Meltzer (The President’s Shadow, 2015, etc.) and Goldberg (Gangsterland, 2014, etc.) team up to uncover a vast international conspiracy tracing its roots back to everyone’s favorite turncoat, Benedict Arnold.
When she regains consciousness in a Los Angeles hospital eight days after her father died behind the wheel of a car she and her brother were riding in, there are a lot of things Hazel-Ann Nash doesn’t remember. But she does remember that 30 years ago, when she was only 6, Jack Nash, host of the TV conspiracy-investigation series The House of Secrets, posed her a riddle: how did a Bible originally belonging to Benedict Arnold make its way into the chest cavity of a dead man nearly 200 years ago? Since Skip Nash, whom his father had featured on the show for years, is clearly planning to deal with Jack’s death in his own way, Hazel responds to FBI agent Trevor Rabkin’s news that her father was poisoned with the villainous toxin Polosis 5 a few days after meeting with Spokane maintenance engineer Darren Nixon, another victim of Polosis 5, by deciding to investigate on her own. Rabkin has his own ideas about that decision as well as the resources to back them up. Half a world away, an assassin called The Bear is making his own plans, which involve killing New Haven realtor Arthur Kennedy, dressing him in a Continental Army uniform, leaving him in a ditch in Dubai, and luring Skip to Kennedy’s hotel. Things get more complicated, then more rational, but never remotely believable.
“When you’ve faced the impossible, it’s usually because someone’s lying,” the traumatized heroine is assured. True enough. The apparently formidable premise behind this tale dissolves in a shower of lies, and the ambitious plot sags as the principals crisscross the globe pumping up their frequent flier miles.