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Inner Circle

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Customer Review Snapshot

3.3 out of 5 stars
31 total reviews
5 stars
4
4 stars
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3 stars
13
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5
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1
Most helpful positive review
Beecher White loves his job as a researcher at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. "As they told me when I first started as an archivist three years ago," says Beecher, "the Archives is our nation's attic. A ten-billion-document scrapbook with nearly every vital file, record, and report that the government produces. No question, that means this is a building full of secrets. Some big, some small. But every day, I get to unearth another one." In Brad Meltzer's new political thriller, "The Inner Circle," a 26 year-old secret threatens to derail a presidency wrought with lies and deceptions and pits the survival of the president against the preservation of his office. When Beecher's old flame, Clementine Kaye, asks him to help her search for the identity of her deceased father, Beecher tries to impress her by sneaking into a SCIF-Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility-used by the President of the United States, Orson Wallace, for viewing top secret documents. Clementine inadvertently knocks over the President's chair and discovers a tattered and mostly gutted old "Entick's New Spelling Dictionary" hidden in its bottom. On close inspection Beecher finds an inscription on the book's inside front cover: Existus Acta Probat. The outcome justifies the deed. Beecher instantly recognizes the motto as an aphorism used by George Washington on his bookplates and concludes that the original owner of the book was, in all probability, our first president. Because the book was concealed, Beecher also presumes that it is serving a clandestine purpose. Beecher's security guard friend, Orlando, instantly grasps the implication of the discovery and yanks the security system's videotape so that no one will discover that they were there. Beecher stashes the dictionary under his blue lab coat and pulls Clementine from the room. Soon after, Orlando is found dead under suspicious circumstances. Beecher shares the old dictionary with his mentor and fellow archivist Aristotle "Tot" Westman and they discover that the relic was used by Washington in 1775 to communicate with his Culper Ring, a small band of loyalists who spied on the British during the Revolutionary War. "The Culper Ring weren't soldiers. They were normal people-a group no one could possibly know-even Washington didn't know their names. That way they could never be infiltrated-no one, not even the commander-in-chief, knew who was in it." When Tot checks the archive's records he finds that that the old dictionary has been checked out by someone named Dustin Gyrich 14 times in 14 weeks, each time coinciding with a Presidential visit to the SCIF. Further research shows that Gyrich has been checking out books in the National Archives for over a hundred and fifty years. In "The Inner Circle" the Culper Ring didn't disband after the Colonies beat the British. This secret organization is still going strong and Beecher's discovery of the 200 year-old dictionary triggers a chain of events that brings to light the permanency of the spy ring and tests the very cannons upon which our country was founded. Beecher could not foresee that he and Clementine had stumbled upon a presidential secret so important it could place their lives in jeopardy. From the first page "The Inner Circle" is a high energy adventure that draws upon interesting and little-known historical facts, taking the possibilities of the future and the certainties of the present and intertwining them with the secrets of the past. As with all of this author's thrillers, the plot and sub-plots twist and turn as the story unfolds, making it impossible for the reader to guess the outcome. Meltzer resurrects his evil character Nico from "The Book of Fate" as Clementine's father and cleverly uses him as an omniscient narrator to decipher and reveal the old dictionary's hidden missives. As a thriller, "The Inner Circle" is an absorbing read. The author's view of history adds a fascinating dimension to the story. One of Beecher's co-workers illustrates Meltzer's take on the history-making process. ". . . history isn't just something that's written. It's a selection process. It chooses moments, and events, and yes, people-and it hands them a situation they should never be able to overcome. It happens to millions of us every single day. But the only ones we read about are the ones who face that situation, and fight that situation, and find out who they really are." "The Inner Circle" is a very well crafted story with authentic characters and a clever plot. This is a thriller that probes the dark side of political omnipotence and leaves the reader with an uneasy feeling that perhaps it is all too real.

