The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time: Decoding History’s Unsolved Mysteries, by Brad Meltzer

Seven stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Brad Meltzer, and Workman Publishing Company for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

One would think that I might tire reading about conspiracies, as we are in the midst of some doozies in the form of COVID-19 and the 2020 US Presidential Election. That being said, when I noticed Brad Meltzer was putting something together, I could not help myself. A longtime fan of Metlzer’s fiction work, I was eager to see what he would uncover, which might prove to be highly entertaining and easier to digest, while still being non-fiction. Likely pleasing to many who love conspiracies, but perhaps a little too primer for my liking.

Brad Meltzer has spread himself out greatly over the last number of years, including a television project called Decoded, which explores conspiracy theories. This book is almost a published account of ten of the largest conspiracies that Meltzer and his team discovered. They look at John Wilkes Booth’s life post- Lincoln assassination, a supposed gold cache still hidden throughout the US as part of a Confederate stockpile, and even the truth behind what’s actually going on in Fort Knox. Meltzer and his team offer some interesting theories, seeking to balance them out for everyone to feel appeased, without getting too meaty in their analysis. Tossing out a few more, which include Roswell and Area 51, as well as the JFK Assassination, Meltzer and his team seek to win over a larger audience by pulling back the proverbial curtain and tossing out many ideas that could hold some truth to them. Interesting, for sure, but not what I would call a compelling read for me.

While I have never had an issue with Brad Meltzer and his writing, I may stick to his fiction going forward. While I love his inquisitive mind and how he could likely weave it into a great piece of fiction, I found this too ‘made for television’ to really hold my attention. It read almost like a script for one of his shows (admittedly, I have not seen it, so I cannot speak with confidence). The theories are sound and the proof seems plausible, but this is a primer and I needed more meat. I have been forced to digest so many conspiracies of late (see above) that I want proof and not just supposition. Presented well, this will appeal to those who have a strong love of Meltzer’s television work and I applaud him for targeting his audience. For me, just not a stellar piece.

Kudos, Mr. Meltzer, for a great effort and some significant work. I hope many find something they enjoyed herein.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: