Brad Metlzer is back with another political conspiracy mystery thriller. His recent books have focused on the Culper ring. In his latest, The House of Secrets, which he coauthored with Tod Goldberg, readers will appreciate a cameo by archivist Beecher White. Other than that, there's little connection, either in style or content, with the Culper ring.
Jack Nash is the long-time host of The House of Secrets, a TV show dedicated to uncovering the great mysteries of history. When he dies in a car accident, his daughter Hazel sets out to uncover some mysteries about her dad. The problem is that she was in the accident with him, and has lost a good deal of her memory.
The addition of Goldberg as a coauthor changes the style to a certain degree, but The House of Secrets is still very much Meltzer. The mystery they lay out, about Jack's killer, about the shows taped overseas, about the pages of Benedict Arnold's bible, and about Hazel herself and her memories, all combine for a convoluted story. I felt like the partial amnesia story element was contrived and didn't add that much to the story, other than slowing down the development. I did like the idea of Jack's show as a cover for CIA operations. Ultimately the revelations and resolution were unexpected but not impressive. By the time I got to that point, I wasn't all that interested.
The House of Secrets seemed like a step down from the Culper ring series, and certainly from some of Meltzer's earlier books. I think even die-hard Meltzer fans will be disappointed.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!