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The Inner Circle

Specifications

Series Title
Beecher White
Book Format
Hardcover
Number of Pages
449
Author
Brad Meltzer
ISBN-13
9780340840146
Publication Date
March, 2011
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.41 x 6.42 x 1.57 Inches
ISBN-10
0340840145

Customer Reviews

5 stars
4
4 stars
8
3 stars
13
2 stars
5
1 star
1
Most helpful positive review
Beecher White loves hi...
Beecher White loves his job as a researcher at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. "As they told me when I first started as an archivist three years ago," says Beecher, "the Archives is our nation's attic. A ten-billion-document scrapbook with nearly every vital file, record, and report that the government produces. No question, that means this is a building full of secrets. Some big, some small. But every day, I get to unearth another one." In Brad Meltzer's new political thriller, "The Inner Circle," a 26 year-old secret threatens to derail a presidency wrought with lies and deceptions and pits the survival of the president against the preservation of his office. When Beecher's old flame, Clementine Kaye, asks him to help her search for the identity of her deceased father, Beecher tries to impress her by sneaking into a SCIF-Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility-used by the President of the United States, Orson Wallace, for viewing top secret documents. Clementine inadvertently knocks over the President's chair and discovers a tattered and mostly gutted old "Entick's New Spelling Dictionary" hidden in its bottom. On close inspection Beecher finds an inscription on the book's inside front cover: Existus Acta Probat. The outcome justifies the deed. Beecher instantly recognizes the motto as an aphorism used by George Washington on his bookplates and concludes that the original owner of the book was, in all probability, our first president. Because the book was concealed, Beecher also presumes that it is serving a clandestine purpose. Beecher's security guard friend, Orlando, instantly grasps the implication of the discovery and yanks the security system's videotape so that no one will discover that they were there. Beecher stashes the dictionary under his blue lab coat and pulls Clementine from the room. Soon after, Orlando is found dead under suspicious circumstances. Beecher shares the old dictionary with his mentor and fellow archivist Aristotle "Tot" Westman and they discover that the relic was used by Washington in 1775 to communicate with his Culper Ring, a small band of loyalists who spied on the British during the Revolutionary War. "The Culper Ring weren't soldiers. They were normal people-a group no one could possibly know-even Washington didn't know their names. That way they could never be infiltrated-no one, not even the commander-in-chief, knew who was in it." When Tot checks the archive's records he finds that that the old dictionary has been checked out by someone named Dustin Gyrich 14 times in 14 weeks, each time coinciding with a Presidential visit to the SCIF. Further research shows that Gyrich has been checking out books in the National Archives for over a hundred and fifty years. In "The Inner Circle" the Culper Ring didn't disband after the Colonies beat the British. This secret organization is still going strong and Beecher's discovery of the 200 year-old dictionary triggers a chain of events that brings to light the permanency of the spy ring and tests the very cannons upon which our country was founded. Beecher could not foresee that he and Clementine had stumbled upon a presidential secret so important it could place their lives in jeopardy. From the first page "The Inner Circle" is a high energy adventure that draws upon interesting and little-known historical facts, taking the possibilities of the future and the certainties of the present and intertwining them with the secrets of the past. As with all of this author's thrillers, the plot and sub-plots twist and turn as the story unfolds, making it impossible for the reader to guess the outcome. Meltzer resurrects his evil character Nico from "The Book of Fate" as Clementine's father and cleverly uses him as an omniscient narrator to decipher and reveal the old dictionary's hidden missives. As a thriller, "The Inner Circle" is an absorbing read. The author's view of history adds a fascinating dimension to the story. One of Beecher's co-workers illustrates Meltzer's take on the history-making process. ". . . history isn't just something that's written. It's a selection process. It chooses moments, and events, and yes, people-and it hands them a situation they should never be able to overcome. It happens to millions of us every single day. But the only ones we read about are the ones who face that situation, and fight that situation, and find out who they really are." "The Inner Circle" is a very well crafted story with authentic characters and a clever plot. This is a thriller that probes the dark side of political omnipotence and leaves the reader with an uneasy feeling that perhaps it is all too real.
Most helpful negative review
This was a miss with a...
This was a miss with a convoluted plot held together by a mostly useless secret society. Too many scenes stretched plausibility. I wanted to abandon it several times, but persevered in hopes that Mr. Meltzer would come through with a winner in the end. Not so. I can only hope that there's no sequel, but I see this book described as "Beecher White #1". Perhaps he'll develop into a more interesting character.
