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Showing 1-10 of 644 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 785 reviews
on October 20, 2016
Tremendously interesting theme, but too many possible alternatives without a clear direction for the main character who just seems to stumble upon the correct course of action by happenstance thereby stretching the limits of credibility in the outcome. No one can be so obtuse and effective except the character of Beecher White. The overabundance of plot within plot sometimes makes the story too convoluted and detracts from the storyline.

All in all Meltzer does write a compelling story albeit difficult one to slog through, and finally leaves the reader on a very perilous cliff hanger to whet our appetite for the next chapter in Beecher White's progression as a member of the Culper Circle.
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2013
This book is the sequel to the author's "The Inner Circle", and retains most of the characters from that book. Once again our hero, Beecher White, an archivist at the National Archives in Washington (and the newest member of the Culper Ring) is thrust into the middle of some serious doings.

Ministers of churches often visited by presidents are being murdered in what appears to be an attempt at recreating the assassinations of the four presidents who were killed. Oddly enough, the murderer wears a plastic mask copied from Abraham Lincoln's likeness. Old friends, and enemies both old and new, fill these pages with surprises and suspense. Will Beecher and his cohorts in the Culper Ring be able to solve these murders before the sitting president, no friend of Beecher's, is assassinated? Also, who is this murderer who considers himself the latest member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret society that existed during (and after) the Civil War.

Complicating matters is the reappearance of Clementine, Beecher's first love and a strange character whose loyalties always seem to be questionable. Of course, there is Clementine's father, the hospitalized psychopath and killer Nico, who appears to have some connection to these murders. To these folks is added Marshall Lusk, a badly disfigured burn victim who was once abandoned by Beecher when he needed help, and which led to some dire consequences for several people. For whom is Marshall working, and could he be the Knight?

The questions and suspense go on and on, pulling the reader ever deeper into a complex mystery that may or may not have been resolved by the end of the book. To that end, I'm quite happy to look forward to the next installment of Beecher White's life and troubles.
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on July 20, 2017
Thoroughly enjoy the "Culper Ring" stories! They are wonderfully written -- vivid, full of twists and turns with well developed characters that one comes to feel genuine affection for and worry about. "The Fifth Assassin" is good fun and I hope Brad Meltzer will give us more exciting Beecher White stories!
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on October 4, 2016
Good book. I like Meltzer because of the uniqueness of his plots, fast pace and character development. He uses a common sense approach in in development of his plots. I felt comfortable reading his books and as always, I find it difficult putting them down.
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on April 27, 2013
A perfect sequel - it answers all my questions AND picks right up where the previous book left off. I assume a third book is on the way - as the second book ended with questions as well. This is a well-written, fast-paced thriller. The only reason this is four stars instead of five is I am still annoyed with the main character. The other characters keep referring to how bright and clever he is; but, I think he does some ridiculous stuff. He may be book smart; but, his common sense is definitely lacking! Minor quibble with an otherwise great story!
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on June 14, 2013
This book was fairly decent. I wouldn't rank it on my You MUST read this list, but it was a decent book It did feel rather long with it's 5 part assassinations broken out into books though. The story was a little choppy how it kept flip-flopping back and forth between the past and the present. You really had to pay attention to the chapter heading to know which part you were about to read. It was a little confusing.

Spoiler alert: The ending was less than impressive. I had to go back and reread it thinking.... wait.... did I miss something? It lacked the powerful ending I was expecting and not sure if it was intentionally left open to interpretation for a sequel or if the reader was meant to interpret it and make a presumption.

Seemed long a long, drawn out book, though it didn't lack excitement. There were a few surprise elements that I did NOT see coming, but with turns like that, I expected a great one at the end, that did not happen. A little bit of a let-down simply because of the ending.

Worth reading, but if you have other books in mind, this one can be left behind for later.
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on August 30, 2014
I HATE to pile on but I'm afraid the Culper Ring Series books (two so far) are too confusing for me. I've not been able to understand the connection between the original Culper Ring, organized by George Washington, and the group that apparently continued to function through the years - and perhaps is still going today. I also simply can't follow the ins and outs of the "bad guy imposter Culper Ring" and the "real" one. Ordinarily, that's part of the fun. In this case, after two books, it is just tedious and frustrating. The strength of these two books is the development of a few compelling central characters. In his next book, I hope that Mr. Meltzer will leave history behind and take these characters into a thrilling present day understandable story.
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on February 28, 2013
I purchased this book based on an NPR interview Meltzer did to promote the book. Having high regard for NPR and not knowing the author, I bought it without even sampling it. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed. At best it was an ok 'airplane' book but it reads like it was written based on a marketing survey. A very formula driven product. Designed as a page turner, the ending will of course leave you hanging, waiting for the sequel.
Just like " the DaVinci Codes", the book's hero is an academic type who must quickly identify and stop a member of a secret society from doing evil. It's loaded with secret symbols, a large cast of suspicious characters and many historical references.
If Meltzer is to be trusted without fact checking, he did plenty of history homework with the results sprinkled throughout the story which is what kept me going to the annoying end.
So, if you're looking for a Dan Brown knock-off, this is the choice for you. But if you're looking for writing equal in quality to John Le Carre or Martin Cruz Smith, you will be disappointed.
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on September 22, 2016
I usually don't read books of a political nature, but this series was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. She had loaned me the first book, which I almost didn't finish. However, after completing The Inner Circle I purchased the second book, which is this book. I thought it was better than the first, and now I am on to the third book, The President's Shadow. Each book has gotten better and more intriguing than the previous.
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on March 23, 2017
Unfortunately I read the third book before I read this one but it was still a thriller. Hope that Beecher continues in future novels.
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