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The Inner Circle (The Culper Ring Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Brad Meltzer
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (503 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description


The best-kept secret of the U.S. Presidency is about to be revealed.

"There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I love those stories. And since I work in the National Archives, I find those stories for a living."

Beecher White, a young archivist, spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government. He has always been the keeper of other people's stories, never a part of the story himself . . .

Until now.

When Clementine Kaye, Beecher's first childhood crush, shows up at the National Archives asking for his help tracking down her long-lost father, Beecher tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the President of the United States privately reviews classified documents. After they accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact-a two-hundred-year-old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington-hidden underneath a desk chair, Beecher and Clementine find themselves suddenly entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder.

Soon a man is dead and Beecher is on the run as he races to learn the truth behind this mysterious national treasure. His search will lead him to discover a coded and ingenious puzzle that conceals a disturbing secret from the founding of our nation. It is a secret, Beecher soon discovers, that some believe is worth killing for.

Gripping, fast-paced, and filled with the fascinating historical detail for which he is famous, THE INNER CIRCLE is a thrilling novel that once again proves Brad Meltzer as a brilliant author, writing at the height of his craft.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Booklist

    In this political thriller with historical-conspiracy overtones (or perhaps it’s the other way around), Meltzer creates his most engaging protagonist in years. Beecher White is an archivist with the National Archives, who stumbles upon an old book hidden away in a room used exclusively by the president. But did the president know that the book (a spelling dictionary that once belonged to George Washington) was there? And—almost impossible for Beecher to imagine—could it be that the president or someone close to him is willing to kill to regain possession of the book? Meltzer teams Beecher with an equally strong character, Clementine Kaye, a woman from the archivist’s past whose estranged father is, perhaps not coincidentally, the man who tried to kill the current president’s predecessor. Meltzer expertly develops the story, throwing in twists and turns at appropriate intervals, and he does an excellent job of putting us in Beecher’s corner and making us care about what happens to him. The story has a surprising and satisfying conclusion, and Meltzer leaves the door wide open for a sequel. --David Pitt


    Praise for Brad Meltzer -- : 'Breakneck ... an action-packed read' -- Mail on Sunday on DEAD EVEN 'This is non-stop, well researched action that does not insult the intelligence. The scenarios are credible, the tension excruciating and the ending slaps you in the face.' -- Guardian on THE ZERO GAME 'Meltzer has mastered the art of baiting and hooking readers into a fast moving plot' -- USA Today 'All the twists and turns that you might expect of a Dan Brown acolyte' -- Daily Express on THE BOOK OF FATE 'Grisham had better beware for there's a new kid on the block' -- The Irish Times

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1300 KB
    • Print Length: 455 pages
    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 11, 2011)
    • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0047Y174I
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,146 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    181 of 192 people found the following review helpful
    Like most Brad Meltzer books, The Inner Circle concerns a bright young man who works in Washington, DC. This time, instead of working on Capitol Hill (The Zero Game) or at the Supreme Court (The Tenth Justice), our "hero" works in the National Archives. (I can't help but wonder if Meltzer is running out of high-powered DC settings for his characters. Yet, sadly, the setting of the National Archives was the most exciting aspect of the book for me.) Beecher White is a serious young man who is struggling to recover from a recent split with his fiancee. His path to recovery is helped when his childhood crush, Clementine Kaye, shows up and asks for his help in tracking down her long-lost father.

    Although Beecher and Clementine haven't seen each other since high school, Beecher has never really gotten over his crush. During a tour of the archives, Beecher tries to impress Clementine by showing her the secret vault where the president reviews classified documents. However, while inside the vault, they stumble across a hidden document--a dictionary that belonged to George Washington. Although their find seems innocuous at first, within moments a man turns up dead. Beecher and Clementine seem to have stumbled into a high-level conspiracy linked to the President ... but who is involved and what do they want? And what does an old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington have to do with it? As Beecher and Clementine struggle to find out what is going on, things get more convoluted and confusing (for Beecher as well as the reader). As events unfold, Beecher begins to question the motives of everyone around him, including Clementine.
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    118 of 130 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! January 13, 2011
    By Tina
    Once upon a time I was a huge fan of Brad Meltzer and then I hit a few of his books that were not as entertaining and I stopped reading his stuff.

    However, the Inner Circle sounded like a great read and I found myself completely engrossed in the storyline from the very first few pages. Of course, there has been, of late, a huge increase in the "historical - present day' type of novel - easily compared to the DaVinci Code (which I hated by the way) and Inner Circle reminded me of this type of genre.

    Actually the storyline is quite clever if a little far fetched. Our main character Benjamin meets up with his long lost Clementine who is asking for his help. As it turns out Benjamin's job is about old documents and archives, some of which are directly associated with the President.

