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The Inner Circle Hardcover – January 11, 2011


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100 M&T
100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446577898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446577892
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (429 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Review

"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci."—PEOPLE

"Meltzer is so good."—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"Meet the next John Grisham."—MIAMI HERALD

More About the Author

Questions from Readers for Brad Meltzer

Q
Brad I first was introduced to your work through your History Channel show. Being a college student who loves mysteries and comic books I was surprised to see your work with my DC Comics (my favorite comics)...Anyways I just finished reading Infinite...
JW Hamilton asked Jan 22, 2012
Author Answered

First, just marry me. I love all the people who have been trying out the books after watching the show. I will say, you can read the books in any order you want. Try The Inner Circle. And most important, thanks.

Brad Meltzer answered Jan 26, 2012

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Customer Reviews

I got 3/4 finished when I just plan trashed the book.
Kent Hutchison
You never feel like you really know most of the characters in this book.
W. Mackela
The book did not resolve any of the convoluted plot lines at the end.
B. Elder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer VINE VOICE on January 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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116 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Tina on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By M. Victoroff on January 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Normally, when a book proves itself to be non-entertaining and unreadable, I just quit. In this case, I was snowed in in the mountains and read all the way to the "end." ("End" is in quotes, because the story just stops during Chapter 121, with no resolution of any of its silly and implausible plotlines. It just stops like a 1940s serialized Saturday drama -- "What do you suppose will happen next week?") But, it's a relief to be done with it. There's no reason to start in the first place. An unappealing protagonist with no apparent virtues or competencies is the narrator at the center of this confused jumble of unpersuasive and virtually unconnected scenes. Meltzer trots out the laughable, "conspiracy-of-a-secret-society-whose-members-remain-active-today" gambit, and demonstrates his inability to ride it. Incoherent plotting, wretchedly awkward dialog and clumsy depictions of "action" scenes make this torture to read. Meltzer creates what he probably thinks is dramatic tension by never allowing a character to complete a sentence before being interrupted by another character with an emotional outburst. Physical fights, with and without weapons (with which Meltzer shows no famliarity), are ridiculously naive and unrealistic; verbal confrontations and expositions are stilted and implausible; sub-plots are irrelevant to each other; the main plot evolves from incomprehensible to silly. It's as if the author tossed together some discarded notes from different books that would never have been published and unified them by having the same group of clownish characters show up in scene after scene, wondering how they got there. Skip it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By rgregg VINE VOICE on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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