Brad Meltzer
Grand Central Publishing 2018
416 pages

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer is a good page turner. It is also quite an original mystery novel as it is about Zig an embalmer working for the army who one day comes across the body of Nola Brown, someone who once saved his daughter’s life but that body and that someone are not the same person. Zig sets out to find where and who the real Nola Brown is. This of course opens quite a can of worms a lot of people would like to see closed, preferably with Nola Brown in it. The Escape Artist on Kindle

This is the first thriller I read featuring an embalmer and the army’s Artist in Residence, in this case Nola Brown. Everything revolves around a plane crash in Alaska that cost the life of the President’s closest friend, the head of the Library of Congress. Also on board were people who only existed some hundred years ago as all the names on the manifest are those belonging to friends of the late Harry Houdini.

Zig figures out the reason why the passengers were using the aliases, the history behind what is known as Bluebook, and also learns of the violent path soldier and artist Nola Brown leaves behind her. Chapters about Nola’s childhood after she was traded to a man named Royall where she was a child balance out those about Zig as The Escape Artist as both are main characters in a complicated tale.

Brad Meltzer weaves a complex narrative here but never loses the reader. If you are looking for something different from the usual thriller, The Escape Artist is sure to please.