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The Inner Circle (Culper Ring Series #1)
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The Inner Circle (Culper Ring Series #1)

3.5 815
by Brad Meltzer

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer returns with a pulse-pounding new novel of lies and deception at the highest levels of government.

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.

So says Benjamin January, a young archivist


#1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer returns with a pulse-pounding new novel of lies and deception at the highest levels of government.

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.

So says Benjamin January, a young archivist who spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government. When Clementine Kaye, his first childhood crush, shows up at the Archives asking for his help tracking down her long-lost father, Benjy tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the President of the United States privately reviews classified documents. It is also where Benjy and Clementine accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact-a 200-year-old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington-hidden inside a desk chair. Eager to discover why the President is hiding this important national treasure, the two soon find themselves entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder that will reveal the most well kept secret of the U.S. Presidency.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A fascinating look at the hidden treasures of the National Archives is the one strength of this otherwise unsatisfying thriller. Archivist Beecher White, to impress childhood crush Clementine Kaye during a tour of the archives, shows her the "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" reserved for President Orson Wallace, who often visits the SCIF. The accidental discovery of a rare volume linked to George Washington starts White on a perilous journey involving the Culper Ring, a secret spy group reaching back to the nation's first president; Nico Hadrian, a failed presidential assassin confined in a mental institution; and a presidential secret entrusted only to a few of Wallace's closest friends. Kaye's ambiguous re-entry into White's life adds another challenge. Bestseller Meltzer (The Book of Lies) fails to dial up much suspense with too many sketchy characters and a plot that never lives up to its promise, but the December 2 debut of his History Channel show, Brad Meltzer's Decoded, is sure to win him new fans. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews

A fast-moving tale of murder, deception and intrigue linked to George Washington's Culper Ring and its espionage descendants.

Beecher White works in the "nation's attic"—the U.S. National Archives. Dumped by his fiancéand thoroughly depressed, the young archivist's mood improves after he's contacted by Clementine Kaye, a young woman he's had a crush on since school days. Raised by a single mother, Clemmi wants to search the Archives records to help find her father. Beecher wants to impress Clemmi, and so, with the help of a friendly security guard, they make a surreptitious foray into a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), a secured room where presidents examine top-secret material. There they stumble upon a hidden antique dictionary, one possibly owned by Washington. Soon the guard turns up dead. Is the dictionary a code book once used by the Culper Ring, a group of double agents, spies and messengers organized to assist Washington in the republic's chaotic early days? Does the Ring still operate? Hints pop up that President Orson Wallace uses the SCIF to communicate with today's Ring members. The mystery grows to encompass the president's doctor and barber, other archivists and Clemmie's father, who is revealed to be Nico Hadrian, institutionalized as the attempted assassin of a former president. Hadrian, paranoid and violent, seems to know things about the Ring, and about "the inner circle," the ring-within-the-ring that some less-than-ethical presidents have used to shape history. Meltzer's chapters are short and cinematic, and the conclusion—some bad guys dead and buried, some not—suggests he plans a series.

Conspiracies make for good reading, and this book could turn skeptics into believers.

From the Publisher
"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

Entertainment Weekly
Meltzer is so good.
Miami Herald
Meet the next John Grisham.
People Magazine
Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci.
"Meet the next John Grisham."
"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci."
"Meltzer is so good."

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Brad Meltzer's Culper Ring Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)


Meet the Author

Brad Meltzer is the author of seven New York Times bestselling thrillers: The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, The Book of Fate, and The Book of Lies. He is also the #1 bestselling author of the critically acclaimed comic books Identity Crisis and Justice League of America, and is the co-creator of the TV series Jack & Bobby. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School, he currently lives in Florida. To learn more about Brad, please visit him at www.bradmeltzer.com.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University

