Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Inner Circle” as Want to Read:
The Inner Circle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Inner Circle (Culper Ring #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  15,874 Ratings  ·  1,387 Reviews
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 Clem
Audiobook, eAudiobook, 0 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Inner Circle, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

CJ I forced myself to finish it because I bought it and nothing else on hand to read. While there were some interesting aspects to the book and a…moreI forced myself to finish it because I bought it and nothing else on hand to read. While there were some interesting aspects to the book and a POTENTIALLY fascinating concept, it was just too ridiculous to take seriously... shame really.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tom Callaway
This was my first Brad Meltzer book, and it started out well, but as time went on, a few things became painfully obvious:
1. "No one is who they appear to be at first." And I mean, no one. Not a single named character escapes this cliche.
2. Towards the second half of the book, we get hit with Dan-Brown mini chapters, intended to add suspense, but only achieve a sense of talking to the reader as if he/she is 5 years old.
3. The plot gets more and more and more convoluted...I halfway expected space
Feb 07, 2013 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love books with the whole historical conspiracy thing and I like Brad Meltzer, but this one was a miss. Since it's a Brad Meltzer book, I expect a certain amount of sad sackness to the protagonist, but this one was too much to take. And there were too many moments where everything stopped for exposition from people who would not normally do such a thing, in situations that no one would normally do it. And some situations, I just didn't buy. If you've never read Meltzer's books, do yourself a f ...more
Daniel Audet
May 02, 2011 Daniel Audet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're not a Brad Meltzer fan yet, you will be after you read this book. Released earlier this year to rave reviews, it looks like we have the beginning episode in a series featuring our reluctant, mildly dorky, intellectual but - inexperienced in espionage - hero - Beecher. Meltzer's attention to detail and his well known expertise in American History play in beautifully here as the plot deepens, thickens and splinters into several directions. Secret groups bent on preserving the presidency ...more
Jay Connor
I had lost faith in Brad Meltzer. His stellar explosion onto the political thriller scene in the late '90s and early '00s was very welcome. Grisham had moved on to "Italy," Baldacci had begun a storytelling "plausible-deniability" period with his Camel Club series, and the rest of the landscape was trying to create plot lines around the new national dread - terrorism.

Meltzer came on the scene with three great reads having different branches of government taking center stage: "First Counsel" (Wh
Feb 01, 2011 Dawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-mistakes
Everyone knows I love State of the Union night. Reading all the pre-event hype left me craving a mid-winter escape with a political thriller, a fictional president and a zingy caper. The kids at Huffington Post made it seem hip to avoid O: A Presidential Novel, so I went with Brad Meltzer's The Inner Circle. That's how the conspiracy among NPR, Comedy Central, and yes--the History Channel--was revealed to me. They worked in covertly in unison to make me believe that this was an excellently craft ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Eric_W rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts off with an incredibly implausible scene. Beecher, an archivist, is helping an old the friend in the archives try to locate some information about her long-lost father (who turns out to be in an asylum for the criminally insane after attempting to assassinate the president.) He is showing her a SCIF room, very private rooms where the president and other special dignitaries can view especially important and secret documents without being spied upon (why would they have surveillan ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The Inner Circle is a smart political adventure full of intriguing mystery. The novel starts with a bang and continues at a thrilling pace until the very last word. Brad Meltzer takes political history and turns it on its ear. Creating a massive presidential conspiracy theory that surpasses even the wildest of imaginations, Meltzer convincingly leads the reader on a joyride through the darkest of presidential secrets.

Beecher White is a compelling lead. An average guy with job steeped in history
Feb 26, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
When Michael Crichton published "The Lost World" a few years ago, I felt like I was reading the screenplay for the upcoming "Jurassic Park" sequel rather than an actual novel. A similar thing happened reading Brad Meltzer's latest novel "The Inner Circle."

The story itself is a popcorn thriller of a book. The story opens with archivist Benjamin January preparing for a meeting with his old high school crush, Clementine. She's contacted him again via Facebook and needs his help with tracking down
Rebekah Scott
In 1778, a man by the name of Benjamin Tallmadge organized a spy network in New York City, right in the middle of the British troops. Tallmadge was acting under the order of George Washington himself, and the purpose of this group was to pass information about the British to General Washington. This much is generally known, but what if that group of spies didn’t disband after the Revolutionary War? What if the group known as the Culper Ring continued to work behind the scenes protecting the pres ...more
Titus Burley
I approach any book I read with an innocent until proven guilty attitude; I plunge into a book expecting and hoping to like it. Though I had been intrigued by the premises of Meltzer's books, it wasn't until I read a really touching and well-crafted blog dedicated to his late father that I felt compelled to read one of his novels. Meltzer's premises often tap into little known facts or "secrets" in American history. Think "National Treasure" type adventure novels. So here was the perfect set-up ...more
Feb 03, 2017 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book for sure is a page turner. I started it and could not walk away. Brad definitely can tell a story. Beecher is an incredible character. If you read this book I hope you have a map because you are sure to get lost in it.
Jun 01, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The worst Brad Meltzer book in his published career. Then again, because I usually enjoy this author, maybe my expectations were too high.

