The Fifth Assassin

( 165 )

Overview

From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States.
Four have been successful.
But now, Beecher White--the hero of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Inner Circle--discovers a killer in Washington, D.C., who's meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But ...
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The Fifth Assassin

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Overview

From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States.
Four have been successful.
But now, Beecher White--the hero of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Inner Circle--discovers a killer in Washington, D.C., who's meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But what if they were wrong?
Beecher is about to discover the truth: that during the course of a hundred years, all four assassins were secretly working together. What was their purpose? For whom do they really work? And why are they planning to kill the current President?
Beecher's about to find out. And most terrifyingly, he's about to come face-to-face with the fifth assassin.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

John Wilkes Booth; Charles Guiteau; Leon Czolgosz; Lee Harvey Oswald; all four presidential assassins were cut down soon after their heinous deed. But did all these "lone wolf" assassins really act alone or were they part of a conspiracy that stretches into the present? To answer that question and save another president's life, Beecher White, the hero of Brad Meltzer's The Inner Circle, must now place himself in grave danger. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book. (P.S. As the host/investigator of Brad Meltzer's Decoded on the History Channel, the author knows whereof he speaks.)

Publishers Weekly
A grandiose conspiracy linking four previous presidential assassinations threatens current U.S. president Orson Wallace in bestseller Meltzer’s convoluted second entry in his Culper Ring trilogy (after 2011’s The Inner Circle). Archivist Beecher White, a member of the small, secretive group known as the Culper Ring, created by George Washington and charged with protecting the presidency rather than the president, goes into action after someone known as the Knight begins re-enacting previous presidential assassinations with church figures as victims. Several people from Beecher’s past play key roles, including disfigured Marshall Lusk, who may or may not be the assassin, and Clementine Hadrian, who shot and killed Dr. Stewart Palmiotti, the president’s close friend and adviser. Beecher tries desperately to discover the Knight’s identity and thwart him before he reaches his final target. The cumbersome plot, with its frequent flashbacks to Beecher’s childhood, overwhelms Meltzer’s impressive grasp of historical details. 10-city author tour. Agent: Jill Kneerim, Kneerim, Williams & Bloom. (Jan.)
People Magazine
Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci.
Suspense Magazine
"When you sit down to start reading, make sure the chair has a comfortable cushion because you'll find yourself unable to put the book down and get anything done. It's that good a read...As always Meltzer's character development and believable plot is spot on. Clearly Mr. Meltzer has done his homework. I think his attention to detail; using true facts combined with fiction to tell his story is what makes him a standalone author in the thriller genre and his fans coming back for more. "
People
"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci. "
President George H.W. Bush
"All of Brad's books are a fascinating read. He is a great storyteller who keeps all of us on the edge of our seats."
Military Press
"A fascinating story that blends historical facts, secret codes, with an engrossing mystery...Meltzer is a master at writing his mysteries as puzzles where the pieces are hints dropped throughout the book..."
The Providence Journal
"Because not since the Fletcher Knebel seminal Seven Days in May or James Grady's scathing Days of the Condor, has there been a political thriller as relentlessly paced or blisteringly effective as The Fifth Assassin. An early contender for the best thriller of 2013."
Kirkus Reviews
Beecher White returns as hero in Meltzer's (The Inner Circle, 2011, etc.) second installment of his conspiracy thriller surrounding the Culper Ring and a corrupt president. Beecher is an archivist at the National Archives. He's also the newest member of that obscure brotherhood, the Culper Ring. It's linked through history to George Washington--"the [Secret] Service's mission is to protect the President. In the Culper Ring, we protect the Presidency." One secret endangering the current presidency, which Beecher and the Ring uncovered, is that the man holding the highest office, Orson Wallace, once took part in a brutal murder. Readers meet characters old and new, including Beecher's fellow archivist Aristotle "Tot" Westman and an undercover computer nerd nicknamed Mac. Then there's Clementine, Beecher's childhood acquaintance and daughter of Nico Hadrian, institutionalized, unsuccessful presidential assassin. Through a military human-guinea-pig experiment, Nico is linked to Beecher and to one of Beecher's childhood friends, Marshall Lusk, a boy with a troubled background. Lusk now works with a secret Government Accountability Office group using stealth tactics to uncover possible security breaches. As the story begins, Lusk is appearing too often at the wrong place at the right time. This includes the site where a murderer replicates the techniques and circumstances of the assassination of Lincoln. The killer's script next shifts to the murders of Garfield, then McKinley, with each assassination targeting a pastor instead of the president. Decoding the mystery through symbols on playing cards, Beecher and Tot confront another clandestine group, The Knights of the Golden Circle, linked to Etienne de Vignoles, a 14th-century knight charged with protecting the Name of God by killing kings--presidents?--who stand in the way. Adding the mysterious and troubled Lusk to the cast ratchets up the drama and human interest, and Meltzer's fans will enjoy the usual sprinkling of history factoids, fast-paced writing and the double-whiplash bombshell conclusion. Although equipped with adequate back story to allow The Fifth Assassin to be enjoyed alone, smart readers will first dip into the series opener, The Inner Circle.
USA Today
"Clearly a history buff of the highest order, Meltzer knows his stuff, and he's included research from chats with none other than President George H.W. Bush....Beecher's got the mental acumen of Robert Langdon and the gumption of Indiana Jones, but unlike those globe-trotting types, Meltzer's protagonist is thrown into adventures made in the USA and acts as an awesome gateway into the deadlier aspects of American history."
Washington Post
"History and suspense collide in shocking ways - and the intensity never lets up. Beecher carries the weight of the story. He's a great character who will resonate with readers since he's like the fun next-door neighbor or your best friend in college....One of his best books to date...The ending of The Fifth Assassin appears to announce that Beecher White will return, and that cannot come fast enough."
BookReporter
"Full of surprises, action, twists and turns, it is a wild and entertaining (and yes, educational) romp, wonderful in every way...Read The Fifth Assassin and prepare to be entranced and enthralled."
PEOPLE
"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci. "
From the Publisher
"Clearly a history buff of the highest order, Meltzer knows his stuff, and he's included research from chats with none other than President George H.W. Bush....Beecher's got the mental acumen of Robert Langdon and the gumption of Indiana Jones, but unlike those globe-trotting types, Meltzer's protagonist is thrown into adventures made in the USA and acts as an awesome gateway into the deadlier aspects of American history."—USA Today

"Ratchets up the drama and human interest, and Meltzer's fans will enjoy the usual sprinkling of history factoids, fast-paced writing and the double-whiplash bombshell conclusion."—Kirkus Reviews

"History and suspense collide in shocking ways - and the intensity never lets up. Beecher carries the weight of the story. He's a great character who will resonate with readers since he's like the fun next-door neighbor or your best friend in college....One of his best books to date...The ending of The Fifth Assassin appears to announce that Beecher White will return, and that cannot come fast enough."
Washington Post

"Full of surprises, action, twists and turns, it is a wild and entertaining (and yes, educational) romp, wonderful in every way...Read The Fifth Assassin and prepare to be entranced and enthralled."—BookReporter

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446553971
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/15/2013
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 294,681
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Meltzer
Brad Meltzer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and six other bestselling thrillers. His nonfiction books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, were also New York Times bestsellers. He is the host of the History Channel series Brad Meltzer's Decoded and the Eisner Award-winning writer of Justice League of America. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School, he currently lives in Florida. You can find much more about him at www.BradMeltzer.com. You can also see what he's doing right now at Facebook.com/bradmeltzer and Twitter.com/bradmeltzer.

Biography

Brad Meltzer didn't hope all his life to become a novelist. He came to it by chance, after a job at Games magazine didn't pan out. "I had no idea what to do," he says. "So I did what all of us would do in that situation. I said, 'I'm gonna write a novel.'" After one false start, a book called Fraternity that 24 publishers rejected, Meltzer hit his stride. In 1997, The Tenth Justice (which earned him extra credit as a student at Columbia Law School) was picked up by Morrow and hit The New York Times bestseller list. A year later, he repeated the performance with Dead Even. He's been writing bestselling legal thrillers ever since.

Critics like Meltzer's fast pace and nifty plots (Kirkus called The Tenth Justice "a mean, paranoid fantasy that'll have you turning pages in a frenzy," and USA Today said it "reads fast, rings true, and refreshingly breaks the mold of legal thrillers"), but it's the details that distinguish his novels from most legal fiction. The key, he says, is "Research, research, research," a task that can consume two to six months of his year-long writing schedule.

In addition to his thrillers, Meltzer is a bestselling author of critically acclaimed comic book series like Identity Crisis, Green Arrow, and Justice League. He has also written short stories, television scripts and nonfiction articles, including reviews of The Sopranos, the multiple Emmy Award-winning TV show.

Good To Know

Meltzer played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's Celebrity.

He lives in Florida with his wife, a high-school sweetheart to whom he devotes a lengthy essay on his web site.

With his friend Steve Cohen, Meltzer conceived Jack and Bobby, a critically acclaimed television program about two young brothers (not the Kennedys), one of whom grows up to be President of the United States. Cohen and Meltzer wrote all 22 episodes of the show, which was cancelled after one season. Widely considered a premier example of intelligent, high-quality TV, the series has since become a cult favorite.

Meltzer spoke with former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in order to accrue authentic details for his 2006 novel The Book of Fate, a thriller set in the world of White House politics.

A major plot element in The Book of Lies (2008) is the unsolved murder in 1932 of Mitchell Siegel, whose son Jerry created the iconic comic book hero Superman. Meltzer, himself a rabid comics fan, interviewed the Siegel family to research the murder.

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    1. Hometown:
      Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Fifth Assassin


By Brad Meltzer

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2013 Brad Meltzer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-1929-3



CHAPTER 1

Today

Washington, D.C.


The Knight knew his history. And his destiny. In fact, no one studied those more carefully than the Knight.

Rolling a butterscotch candy around his tongue, he pulled the trigger at exactly 10:11 p.m.

The gun—an antique pistol—let out a puff of blue-gray smoke, sending a spray of meat and blood across the wooden pews of St. John's Church, the historic building that sat directly across the street from the White House.

"Y-You shot me ..." the rector cried, clutching the back of his shoulder—his collarbone felt shattered—as he reeled sideways and stumbled down the main aisle.

The blood wouldn't stop. But the Knight's gun hadn't delivered a killshot. At the last minute, the rector, who'd been in charge of St. John's for nearly a decade, had moved.

The Knight just stood there, waiting for him to fall. The stark white plaster mask he wore ensured that his victim couldn't get a good look at his face. But the rector still had his strength.

Sliding his gun back in his pocket, the Knight moved calmly, almost serenely down the aisle, toward the ornate altar.

"Help! Someone ... please! Someone help me!" the rector, a sixty-year-old man with rosy cheeks, gasped as he ran, looking back at the frozen white mask, like a death mask, that followed him.

There was a reason the Knight had picked a church, especially this church, dubbed "the Church of the Presidents" because every President since James Madison had worshiped here.

It was the same with the homemade tattoo on the web of skin between his own thumb and pointer-finger. The Knight had finished the tattoo last night, using white ink since it was invisible to the naked eye. It took five needles, which he bundled together and dipped in ink, and four hours in total, puncturing his skin over and over, wiping away the blood.

The only break he took was right after he had finished the first part—the initials. Then, from his pocket, he had pulled out a yellowed deck of playing cards, thumbing past the hearts, clubs, and diamonds, stopping on ... Spades.

In the dictionary, spades were defined as shovels. But when the four suits of cards were introduced centuries ago, each one had its own cryptic meaning. The spade wasn't a tool to dig with. It was the point of a lance.

The weapon of a knight.

"I need help! Please ... anyone!" the rector screamed, scrambling frantically and making a sharp right through the double doors and down the long hallway that led out of the sanctuary.

The Knight's pace was perfectly steady as he followed the curved hallway back toward the church offices. His breath puffed evenly against the white plaster mask.

Up ahead, from around the corner, he heard a faint beep-beep-boop of a cell phone. The rector was trying to call 911.

But like his hero, who had done this so long ago, the Knight left nothing to chance. The plastic gray device in his pocket was the size of a cell phone, and could kill any cell signal in a fifty-yard radius. Cell jammers were illegal in the United States. But they cost less than $200 on a UK website.

