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Meltzer's Detailed Research Yields 'Book of Fate'

Best-selling author Brad Meltzer says every one of his novels is "a lie that tries to sound like the truth."

To make sure it does, Meltzer does meticulous research.

His latest, The Book of Fate, explores the life of a former president.

The idea began with a fan letter from former President George H.W. Bush. Meltzer called back to first find out whether it was real -- then to say thanks and make a request.

Could he shadow former President Bush for a while?

The answer was "yes," and the result is a page-turning thriller about a trusted, young aide named Wes Holloway; the death (and mysterious return) of his friend, the victim of a crazed assassin; secrets embedded in Freemason history; and a 200-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson.

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