    While Benjamin is trying to impress Clementine by showing her a vault where the President reads classified and, for the most part, priceless documents, they `discover' an old dictionary and immediately start to wonder why the President would have kept it from being discovered.

    Yep, like I said the storyline is just a tad `out there, but I have to say that I completely loved to read this book. The pace is perfect and the suspense is extremely engrossing. I found myself anticipating the next move (and the next page).

    The ride is a little crazy and I loved every moment of it. It kind of reminded me of the National Treasure movies - completely off the wall and so much fun that I have rewatched them over and over again - much like this book I suspect.
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    18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars What the??? January 30, 2011
    Brad Meltzer is a fine author and I devoured this book in a few days but after it was over my only thought was that I had wasted those few days on a book that held so much promise, was quite a page turner, had a unique plot but went into a deep hole of incomprehension and stupidity. I hated myself for having a hard time putting this book down yet never figuring out what it was all about.
    Essentially, it is a story about an archivist for the U.S. Government who stumbles upon a secret hidden within a book that leads to a plot involving the President of the United States, past Presidents and a number of both unsavory and decent characters who populate this often confusing novel. One of them is a childhood sweetheart who has secrets of her own and another involves an elderly archivist who seems to know an awful lot about the conspiracies taking place as well as the people involved. Yet another is an accused assassin who resides in one of the lowest security mental institutions on the face of the earth.
    The essence of the story surrounds The Culper Ring who comprise of ...well if I say too much, it will give away too much plot and frankly, I was so confused about who The Culper Ring were that I couldn't even explain it if I want. Apparently the Culper Ring is based upon historic fact but Meltzer fails to make the history come alive in this complex mess.
    Meltzer ends almost each of the 121 chapters with some sort of cliff hanging sentence or event. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these are horrible red herrings that lead to nowhere. The dialog is excruciating at times are as the convoluted explanations by many of the characters as to their motivations, theories, and feelings. Just when you think the bad guy is good or the good guy is bad, Meltzer turns the tables...
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing to the Max
    Truly lousy. Meltzer was at one time a pretty good crafter of a story. Not so in this effort. I tried and TRIED to read this and gave up after 200+ pages of agony. Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Sandra A. Carey
    3.0 out of 5 stars Pedantic
    Good plot, but too much fluff and unnecessary dialogue.
    Published 4 days ago by Bill
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I hope that all of his books are this good.
    Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, GREAT
    Could not put this down. Moved right to Brad Meltzer's next book in series.

    Published 17 days ago by Cindy and Roger Huseman
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, not sure if actually new though
    I love this series and accidentally stumbled upon a later edition book when I was in Costco and read the back and was like I have to read this. Read more
    Published 19 days ago by ffgggg
    5.0 out of 5 stars This book was grand fun.. lots of twists and turns and true ...
    This book was grand fun..lots of twists and turns and true Brad Meltzer style..thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
    Published 21 days ago by S. Haas
    4.0 out of 5 stars Another genre to explore
    Found it interesting. The subject matter is like nothing I have read before. I am into the second book and even more captured.
    Published 23 days ago by Kathleen M Miller
    2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time.
    First time that I didn't finish a book.
    Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down!
    Well written, colorful characters and twists and turns along the way! I couldn't put this book down - wanted to find out what was just around the corner. The action never stopped.
    Published 25 days ago by Jennifer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    kept me interested
    Published 27 days ago by Marjorie W.
    Search Customer Reviews
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    More About the Author

    Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle and The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and The Book of Lies. He is also the author of the nonfiction bestsellers, Heroes For My Son and Heroes For My Daughter, collecting heroes from Jim Henson, to Rosa Parks, to Mr. Rogers. Brad is also the host of the History Channel TV show, Brad Meltzer's Decoded -- one of the co-creators of the TV show, "Jack & Bobby" -- and is the #1 selling author of the critically-acclaimed comic books, Identity Crisis and Justice League of America, for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award. His newest book, The Fifth Assassin, will be published in January 2013.

    Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. You can find him regularly on or at

    For authenticity, The Book of Fate was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. He was selected by the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists can attack the US. The Inner Circle is about a young archivist in the National Archives who finds out that George Washington's secret spy ring still exists to this very day.

    His books have spent nearly a year on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig." In the Hebrew translation, it became: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse." We're not sure if it's a kosher thing or what.

    Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's Celebrity and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. He also co-wrote the oath that the President of the United States gives to all AmeriCorps members. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko's.

    Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who's also an attorney.

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    Topic From this Discussion
    Same here. I will not purchase this e-book at this price.
    Jan 11, 2011 by Gregr209 |  See all 11 posts
    Kindle version> Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer
    I felt the same--missing the 2nd half of the book--called kindle helpline--was told many readers called with same complaint
    Apr 1, 2011 by marie figueroa |  See all 3 posts
    (Spoiler Alert) Clementine's Doings, etc. (do not look if you plan to... Be the first to reply
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