Around the corner, where the main church offices began, there was a dull thud of a shoulder hitting wood: the rector realizing that the doorknob had been removed from the front door. Then the loud thunderclap of an office door slamming shut. The rector was hiding now, in one of the offices.

In the distance, the faint sound of police sirens was getting louder. No way was the rector able to call 911, but even if he was, the maze had nothing but dead ends left.

Looking right, then left, the Knight checked the antique parlor rooms that the church now used for AA meetings and for the "Date Night" services they held for local singles. This side of the building, known as the Parish House, was nearly as old as the church itself, but not nearly as well kept up. Throughout the main floor, every one of the tall cherry office doors was open. Except one.

With a sharp twist of the oval brass doorknob, the Knight shoved the large door open. The sirens were definitely getting louder. In the far left corner, by the bookcase, the rector was crying, still trying to pry open the room's only window, which the Knight had nailed shut hours earlier.

Moving closer, the Knight glided past a glass case, never glancing at its beautiful collection of fifty antique crosses mounted on red velvet.

"You can't do this! God will never forgive you!" the rector pleaded.

The Knight stepped toward him, taking hold of the rector's shattered shoulder. Under the mask, he rolled a butterscotch candy around his tongue. From his belt, he pulled out a knife.

One side of his blade had the words "Land of the Free/Home of the Brave," etched in acid, while the other side was etched with "Liberty/Independence." Just like the one his hero had over a century ago.

Taking a final breath that gave him a sense of weightlessness, he clenched his butterscotch candy in the vise of his back teeth.

"W-Why're you doing this?" the rector pleaded as the sirens grew deafening.

"Isn't it obvious?" The Knight raised his knife and plunged it straight into the rector's throat. The butterscotch candy cracked in half. "I'm getting ready for the President of the United States."

CHAPTER 2

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. But at 7:30 in the morning, as the elevator doors slide open and I scan the quiet fourth-floor hallway, I'm starting to realize that some of those stories are even more hidden than I thought.

"Nothing?" Tot asks, waiting for me outside our office. The way he's rolling his finger into his overgrown beard, he knows the answer.

"Less than nothing," I confirm, holding a file folder in my gloved open palms and double-checking to make sure we're alone.

Aristotle "Tot" Westman is my mentor here at the Archives, and the one who taught me that the best archivists are the ones who never stop searching. At seventy-two years old, he's had plenty of practice.

He's also the one who invited me into the Culper Ring.

The Ring was started by George Washington.

I know. I had the same reaction. But yes, that George Washington.

Two hundred years ago, back during the Revolutionary War, Washington built his own private spy ring. Not only did it help him win the war, but it helped protect the Presidency. The Ring still exists today, and now I'm a part of it.

"Beecher, you knew he wasn't gonna make it easy."

"I'm not asking for easy; I'm looking for possible. It's like there's nothing to find."

"There's always something to find. I promise."

"Yeah, you've been making that promise for two months now," I say, referring to how long it's been since Tot and I started coming in at 7 a.m.—before any of the other archivists show up—privately digging through every presidential file we can find.

"What'd you expect? That you can look under P and find everything you need for Evil President?" Tot challenges.

"Actually, Evil President would be filed under E."

"Not if it's his first name. Though it does depend on the record group," Tot clarifies, hoping the bad joke will lighten the mood. It doesn't. "The point is, Beecher, we know the hard part: We know what Wallace and Palmiotti did; we know how they did it; and when they were done with their baseball bat and razor-sharp car keys, we even know they put a young man into a permanent coma and left him to die. Now all we have to do is prove it. I'm thinking we should start picking up the pace."

As Tot says the words, he runs his fingertips down the metal strands of his bolo tie, which he doesn't realize is as socially extinct as the Scottsdale boutique where he bought it back in 1994. The thing is, I know Tot. And I know that tone.

"Why'd you just say we need to pick up the pace?" I ask.

At first, Tot stays quiet, rechecking the hallway.

"Tot, if you know something ..."

"One of our guys," he begins, using that phrase he saves for when he's talking about other members of the Culper Ring. "One of them spoke to someone in the Secret Service, asking what they knew about you. And y'know what the guy in the Service said? Nothing. Not a sound. You know what that means, Beecher?"

