PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK TRAIL
“The Secrets of All Secrets” (2017), by Douglas Wells, cleverly weaves together wit, satire, and mystery to immerse the reader in a rollicking adventure. The reader first meets Zane, a musician and seminary school dropout. Questioning his future and the direction of his life, he receives a simple thumb drive from a mysterious messenger.
Curious, Zane inserts the drive in his computer and is offered the adventure of a lifetime: “You have been entrusted to learn “The Secrets of All Secrets.” Once you know them, you will know everything. To deny the opportunity to learn “The Secrets of All Secrets” will leave you haunted and feeling soulless, your life meaningless, for the remainder of your days.” Who could resist!
Zane is later joined by Dali, who also mysteriously received a thumb drive with the same alluring offer. At first meeting, the pair disliked each other, but the impulse to discover secrets is so overwhelming they join to solve the mystery. Zane and Dali are interesting and believable “everyday Joe” characters who are shadowed by government agents, the hired hand of a major corporation, and two anti-government separatists. These pursuers represent those in today’s society who would also like to have possession of “The Secrets of All Secrets” to use for their own benefit. Zane and Dali stay just a few steps ahead of their stalkers throughout their escapades as they journey through Florida’s north and learn about themselves and each other along the way. Wells does an excellent job of not taking the mystery adventure genre too seriously, yet giving the reader a mystery and a laugh at the same time. A great story!
ABOUT SCOTT KIRKMAN
Scott Kirkman is a professor in the Digital Media Program at Gulf Coast State College. He is also the station manager for WKGC 90.7 FM and HD. He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Business from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and a master’s of arts degree from Florida Atlantic University. Scott enjoys music, reading, and relaxing with his family.