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The Inner Circle 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 815 reviews.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Beecher White, an archivist for the US government gets caught up in a life and death situation when he finds a book that may or may not belong in the archives. When a friend and security officer dies, he is determined to find the answers. It all begins with the reacquainted with a childhood friend he had a crush on. When he gives her a tour of the archives, they find the book; soon afterward his friend dies. Was it a heart attack or murder? Is Beecher the murderer or an innocent bystander? And why is everyone trying to locate this book he has found? Beecher gets caught up in a conspiracy that could rock the nation. Brad Meltzer's novel is a thrilling mystery filled with surprises up until the very end. You won't want to put this book down.
lhutch More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel that I've read by Brad Meltzer, just finished it and I'm hooked! I've never really been interested in mystery novels and chose this one on a whim and what a ride. The story moves quickly, has very interesting characters and doesn't slow down from one page to the last. I've already selected two more books that he's written and can't wait to start. I especially like the continuity from one chapter to the next. There's nothing worse than starting a chapter, either years past or way ahead or a character you've never heard of and trying to link that with what you've read to that point. I honestly don't have one negative comment about this book. I think this book will appeal to everyone. While the characters and their roles are complex, the story is easy to follow and you won't know until the last page who's who! There is a great plot behind the obvious that focuses on integrity and character and challenges all the characters with the choices of doing the right thing or what will benefit them at the moment. Would we all have the backbone to make the choices offered in this story? Read it and see....
jane doe More than 1 year ago
i have enjoyed other titles by the same author, but this book is horrible. it ended so abruptly i thought my nook was acting up. the characters are not likeable and the plot is sub-par. don't waste you time or money with this one
Jacqueline Taylor More than 1 year ago
love this author but the book leaves you hanging...great historical references, the beginning of great character development and story line and then....nothing...book over??? Actually thought there was a problem with my Nook....
portiaLR More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for an engaging novel populated with Washingtonian intellectuals with a noble purpose, stick to the Camel Club. While there are some well defined, admirable characters in this effort, it contains far too much dialogue, some of it unnecessary to either plot advancement or character development, and while the first chapter has a great hook, and while I enjoyed how Beecher gets himself drawn into intrigues of great importance, the true life drama of relatives, close friends and advisers to presidents who have altered the political balance in order to protect someone close to the president, or the president himself, from crimes committed in youth have made better reading than this contrived fictionalization. And when it comes to museums and libraries as centers for intrigue, Preston and Child do it better. As for conspiracy in government, Balducci does it best.
Jamison Pearlman More than 1 year ago
potential for a great twist, but then the story ends. i felt cheated.
Marylou Hardifer More than 1 year ago
fast paced but bad ending
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On the lame side. The free novel that came with it was much better, and mad it worth the price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow start, unbelievable and unlikeable characters....couldn't wait to finish it and even the end was ho-hum!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unless you are archivist do not bother to read this book. I made it through 2/3's of it and had to quit. It is terrible!
lawrehd8 More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed with this book. Reflecting on why, I think it is because the hero of the book is such an unlikely hero. He is painted as something of a wimp. We like our heroes to be strong, not reluctant. The plot got a little unbelievable as the book progressed. The only thing that kept me until the end was guessing who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. There were a lot of surprises and then greater surprises. The last few chapters tying up loose ends were anti-climatic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really well thought out conspiracy thriller. I read it in one day and I'll be looking into more Brad Meltzer books.
Iowaeyes More than 1 year ago
Strong characters and the plot keeps you guessing. If you like history you will enjoy this book. You may even learn something you didn't know about our history !
caprica52 More than 1 year ago
Brad always hits the mark and the Inner Circle is just what the doctor order for the doldrums of summer's end. Looking forward to reading the next adventure with my new favorite character!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will definitely read more by this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I have read by Meltzer, and I would consider reading another one. The story got started off a little slow, but it was enough to keep me interested and reading. The action seemed to take a while to kick in and then when it did the book was almost over. The ending was a total disappointment, didn't see it coming because it was so lame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nicely paced story with strong character development. A puzzle inside many other puzzles. Enough history to keep the story grounded. Very enjoyable.
Hatima More than 1 year ago
This is the first Brad Meltzer book I have read. I plan to read more. The book was exciting and the ending sets up for more books. I found the characters believable. No one character is perfect! I loved that. I hope there are more books soon!
Suncity-Son More than 1 year ago
This book started out stronger than it finished. Lumbered a little towards the end and didn't realize I was being set up for a series. What was surprising was the extra novel that was included with the Nook book version of this. The name alludes me currently but was much more enjoyable than the Inner Circle. That bonus material would rate four stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many plot flaws. Slow moving. Too much inner dialogue, over hyped drama of main character's conflicts. The "conspiracy" makes no sense, the essential plot device looses force. None of the characters have any depth.Ending is a clear signal that the author just wants to do a sequel, but I will never read it. Very disappointing! Don't waste your time reading it or listening to it.
patUT More than 1 year ago
This book is confusing and leaves too many loose ends. Nothing ties together. We read it for book club and nobody liked it. His other stores are better
LTillo More than 1 year ago
This is my first Brad Meltzer book and probably my last. It did not grab me but kept me just curious enough to plod through just to see how the choppy plot / sub plot would come together. Oh, I get it, it doesn't! Waste of precious reading time . . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the usual Meltzer. Halfway through, I quit. Glad I read the reviews, so that I can avoid the sequel.
shenanegans More than 1 year ago
I wished I had read the actual reviews about this book by other readers before purchasing based on the number of stars it was given. Confusing story line, undeveloped characters and an ending that taunted the reader with "Just wait until you can buy another book to find out what actually happens!" The "bonus" book wasn't much better, but at least it had an ending of sorts. I won't be duped again.
tuk More than 1 year ago
Meltzer had a good plot & characters & then all of a sudden he just ended the book. Like others, I thought there was something wrong with my Nook. It appears as if he got tired of writing & just stopped. I would prefer that he completed his plot instead of getting bonus material. What a dissapointment. Shame on his publisher for letting him do this.