The Escape Artist

The Escape Artist

by Brad Meltzer
4.6 18


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The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer

"Meltzer is a master and this is his best. Not since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo have you seen a character like this. Get ready to meet Nola. If you've never tried Meltzer, this is the one."—Harlan Coben

Nola is a mystery
Nola is trouble.
And Nola is supposed to be dead.

Her body was found on a plane that mysteriously fell from the sky as it left a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. Her commanding officer verifies she's dead. The US government confirms it. But Jim "Zig" Zigarowski has just found out the truth: Nola is still alive. And on the run.

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 U.S. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455559527
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Pages: 434
Sales rank: 356
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and seven other bestselling thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for nonfiction (History Decoded), advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), children's books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even graphic books (Justice League of America). He is also the host of Brad Meltzer's Decoded on the History Channel, and Brad Meltzer's Lost History on H2. He currently lives in Florida. You can find much more about him at You can also see what he's doing right now at and on Twitter @bradmeltzer.



Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University

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The Escape Artist 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous 16 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. Fast pace and kept my attention.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Great book, I could’ve put it down!!!
Anonymous 10 days ago
Captivating. Have not been so invested in reading a book for at least 4 years now.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Awesome book. Ready to re-read.
Anonymous 14 days ago
A new genre in a crowded field. Solid read and well written
Anonymous 2 days ago
Want to read more
Anonymous 2 days ago
Hardly his best work. Too many coincidences and the final fight scene improbable and too predictable.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Great book!!
Anonymous 7 days ago
Not spectacular, but holds the reader's interest.
Anonymous 8 days ago
Enjoyed, fast read
TudorRose 11 days ago
I love a great suspense novel and am a huge history buff, so I have been eagerly anticipating Brad Meltzer’s newest political thriller, THE ESCAPE ARTIST. Full of plot twists and the arcane historical knowledge he is known for, Meltzer introduces two new characters in his new novel. Jim “Zig” Zigarowski is a mortician working at Dover Air Force Base. Nola Brown, a trained soldier and the US Army’s artist-in-residence, is presumed dead in a plane crash in Alaska. Among the victims of the downed plane is the Librarian of Congress, leading Zig to question the motives of those on board, especially when he realizes that the body identified as Nola Brown can’t be her. As the plot advances, Zig and his colleagues at Dover discover connections to famed magician, Harry Houdini and his associates. Meltzer has created two of his most unique and enjoyable characters to date. Zig, divorced and mourning the loss of his young daughter, loses himself in his work of preparing and caring for the bodies of our soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Nola Brown’s story slowly unfolds through the course of the novel and something in her past connects her to the mystery at the center of the book. Zig and Nola work together, at times grudgingly, to put the pieces of the puzzle together and put themselves in the line of fire. I loved the fast paced plotting of the novel and really enjoyed getting to know these two new characters. I hope that this is the start of a new series and would really like to see where Zig and Nola go from here. Perfect for fans of Dan Brown or Stieg Larsson, this book was a very entertaining read and doesn’t disappoint. I give THE ESCAPE ARTIST a solid 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. I was given an advance copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous 12 days ago
Anonymous 14 days ago
This is the best one yet!!
Anonymous 14 days ago
MonnieR 17 days ago
Murder, deeply hidden political secrets, interesting but emotionally scarred characters and a unique setting - who could ask for more? Me, actually; I'm thinking (make that hoping) this marks the start of a great new series. The intriguing setting is Dover Air Force Base, where exceptionally talented mortician and beekeeper Jim "Zig" Zigarowski lovingly works on the bodies of fallen soldiers and not a few of the U.S. government's high-profile deaths (bringing to mind a male take on Patricia Cornwell's medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta - a long-time favorite series of mine, BTW). As the story begins, a plane has crashed in a remote part of Alaska, killing everyone on board; among the bodies identified by the government and Zig's superiors is Sgt. Nola Brown. Turns out Zig knows her from 10-or-so years ago, when she saved the life of Zig's daughter. But as he begins to restore her body to viewing order, he realizes that the woman he's working on definitely is not Nola. But if not Nola, who? Why are the powers-that-be intent on making the rest of the world believe it's her? And perhaps more important, where is the real Nola and what is she up to? Because of his past connection, Zig is determined to find her and get to the truth despite warnings from the people he considers to be his friends. What he first learns is that Nola held an enviable position - that of artist-in-residence for the U.S. Army. As a highly trained soldier, she goes into battle zones to create realistic and minds-eye paintings of scenes that showcase details even photographs may not reveal. Most likely, Zig concludes, it was Nola's observations in the Alaska wilderness that made her a target. Following that lead, however, puts Zig himself (surprise!) in places he probably shouldn't be, thus in the crosshairs of some very dangerous people - and conjures up top-secret historical connections between the government and the late Harry Houdini, considered by many to be the world's greatest (insert book title here). It also puts him at odds with Nola herself, who is less than thrilled at being reminded of anything from her troubled past, which readers learn about via flashback chapters. The ending brings a few twists and offers a ray of hope that indeed, this will be a series; if so, I'll be among the first in line when the next installment is available. Meantime, many thanks to the publisher (via NetGalley) for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this one in exchange for an honest review.
Zot79 17 days ago
One of those books that keeps you guessing right up until the end, when you tell yourself "I should have seen that coming." But you won't. Brad Meltzer loads up the story with distinct and interesting characters and keeps up a magician's patter of interesting facts to distract you as he spins a complex tale. It's a mystery wrapped in a thriller wrapped in tragedy. And it works. Disclosure: Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Finished chapter five and hungry hungry for more.
Anonymous 4 days ago