New Brad Meltzer...

So, I spent a long time on the hold list for this book at the library, having tried and enjoyed The Inner Circle.  Being a real sucker for a great thriller series, a la Brad Thor and the, sadly, late Vince Flynn, I figured this would be a good break from my World War I studies.

It was good...but took a little time to warm up to.  SO, here is what I think...and no, no major spoilers, so you're safe.

The GOOD:  Meltzer is a master of the plot pacing and plot twist.  I didn't see the end coming...even though you were sure (cuz Meltzer sets you up with a seemingly obvious trail of bread crumbs) you know what was gonna happen...BAMMO, he twists it around and you end up saying "NO WAY!" ...yes way.  Meltzer also does a good job of developing his characters and making them either believably BAD or GOOD or sorta morally ambivalent, depending on the character.  And of course some characters you just plain ol' aren't sure about.....and that's the mark of a good writer.

The NOT SO GOOD:  Ok, so the new thing in thriller writing is clearly the multi-POV novel.  James Patterson clearly loves this and seems to pull it off very well.  For the most part, Meltzer does too.  HOWEVER, not only does Meltzer try to dazzle us with changing POV during the story, he also tries to weave in character back story and historical tidbits.  Some of this works, some of it, quite frankly made me flip back and forth to figure out what time period we were in.  Like chili pepper and adobe, one can use both techniques, but they should be used with discretion...if I were snarky, I would say the Brad is trying too hard to dazzle us got me man, I have the book, you don't need to show off so much.

That being said, I won't spoil anything to say that Mr. Meltzer has a franchise going here...and it's a good one cuz yes I will read the next one...but only because I am a total sucker for good historical conspiracy books and thriller books and Brad does a nice job of integrating both.  Ok, so if I was honest, I would probably read Brad Thor or JD Robb first, but since Vince Flynn will regrettably not be writing any more books...unless the publishers find someone to pick up that mantle (hmmmmm)...Mr. Meltzer may have moved into 3rd place for required Grouchy Historian fiction...and that ain't too shabby.