"It means they're worried about me."

"No. It means the President already knows how this ends. All he's doing now is working on his cover story."

Letting the words sink in, Tot again rechecks the hallway. I tell myself the proof is still in the Archives ... somewhere ... in some file. It's no small haystack.

The National Archives is the storehouse for the most important items in the U.S. government, from the original Declaration of Independence to Jackie Kennedy's bloody pink dress ... from Reagan's original "Evil Empire" speech to the tracking maps we used to catch and kill bin Laden. Over ten billion pages strong, we house and catalog every vital file, record, and report that's produced by the government.

As I always say, that means we're a building full of secrets—especially for sitting Presidents, since we store everything from their grade school report cards, to their yearbooks, to, the theory goes, old forgotten medical records that might prove what President Wallace really did that night twenty-six years ago.

"Have you thought about ordering his marathon files?" Tot asks.

"Already did. That's what came this morning."

For two months now, we've sifted through every puzzle piece of President Wallace's medical history, from back in college when he was in ROTC, to the physical exam he took when his daughter was born and he bought his first insurance policy, to the X-rays that were taken back when he was just a governor and he ran the Marine Marathon despite having a hairline fracture in his foot. That fracture brought Wallace national attention as a politician who never quits. We were hoping it'd bring us something even better. Yet like every medical document related to the President, everything comes back empty, empty, empty.

"He can't hide it all, Beecher."

"Tell that to FDR's medical records," I reply. Tot doesn't argue. Back in 1945, forty-eight hours after Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, his medical records were stolen and destroyed. No one's found them since.

"So if Wallace's marathon X-rays were a bust, what's that?" Tot asks, pointing to the file folder that I'm still holding in my open palm.

"Just something I pulled from our Civil War records. A letter from Abraham Lincoln's son talking about his years in the White House." Tot knows that when I'm nervous, I like to read old history. But he also knows that nothing makes me more nervous than the most complex history of all: family history.

"Your mom called while you were down there, didn't she?" Tot asks.

I nod. After my mom's heart surgery, I asked her to call me every morning to let me know she was okay. My father died when I was three. Mom is all I've got left. But as always, it wasn't my mom who called. It was my sister Sharon, who lives with and takes care of her. Every two weeks, I send part of my check home, but it's Sharon who does the real work.

"Mom okay?" Tot asks.

"Same as always."

"Then it's time to focus on the problem you can actually deal with," Tot says, motioning toward the main door to our office and reminding me that whatever President Wallace is planning, that's where the real damage will be done. But as we step inside and I spot two men in suits standing outside my cubicle, I'm starting to think that the President's even further along than we thought.

"Beecher White?" the taller of the two asks, though the way his dark eyes lock on me, he has the answer. He's got a narrow face; his partner has a wide one that he tries to offset with a neatly trimmed goatee. Neither looks happy. Or friendly.

"That's me; I'm Beecher. And you are ...?" I ask, though neither of them answers. As Tot limps and ducks into his own cubicle, I see that both my visitors are wearing gold lapel pins with a familiar five-pointed star. Secret Service.

I glance over at Tot, who smells the same rat I do.

"You mind answering a few questions?" the agent with the narrow face asks as he flashes his badge, which says Edward Harris. Before I can answer, he adds, "You always at work this early, Mr. White?"

I have no idea where the bear trap is, but I already feel its springs tightening. Last time I saw President Wallace, I told him I'd do everything in my power to find the evidence to prove what he and his dead friend Palmiotti did. In return, the most powerful man in the world leaned forward on his big mahogany desk in the West Wing and told me, as if it were an absolute fact, that he would personally erase me from existence. So when two Secret Service agents are asking me questions before eight in the morning, I know that whatever they want, I'm in for some pain.

"I like getting in at seven," I tell the agent, though from the look on his face it isn't news to him. I make a quick mental note of every staffer and guard downstairs who saw me hunting through presidential records and might've tipped them off. "I didn't realize coming to work early was a problem."

"No problem," Agent Harris says evenly. "And what time do you usually get home? Specifically, what time did you get home last night?"

"Just past eight," I say. "If you don't believe me, ask Tot. He drove me home and dropped me off." Still standing by the door with the priceless Robert Todd Lincoln letter in my hands, I motion to Tot's cubicle.

