember any hint of a secret life of her father. Was she a part of this too?
The FBI says her father made a personal visit to this guy the week before the accident. The guys loved Jack’s show. A secret obsession he hid from his family? The guy died and Jack died three days later. Poison was found. Meanwhile, we hear from a mysterious man known as the Bear travels to Dubai to kill a man named Kennedy, and the body of another man named Nixon is found in Canada.
In Canada a man in a revolutionary war style jacket has been found dead and inside his chest is a small Bible. In Dubai a man is found dead wearing a red revolutionary war jacket also with a Bible in his chest.
Why would a father train his six-year-old daughter. He wanted her to stay away from silly tricks, leave the family business behind. Give her a chance a freedom, not to be trapped.
Whoever killed Arthur Kennedy and Darren Nixon wanted her to know. Where they looking for the Bible, or something else? What were Jack, Kennedy, and Nixon looking for? Was Jack working for the government? What was behind his conspiracy show?
As Hazel, an anthropology professor tries to recover her memory and find out why she, has a lot of guns, and scars---she continues to try and solve the mystery of her father. Hazel is full of secrets! What is the truth? Who can be trusted? She has to solve the mystery in order to find herself.
A secret worth killing for. Every turn of events is really a conspiracy in disguise with a bit of truthiness. Truth often is stranger than fiction. George Washington and Benedict Arnold (Chapter 85 A Theory) Betrayal? or Not? Awesome research . . .
What a wild ride! Hazel’s journey is intriguing, mysterious, and suspenseful. Edge of your seat --From twists, turns, no one does conspiracy better than Brad Meltzer.
Shocking modern conspiracy theories often turn out true after thorough investigation by our society. To many, conspiracy theories are just human nature. Not all people in this world are honest, hard-working and forthcoming about their intentions.
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS is an ideal gift choice for Father’s Day!
June Top Reads
About the Authors
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and eight other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Book of Fate, and The President’s Shadow. His newest book is The House of Secrets.
In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award. Read More
Tod Goldberg is the author of over a dozen books, including the novels The House of Secrets (Grand Central), which he co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer, Gangsterland (Counterpoint), a finalist for the Hammett Prize, Living Dead Girl (Soho Press), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat (Pocket Books/MTV), and the popular Burn Notice series, including The Fix, The End Game, The Giveaway, The Reformed and The Bad Beat (Penguin), and the short story collections Simplify (OV Books), a 2006 finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of he Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize and Other Resort Cities (OV Books). His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, twice receiving Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize as well as being named a Distinguished Story of the Year in the 2009 Best American Mystery Stories.
His essays, journalism, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Las Vegas Weekly, E!, and Jewcy, among many others, and have earned five Nevada Press Association Awards for excellence. His essay “When They Let Them Bleed” was recently selected for Best American Essays 2013. Tod is also the cohost of the podcast Literary Disco, along with Julia Pistell and Rider Strong. Read More