The first BM i read was THE MILLIONAIRES whenever that one was new. I couldnt put it down. it was so good that i read THE FIRST COUNSEL shortly after. I never read the same author back-to-back so that was a big deal. DEAD EVEN was a lot of fun!

THE INNER CIRCLE tasted the same as THE BOOK OF LIES & THE BOOK OF FATE. It almost seems as if Meltzer has gotte
Kate S
Aug 28, 2013 Kate S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I enjoyed this thriller set in and around the DC area. I found myself very familiar with many of the places mentioned throughout the story. I had a problem with the timeline. Ten years ago there was an assassination attempt on the President of the United States and around that time the First Lady was killed. This First Family was not the Clintons, either of the Bush families, or the Obamas, but all of those First Families are discussed and apparently held their office as history reports it. Now, ...more
David Monroe
May 30, 2011 David Monroe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I saw this at the library last week. I thought it would be a good bathroom book. We all have those, right? OMG! I ended up literally throwing this into the wall. I've never done that. The protagonist is a young, supposidly bright archivist for the US National Archives. This character suffers from so many annoying Tropes. Let's see: Horrible Judge of Character; Ignore all evidence; No knowledge of his primary job; Selective obliviousness; Suffers from 2 unrequited relationships; Carries the Idiot ...more
Feb 05, 2017 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, not only for exposing the obscure shadows of our nation's founders, but also for the amazing detail added about national treasures.
*Plot/Summary* Beecher White works for the National Archives not only answering researchers from around the country's questions, but also giving them tours of the Archives as well. One day out of the blue, a long lost childhood interest, Clementine Kaye, emails him after reading him on Facebook. Beecher finds himself caught up in intrigue and mysteries surrounding George Washington's Culper Ring. Clementine shows up in trying to find out who her real father is.

Clementines character was not a ver
Michelle Christensen
Really enjoyed listening to this book on a long road trip. We kept turning off the audio and discussing the twists of the book. That made for an enjoyable ride.

I thought about a 5-start rating, but the ending was less than satisfying. Rather than tying up the loose ends--the ends we had actually spent a lot of time discussing--the author used the loose ends to set up the next book. Thumbs down on that one! A series can still exist without having to leave the book undone to lead you to the next o
Oct 12, 2016 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a little out there but a fun read
Giovanni Gelati
Dec 17, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hello again and welcome to 2011. I really wanted to start off with a hot one and The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer (to be rleased Jan.11th) is just that. Are you a conspiracy reader, someone that loves history, enjoy a good, fast paced novel, then check this one out. Here is the synopsis:
“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
This was a very good political suspense thriller. Good characters, well thought-out plot and plenty of nail-biting suspense.

Beecher White is an ordinary guy. He works in the National Archives in Washington D.C. and has a fairly normal daily life.

Then, one day, the girl he had a crush on in high school shows up and asks for Beecher's help finding her father. Wanting to show off the cool place he works in and impress Clementine, Beecher takes her on a tour of the Archives, specifically the "skiffs
Feb 18, 2014 Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Inner Circle is a very good idea that unfortunately falls flat. I loved the premise of a 200-year old spy group tasked with protecting the office of the Presidency. At points, the book meets my expectations while at other points the book seems to drag. Normally this would be a three-star book. But the ending is just so bad.

Meltzer created quite an interesting plot. A couple of seemingly normal folks stumble upon a conspiracy concerning a decades-old crime by the future President and an attem
Jan 11, 2011 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Two and a half stars.

There were times I really liked this book - I mean REALLY liked it... Fast, page-turning action. (Ok, you got me... I listened to it, so I wasn't turning pages... whatever. Incidentally, the production on this recording was outstanding.)

It was like The Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones. And I loved it.

BUT ... I couldn't get past this one thing. The upcoming spoiler alert is very real: (view spoiler)
M.E. Kinkade
I listened to this book as an audiobook, and that may have affected my perception of it. I really wanted to like it--I loved the overarching mystery, and Meltzer clearly knows his stuff when it comes to little-known White House/Washington, D.C., history. But for every point in which he awed me with delicately folded in historical detail, there were two points where he had characters speaking or acting clunkily.
I mean, I know there needs to be an explanatory character in a mystery, just in case t
Beech (Beecher) White is employed at the National Archives and is visited by an old high school girlfriend, Clementine Kaye, who wants help in finding her father.