Most helpful positive review
Beecher White loves hi...
Beecher White loves his job as a researcher at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. "As they told me when I first started as an archivist three years ago," says Beecher, "the Archives is our nation's attic. A ten-billion-document scrapbook with nearly every vital file, record, and report that the government produces. No question, that means this is a building full of secrets. Some big, some small. But every day, I get to unearth another one." In Brad Meltzer's new political thriller, "The Inner Circle," a 26 year-old secret threatens to derail a presidency wrought with lies and deceptions and pits the survival of the president against the preservation of his office. When Beecher's old flame, Clementine Kaye, asks him to help her search for the identity of her deceased father, Beecher tries to impress her by sneaking into a SCIF-Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility-used by the President of the United States, Orson Wallace, for viewing top secret documents. Clementine inadvertently knocks over the President's chair and discovers a tattered and mostly gutted old "Entick's New Spelling Dictionary" hidden in its bottom. On close inspection Beecher finds an inscription on the book's inside front cover: Existus Acta Probat. The outcome justifies the deed. Beecher instantly recognizes the motto as an aphorism used by George Washington on his bookplates and concludes that the original owner of the book was, in all probability, our first president. Because the book was concealed, Beecher also presumes that it is serving a clandestine purpose. Beecher's security guard friend, Orlando, instantly grasps the implication of the discovery and yanks the security system's videotape so that no one will discover that they were there. Beecher stashes the dictionary under his blue lab coat and pulls Clementine from the room. Soon after, Orlando is found dead under suspicious circumstances. Beecher shares the old dictionary with his mentor and fellow archivist Aristotle "Tot" Westman and they discover that the relic was used by Washington in 1775 to communicate with his Culper Ring, a small band of loyalists who spied on the British during the Revolutionary War. "The Culper Ring weren't soldiers. They were normal people-a group no one could possibly know-even Washington didn't know their names. That way they could never be infiltrated-no one, not even the commander-in-chief, knew who was in it." When Tot checks the archive's records he finds that that the old dictionary has been checked out by someone named Dustin Gyrich 14 times in 14 weeks, each time coinciding with a Presidential visit to the SCIF. Further research shows that Gyrich has been checking out books in the National Archives for over a hundred and fifty years. In "The Inner Circle" the Culper Ring didn't disband after the Colonies beat the British. This secret organization is still going strong and Beecher's discovery of the 200 year-old dictionary triggers a chain of events that brings to light the permanency of the spy ring and tests the very cannons upon which our country was founded. Beecher could not foresee that he and Clementine had stumbled upon a presidential secret so important it could place their lives in jeopardy. From the first page "The Inner Circle" is a high energy adventure that draws upon interesting and little-known historical facts, taking the possibilities of the future and the certainties of the present and intertwining them with the secrets of the past. As with all of this author's thrillers, the plot and sub-plots twist and turn as the story unfolds, making it impossible for the reader to guess the outcome. Meltzer resurrects his evil character Nico from "The Book of Fate" as Clementine's father and cleverly uses him as an omniscient narrator to decipher and reveal the old dictionary's hidden missives. As a thriller, "The Inner Circle" is an absorbing read. The author's view of history adds a fascinating dimension to the story. One of Beecher's co-workers illustrates Meltzer's take on the history-making process. ". . . history isn't just something that's written. It's a selection process. It chooses moments, and events, and yes, people-and it hands them a situation they should never be able to overcome. It happens to millions of us every single day. But the only ones we read about are the ones who face that situation, and fight that situation, and find out who they really are." "The Inner Circle" is a very well crafted story with authentic characters and a clever plot. This is a thriller that probes the dark side of political omnipotence and leaves the reader with an uneasy feeling that perhaps it is all too real.
Most helpful negative review
This was a miss with a...
This was a miss with a convoluted plot held together by a mostly useless secret society. Too many scenes stretched plausibility. I wanted to abandon it several times, but persevered in hopes that Mr. Meltzer would come through with a winner in the end. Not so. I can only hope that there's no sequel, but I see this book described as "Beecher White #1". Perhaps he'll develop into a more interesting character.
1-5 of 31 reviews

