The Escape Artist
written by Brad Meltzer
ISBN 10: 1455559520
ISBN 13: 978-1455559527
Grand Central Publishing
Question: What do you get when you combine a mortician with high-level security access, a presumed dead military artist, and Harry Houdini? Answer: Brad Meltzer's new novel "The Escape Artist."
Many top-shelf, best-selling authors have weighed in, giving The Escape Artist high marks. I noticed they seemed to concentrate on Nola as the star. While it is obvious Nola will be the central character of this new series, In my opinion, Zig stold her thunder this time. Don't get me wrong, I found Nola interesting if somewhat cookie-cutter predictable. I can definitely see her shedding the GI Jane facade and letting readers get to know her in future novels.
Zig is a military mortician. He is stationed at a top-secret base, with high-level security clearance and takes his responsibility to the fallen and to their family very seriously. He works a special kind of mortician's magic to reconstruct, rebuild and hide horrific, catastrophic wounds. He knows, all too well how difficult it is when you lose a loved one to find any matter of closure. It is this personal loss, the nagging grief that Zig is carrying that makes him a relatable, every-day kind-of-character.
What follows is a fast paced, all Meltzer all the way style novel. In addition to penning best sellers, Brad Meltzer is known for chasing historical stories and finding lost treasures. His ability to weave a nod to some long-ago story into an action-packed, suspense-thriller is unparalleled. You will not find another book on the shelf quite like this one. The Escape Artist holds your attention, keeps you turning the pages and is one heck of an introduction to a new series. If you're looking for a realistic, docu-drama type read, this isn't for you. But if you are looking for a book that will entertain you for a few hours and leave you wanting to go further with the characters - you will enjoy The Escape Artist.
Nola is supposed to be dead.
Zig works at Dover Air Force Base, helping put to rest the bodies of those who die on top-secret missions. Nola was a childhood friend of Zig's daughter and someone who once saved his daughter's life. So when Zig realizes Nola is still alive, he's determined to find her. Yet as Zig digs into Nola's past, he learns that trouble follows Nola everywhere she goes.
Nola is the US Army's artist-in-residence-a painter and trained soldier who rushes into battle, making art from war's aftermath and sharing observations about today's wars that would otherwise go overlooked. On her last mission, Nola saw something nobody was supposed to see, earning her an enemy unlike any other, one who will do whatever it takes to keep Nola quiet.
Together, Nola and Zig will either reveal a sleight of hand being played at the highest levels of power or die trying to uncover the US Army's most mysterious secret-a centuries-old conspiracy that traces back through history to the greatest escape artist of all: Harry Houdini.