After Clemmi's mother's death, Clemmi found a document with her father's name on it. By bringing the document to the National Archives, they are able to determine that her father is Nico Hadriam, who is in a psychiatric hospital after an attempt on the president's life, ten-years ago.

At the Archives building, Beech wants to impress Cle
Jan 30, 2011 Min rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meltzer's newest book is centred around the National Archives. I have to admit that this is an institution I've never given a lot of thought to. However, the archivists with which he's populated this book and the way he's made the institution come alive have now made me want to do research on the topic (although I hope there won't be as much cloak and dagger involved in the actual story).

The main story revolves around an archivist named Beecher. A high school friend of his, Clementine, (who he h
So my husband, who NEVER reads! eek!, wanted me to pick up the new Brad Meltzer book, The Fifth Assassin. He said that he saw it and then later on heard about it from someone else that it was really good. We both like those kind of movies that have to deal with America's hidden secrets and what have you. I also like to figure out clues along the way with the main characters like these types of books. I don't like to be left in the dark with important information, so to know that the main charact ...more
G.H. Monroe
Feb 02, 2015 G.H. Monroe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Inner Circle came close to being what Mysteries strive to be. It is the story of an archivist named Beecher White, who, while working for the U.S. Government, gets ensnared in more intrigue and mystery than one man needs in a lifetime. This book starts out as a nice story about a boring little man who spends his days pining for a lost love and working with historic documents. His life is that boring until his old grade school crush steps back into his life and ignites old passions. It is jus ...more
Chris Matney
Oct 07, 2012 Chris Matney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book version of The Inner Circle. The goal was to make the miles roll by - and this story fit the bill. While somewhat the standard political thriller, the backdrop for the story was very interesting - a mysterious package under the seat of the president, darkened rows of the National archives, spy rings - what's not to like?

Now, I like books that are complex with lots of characters, twists and loose ends. I don't particularly need a tidy ending, and I'm perfectly happy j
Matthew Bartlett
Poorly paced.
Poorly conceived.
Terrible character names.
Terrible execution.
Write as many thrillers as you want, but you can't cut corners. And you should not! I do not have enough words to effectively communicate just how terrible this book is.

After reading Brad Meltzer's writing on some comic books, I decided to give him a shot. But what I have received instead is a book that has no firm basis in reality.

The characters guessed through the whole plot, the way I would on a test-only Meltzer wa
Perry Reed
Mar 03, 2011 Perry Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Brad Meltzer's books. Reading them makes you feel like you've worked in the very heart of our federal government and gives you an idea of how things really work.

In "The Inner Circle" an archivist at the National Archives gets caught up in a mystery regarding every president of the United States from George Washington to the current guy. Think Dan Brown, only American politics rather than European art, or maybe National Treasure (the Nick Cage flick) only with more contemporary poli
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Very weak plot 8 52 Jan 08, 2016 12:35PM  
The Stephen King of political thrillers? 2 15 Aug 16, 2015 06:12PM  
Brad Meltzer 1 25 Apr 30, 2013 08:45AM  
Help! Book suggestions 3 46 Sep 11, 2012 09:39PM  
  • The Rule Of Nine (Paul Madriani, #11)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • The Jefferson Key (Cotton Malone, #7)
  • The Inside Ring (Joe DeMarco, #1)
  • Hell's Corner (Camel Club, #5)
  • The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
  • Power Play
  • Supreme Justice (Dana Cutler, #2)
  • The Capitol Game
  • Damage (Abe Glitsky, #3)
  • A Heartbeat Away
  • The Devil Colony (Sigma Force, #7)
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and seven other bestselling thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for nonfiction (History Decoded), advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), children's books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even g ...more
More about Brad Meltzer...

Other Books in the Series

Culper Ring (3 books)
  • The Fifth Assassin (Culper Ring, #2)
  • The President's Shadow (Culper Ring, #3)

Share This Book

“there's nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood. And understanding someone else.” 155 likes
“She dumped me for the worst reason of all. For absolutely no reason at all...I mean, if she fell in love with someone else, or I did something wrong, or I let her down in some unforgivable way...That, I'd understand, right? But instead, she wasn't anything. Not a single thing. It was just me. I was nice. I was kind. We just...she didn't see the connection anymore. I think she thought I was boring. And the cruelest part is, when someone says something mean about you, you know when they're right.” 102 likes
More quotes…