Brad Meltzer has demonstrated his lifelong interest in discovering hidden aspects of historical events. In addition to books dedicated towards fact, he has also written fiction utilizing Beecher White. a young archivist employed by the National Archives in Washington. White is shown discovering hidden stories, unknown facts tied to historical events.
In House of Secrets, Meltzer introduces a new protagonist, Hazel Nash, who has been taught from the age of six that mysteries need to be solved. Her father/teacher, Jack Nash, had hosted a long term show exposing conspiracies called, “The House of Secrets”.
We meet Hazel as she is recovering from an auto accident which killed her father and injured her brother. She has completely lost her memory from the trauma. She is visited in the hospital by an agent from the FBI who begins questioning her about her father and the body of a man with a book stuffed into his chest. The book is believed to have belonged to Benedict Arnold, the most famous traitor in American history.
Leaving the hospital, Hazel finds material in her house that she cannot remember obtaining nor have any reason to get. There is a large collection of guns and she has scars on her face that she doesn’t recall suffering. When Hazel digs into these mysteries, she begins to discover facts about her father that show him to be a very different person than he seemed to be.
What does Benedict Arnold’s book have to do with her father and why was it sewn into a dead man’s chest? What are the realities of her father’s directing the TV show?
A very engrossing novel, and one that leads the reader through an apparent maze into a logical conclusion with the possibility of a different direction in one of history’s events than normally perceived. Hazel appears to be developed into another protagonist for Brad Meltzer and his new writing partner, Tod Goldberg, that can expand the horizons of historical discovery into the international sphere.
7/16 Paul Lane
HOUSE OF SECRETS by Brad Meltzer & Tod Goldberg. Grand Central Publishing (June 7, 2016). ISBN 978-1455559497. 368p.