Review: The House of Secrets

The House of Secrets - Brad Meltzer, Tod Goldberg

* Review copy provided by NetGalley *

A host of a popular TV show about conspiracies and famous mysteries is perhaps mixed up in a conspiracy himself.

When Hazel is six years old her father Jack Nash tells her a story.  It’s a riddle really, or is it?  About a frozen dead man and a bible originally belonging to Benedict Arnold.

Hazel wakes up in a hospital with injuries from a car accident.  She has issues with her memory, including those about people.

She notices there's a man with a gun who stands outside her room.  She doesn't know who he is or why he is there.

Her brother Skip asks her if she remembers Darren Nixon.  She doesn't, and her brother then refuses to enlighten her.

"You brought him up for a reason, Skip.  Tell me who Darren Nixon is."

"Skip, there's a computer in the waiting room.  Plus every nurse on the floor has a phone with a Web browser on it.  You can tell me now or I can go out there and look him up myself."

Then she proceeds to yell at the guy with the gun, who clearly is trying to remain aloof, at least from her.

'"I know you heard me!" she added, louder than ever. "I'll keep yelling until someone puts it into Google! Darren Nixon! Darren Nixon! Spelled D-A-R-R-E-N-!"

This is where I found I already liked Hazel.  

Hazel is an interesting character, and I did really like her.  There are big gaps in her memory, which is part of her own personal mystery to solve.  She's complex, and not all sunshine and roses.

But after coming to in the hospital she realizes there are things going on, mysteries to solve, that have a lot to do with her father.  How much does her brother Skip know?  She can’t even remember if she trusts Skip, or how she felt about him.

The blurb explains the basic plot, so I won’t rehash that.  What I will say is I stayed up way too late reading this book because I really wanted to know the answers to the mysteries.  It kept me engrossed and interested.  It’s a twisty story with some surprises, and people aren’t always what they appear at first.

It’s well written and well-paced.  I never felt it was dragging.

Political thrillers really aren’t my cup of tea, but this book isn’t really a political thriller.  It’s definitely in the Suspense/Mystery/Thriller category, but it’s more about a family, a daughter learning her father may have been mixed up in something mysterious and needing to find out what it was and what is going on.  A brother who may have secrets of his own.

I really enjoyed this one.

“Just because something seemed implausible didn’t mean it wasn’t true.”

Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.