An enjoyable thriller ...

An enjoyable thriller about a secret society -- or two -- that protects the presidency of the U.S. that dates back to George Washington. A few zigs and zags keep the reader guessing, but the story is a bit long and cumbersome at points... and the reasoning behind certain actions seems contrived. Overall, a good read.

I like this authors qu...

I like this authors quick, page turner novels. There is always enough mystery and suspence to keep me interested. The authors writing style I like better than some of the " dime" novels on the super marked shelf- this author never disappoints me for a quick, lively read.

The Inner Circle invol...

The Inner Circle involves a mythical group called the Culper Ring, a group of spies who operate outside of any normal intelligence circles and are completely loyal to the office of the president. Their information helps the president make crucial decisions. In this novel, Beecher White, an archivist at the National Archive, gets in the middle of a plot involving the Culper Ring, another group of the president's cronies known as the plumbers, and someone trying to blackmail the president for something that he did while he was in college. What I always enjoy about Brad Meltzer's novels is that they always offer a tantalizing premise, and his writing style is what you would call a page turner. I always want to find out what is going to happen next and what his big reveal is going to be. Where Meltzer's novels tend to fall apart is due to ridiculous levels of unbelievability. As a reader, I am only willing to suspend disbelief so far. The Inner Circle is a little different because although the premise may not be as tantalizing as some of his other novels, it doesn't fall off the cliff with things that are too hard to believe in. Beecher White isn't a terribly interesting character as far as protagonists go, but the supporting cast is pretty strong. The action unfolds at a brisk pace and this novel was fun to read. There was a lot to like in the novel, although I wasn't crazy about the lack of resolution at the completion of the novel. Any reader of Meltzer's work will enjoy this novel. Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity

I have to admit that I...

I have to admit that I'm not quite certain how to review this book. To begin with, I liked the plot. Brad Meltzer spins a terrific story about a secret band of individuals sworn to protect the presidency at all costs. When another group emerges, The Plumbers, whose sole purpose is to protect their friend, the current President of the United States, conflicts about best interests ensue catching an archivist, Beecher White, from the National Archives squarely in the middle. Who are the good guys? Who can Beecher trust? Definitely an interesting storyline with strong characters. My problem with the book? I finished it feeling totally unsatisfied. I felt cheated and left hanging with too many unresolved issues. To recommend or not to recommend, that is the question... Read it for the plot, read it for the characters, but don't expect all the loose ends to be tied up at the end of the book.

Like most Brad Meltzer...

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. As with previous Meltzer books, this is meant to be a fast-paced thriller involving innocents stumbling into conspiracies at the highest echelons of power. However, I think Meltzer is off his game as I found the plot confusing (by the end, I still wasn't 100% sure what was going on) and the characters dull and uninspiring. I really enjoyed Meltzer's first few books; they were fun, exciting and drew me in. However, I thought his recent books got progressively weaker. The last one I read, The Book of Fate, seemed like a bad Dan Brown book-and that is saying something as I'm not a huge Dan Brown fan. (Note: For fans of The Book of Fate, I should mention that a character who appeared in that book shows up in this book as well.) I'd written off Meltzer as having "jumped the shark," but when I saw The Inner Circle offered for review on NetGalley, I decided to give him another shot. Sadly, I regret that decision. Although The Inner Circle isn't outright bad, I found the plot confusing and overly convoluted. By the end, I wasn't even sure who was on whose side and what the purpose of the book was. Then I read Swapna's review at S. Krishna's Books and discovered that The Inner Circle is the first book of a planned series, which probably explained why I was left with such a sense of confusion and "unfinishedness." Yet, at the same time, I wasn't compelled enough by this book to continue reading the series. Honestly, I didn't feel all that invested in Beecher and don't feel the need to find out what befalls him next. Not a good sign for the series, I think. However, there is always the possibility that I'm just being a crank. As far as my recommendation, I can't really recommend this book unless you are a hard-core Meltzer fan or really love thrillers. I would recommend Meltzer's earlier books though; I remember being very fond of them, and I was a devoted Meltzer reader until I thought his books started to decrease in quality. If you're looking for a good thriller, you'd be better off reading The Zero Game or The Tenth Justice and giving this one a pass.

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Electrode, Comp-812500720, DC-prod-az-southcentralus-16, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3, SHA-fe0221a6ef49da0ab2505dfeca6fe7a05293b900, CID-30f3ee9d-a15-16e8b86978ae4a, Generated: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 01:14:44 GMT