"I appreciate that. Tot dropped you off. That means he doesn't know where you were between eight last night and about six this morning, correct?" the agent with the goatee asks, though it no longer sounds like a question.

It's the first time I notice that neither of these guys has the hand mics or ear buds that you see on the Secret Service agents around the President. These two don't do protection. They're investigators. Still, the Service's mission is to protect the President. In the Culper Ring, we protect the Presidency. It's not a small distinction.

"Were you with anyone else last night, Beecher?" Agent Harris jumps in.

From his cubicle, Tot shoots me a look. The bear trap is about to snap shut.

"Do you always wear gloves at work?" Agent Harris adds, motioning to the white cotton gloves.

"Only when I'm handling old documents," I say as I open the file folder and show them the mottled brown Robert Todd Lincoln letter that's still in my open palms. "If you don't mind ..."

They step away from my cubicle, but not by much.

As I squeeze inside and carefully place the Lincoln letter on my desk, I notice the odd slant of my keyboard and how one of my piles of paper is slightly askew. They've already gone through my stuff.

"And do you take those gloves home with you?" Agent Harris asks.

"I'm sorry," I say, "but are you accusing me of something?"

They exchange glances.

"Beecher, do you know someone named Ozzie Andrews?" Agent Harris finally asks.

"Who?"

"Just tell me if you know him. Ozzie Andrews."

"With a name as silly as Ozzie, I'd remember if I knew him."

"So you never met him? Never heard the name?"

"What're you really asking?"

"They found a body," Agent Harris says. "A pastor in a church downtown was found murdered last night around 10 p.m. Throat slit."

"That's horrible."

"It is. Fortunately for us, just as the D.C. Police got there, they nabbed a suspect. Named Ozzie. He was strolling out the back of the church right after the murder. And when they went through Ozzie's pockets, this killer had your name and phone number in his wallet."

"What? That's ridiculous."

"So you don't know anything about this murder?"

"Of course not!"

There's a long pause.

"Beecher, how would you describe your opinion of President Orson Wallace?" Agent Harris interrupts.

"Excuse me?"

"We're not asking your political views. It's just, with St. John's Church being so close to the White House ... you understand. We need to ask."

I turn to Tot, who doesn't just smell the rat anymore; now we see it. Two months ago, as the President buried his best friend, he swore he'd also bury me. I thought it'd come in the middle of the night with a ski mask. But I forgot who I'm dealing with. Tot said the President already had the bull's-eye on my forehead, then suddenly two Secret Service guys show up? This is Wallace's real revenge: Tie me to a murder, send in the Service, and keep your manicured hands clean as they snap my mugshot.

"Where is this Ozzie guy now?" I ask. "I'd like to know who he is."

"I'm sorry, I didn't realize suspects get to make their own demands."

"So now I'm a suspect? Fine, then let me face my accuser. Is he still in jail?"

For the first time, both agents go silent.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. Copyright © 2013 Brad Meltzer. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Wow

    I love the book! I can almost hear brad meltzers voice as i read it. I enjoyed learning the factual parts. I feel like there is more to be told on the story. Enjoyed the breecher and i feel like he still has more to do. Left me hanging on the end hoping that this story keeps going. Well written with facts. Lookx like mr. Meltzer. I cant wait to read morel i have read all his books i now have a new favorite book this one and the inner circle. Still i loved the zero game.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great Meltzer'ish Read!  Every time I read a Brad Meltzer book

    Great Meltzer'ish Read! 

    Every time I read a Brad Meltzer book I am reminded of how much I love his books. More than being ‘just’ an author, he is a gifted storyteller. Over and over, I am swept away into a world of political mystery and intrigue. I was introduced to him years ago by a friend of mine who swore I would love his books and she was dead-on. His books are always fast-paced and punctuated by short chapters that lead to the “fly through the book” effect and I am always left wanting more. The Fifth Assassin is no different. Bringing back his character, Beecher, The Inner Circle, this book focuses on a killer who is copying the last four presidential assassinations in a lead-up to the assassination of the current president. I won’t give away any more than that, but this might one ranks up there with my favorite Meltzer book, The Book of Fate.




