REVIEW by @CrankRecords: The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer (@BradMeltzer , @GrandCentralPub , @HachetteBooks)

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.
Beecher White, a young archivist, spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government. He has always been the keeper of other people’s stories, never a part of the story himself…

Until now.
When Clementine Kaye, Beecher’s first childhood crush, shows up at the National Archives asking for his help tracking down her long-lost father, Beecher tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the President of the United States privately reviews classified documents. After they accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact – a 200 hundred-year-old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington, hidden underneath a desk chair, Beecher and Clementine find themselves suddenly entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder.
Soon a man is dead, and Beecher is on the run as he races to learn the truth behind this mysterious national treasure. His search will lead him to discover a coded and ingenious puzzle that conceals a disturbing secret from the founding of our nation. It is a secret, Beecher soon discovers, that some believe is worth killing for.

I want to come right out of the gate saying that this is a genuinely good book. The only issue I really had was that the beginning was a little bit difficult to get into. Not that it didn’t have a good storyline. There is just a lot of storyline and it’s a little overwhelming at first. You are dropped in to the middle of a complex plot and it requires a lot of bouncing back and forth to get all of the back story. I am a huge fan of Brad Meltzer’s and wanted to give the book a shot and with a little catching up, I was far from disappointed.
For those of you out there who have never read a Brad Meltzer book, his writing style could easily be compared to the likes of Dan Brown. However, if any of the Brown books were confusing to you, this is probably not a good fit for your library. There are a lot of twists and turns to the plot. As you’re reading, you’ll get the feeling that you know what is happening or what is going to happen and Brad totally switches it up on you unexpectedly. Halfway through the book, I was lost as to where the plot was going to go. There is a ton of build-up and then he reworks the plot, completely throws you for a loop and sends you in a surprising direction. This book is a lot of things but predictable is not one of them.
The main character, Beecher, even has a bit of a Robert Langdon-esque feel to him. He’s very intelligent, reserved and tries incredibly hard to do the right thing. He’s calculated. There are long internal dialogs where he really weighs out the consequences and possible outcomes of each decision. His struggle to do the right thing makes him an admirable guy and a likeable character.
By the end of the book, I had a much greater appreciation for the time Brad Meltzer took with laying out the details. I was able to take a step back and realize why there was so much bouncing back and forth. You need the back story for everything to come together at the end. It feels very deliberate in that you need to understand who the characters are and why they react to things the way they do. At the beginning of the book, I didn’t like the over abundance of detail. This is a very long book for having taken place over the course of only two days. However, I cant hold it against him because once I saw the bigger picture, I understood the necessity.
Overall, The Inner Circle is a great book. There is a lot of action, seemingly never ending plot twists and very intelligent content. It has a very entangled and in depth story line. An epic book that I feel would be amazing put on the silver screen. I know a lot of people complained about the ending of this book but I disagree. I feel that it has a great ending that leaves it wide open to continue on in a series.
The Inner Circle is a good book for anyone that enjoyed the Robert Langdon books. This book just has a “smarter” feel to it. I think that it’s only downside is the detail. If Reader’s Digest got their hands on this book and did an abridged version, I think it would appeal to a much bigger audience. That being said, I loved it just the way it is. It certainly will NOT be the last Brad Meltzer book that I read.
I give The Inner Circle 4 stars! I would give it a 5 if it was just had a slightly faster pace.
Now, I am going to go watch some back episodes of Decoded. * smile *
Click here to get your copy of The Inner Circle from!

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  1. I watch Decodes all the time. Now, I think I might try one of his books.
    Great review

  2. “Decoded” fat fingers, lol

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