The Inner Circle

Brad Meltzer, Grand Central, $26.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-446-57789-2
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.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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