    One of my favorite things about Meltzer is that he writes historical fiction without being labeled an historical fiction writer. He’s not lumped into that genre, and yet his books are always heavily entrenched in truths and theories that exist in present day. For example, in this book, he draws on the history of playing cards, the origins of their symbols, and the real-life storage of body parts at a Washington, DC museum (where I would love to visit….). This makes sense because his show, Brad Meltzer Decoded, is hugely popular and delves into the backstories of various codes and symbols, so he knows his stuff.




    In sum, this is a must-read for anyone who likes fast-paced, action-packed books that tell a real story. It’s also great for people (like me) who are interested in history because I was left Googling a lot of the nuggets of information that were dropped so surreptitiously into the novel (did they really put maps on the inside of playing cards during WWII?!). 

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    I think that the Fifth Assassin is an excellent partner to the

    I think that the Fifth Assassin is an excellent partner to the Inner Circle. I urge anyone who enjoys a great read to pick up Meltzer's latest book. You will not be disappointed and you might even learn something in the process. Five stars for this book!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    My problem with this book as well as the "24" story li

    My problem with this book as well as the "24" story line of a Nixonian President is believeability. In this age of internet, texting, blogging, I find it difficult to accept that a criminal could be elected President. Corrupt like Agnew, but not criminal. Otherwise a fair read.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Wo

    Its awseome

    7 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Don't bother. The plot is confusing and gets boring. I had a h

    Don't bother. The plot is confusing and gets boring. I had a hard time reading to the end, but I hate to not finish a book.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    Could not get past the first 60 pages! Within those pages the st

    Could not get past the first 60 pages! Within those pages the story jumps from one the current time into multiple time periods to the point that I gave up trying to stay on track with who did what when. I cannot believe one of my favorite authors would purposly confuse readers to the point of throwing in the towel. One can`t possibly keep track of a mutltitude of characters in current time, one hundred year old murders, and mini chapters starting years ago, three hours ago, today, along with ancestores jumping back in time, etc. You need an outline and character listing along with who is related to whom guide for this one. I reread the first 65 pages 3 times prior to giving it up as hopeless.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    The author did a good job of assimilating the four assassination

    The author did a good job of assimilating the four assassinations of the US presidents into the story line. There were many twists and turns in the plot. I did not care for last chapter ending. Too many characters were left hanging. Are we suppose to wait now for the next novel?

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Did not enjoy.

    The first Brad Meltzer book I have not enjoyed. I thought it jumped around too much -- from today to another century and back and forth.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    would not recommend

    The book is difficult to read.The plot line has no contoinuity

    J J Vax

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Pass This one By

    Very Disappointing. Story line was jumbled and almost unreadable with a horrible ending.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Please kill

    Hawkstar at 'nom' first result. -Fangshadow

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    You might want to miss this one...

    Honestly, by the time I finished this book, I barely knew what was going on. I think Brad Meltzer missed the mark with this one.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Average written book

    The jumping back and forth between decades was distracting and did not add much too the overall story. Hopefully this is not the trend of future books as this was a disappointing read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Dreadful

    I read everything including the back of cereal boxes. I have been reading for over 60 years. This was one of if not the worst book I have read. I want my money back and all the timei wasted reading this swamp.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    proof that every author needs an editor

    Like reading on a pogostick
    Jumps around with ahalf dozen narrators back and forth over 20+ years with no conrinuity
    Despite an intriguing storyline wasnt able to read through to the end

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Stinks. Many unconnected story lines that no amount of torturou

    Stinks. Many unconnected story lines that no amount of torturous contrivances could adequately glue together. The characters are beyond strange; their associations are not plausible. I only read to the end to see if Metzger (or his editors) found a way to make the nonsense plausible. They did not.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    below average

    I did not care for The Fifth Assassin. I read a lot of Vince Flynn and other similar authors,but this was just not holding my interest. it was not one of those you cannot put down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    would not recommend

    not one of the most enjoyable books that I have read....staggered through to the end, which was left open for a sequel

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Quit halfway through

    I struggled thru the first 60 pages or so before i decided to continue. It got interesting for a bit then fizzled. Storyline is good but the organization delivered the story in too many chopped up bits.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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