I just completed a week’s vacation where I did what I love to do most. And that is lay back and put my feet up with a good “escape” book. No heavy reading allowed on vacation. My favorite “get away from it all,” fiction fantasy escape is a good murder mystery. I am addicted to them. And among this genre my absolute favorite is the legal thriller or courtroom drama.
I have long since graduated from Perry Mason and Ellery Queen and now follow authors John Grisham, Scott Turow, David Baldacci, John Lescroart,and . These I can obtain at no cost from my local public library.
This vacation I picked up a book by Brad Meltzer. Although he is grouped with the legal thriller crowd I would classify his work as more of a puzzle thriller. What attracted me to Meltzer’s “The Book of FateContemporary Literature)” was the square and compasses pictured on the front cover.
The bad guy in this story is a mentally deranged fellow named Nico who thinks that the Freemasons are out to grab political power to destroy the earth. And the proof of their perfidy Nico says is the layout of the streets of Washington, D.C. and an upside down pentagram in a circle.
Connecting the dots of these landmarks on a D.C. map – One – Dupont Circle, two – Logan Circle, three – Washington Circle, four – Mount Vernon Square and five – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue gives you the upside down pentagram.
Then Nico says, “Start at the Capitol and run your finger down Pennsylvania Avenue, all the way to the Jefferson Memorial – his own shrine! Now go to Union Station and draw a line down Louisiana Avenue, then on the south side of the Capitol, draw another down Washington Avenue. The lines will connect in front of the Capitol.”
And what do you get? Nico’s friend who he is explaining all this to retorts, “The compass and square. The most sacred Masonic symbol………pointing right to the doorway of the White House….all that power in one place. Why would–? What’re they doing trying to take over the world?’
“No,” Nico said coldly, “They’re trying to destroy it. They want the Antichrist.”
The plot is very interesting and flows well. The story revolves around Presidential politics and a conspiratorial collusion of agents from the Secret Service, FBI and CIA selling to the White House information, mostly terrorist tips. There is plenty of spy stuff, intrigue and codes to be broken. But there really is no need for the Masonic conspiracy theory. In fact it doesn’t really fit and looks like it was just thrown into the middle of a story for effect or bias.
If you go to Meltzer’s website you can see, Masonic maps and members, some of which is also in the book.
But Meltzer says this on his website:
If you’re reading this, you’ve either read The Book of FateContemporary Literature)—or you’re now trying to ruin the Masonic surprises in The Book of Fate. Either way is fine, surprise-ruiner. We think the Freemasons are the ultra-coolest kids in the cafeteria—not just because they’re a secret fraternity (or as they like to say, a fraternity with secrets)—but because they’ve spent the past few centuries pulling off some of the most amazing and mind-blowing magic tricks right under all our noses.
GUESS WHO’S A MASON
The Freemasons are one of the world’s most secret and powerful fraternities. To this day, they wield their power in ways you’d never believe. But the question remains: who are their members? You won’t believe it.
I realize that this book is dated, released in 2006. Just the same it is evident that Meltzer is a conspiracy theorist and a Masonic detractor.
I don’t think I will be reading anymore of Mr. Meltzer’s books.