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The Fifth Assassin (Culper Ring #2)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,988 Ratings  ·  892 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 28, 2013 Monnie rated it it was amazing
Except for authors with whom I'm intimately acquainted, I check out what reviewers think of most books before I commit to reading (that's especially true if I have to shell out bucks to get them, but even when I find freebies, I do a bit of homework). So it was with this one; I think I've read at least one of his other books, but I remember nothing about it, not even the title.

What I found when checking the reviews came as a surprise: of the 29 who had reviewed it at at the time I loo
Feb 16, 2013 Nickitopster rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one!
I really don't like being critical of authors because writing a book is hard work. And, according to his acknowledgements, this book took him 4 years. So I'm sorry but there are 2 main problems with this book.

First, for folks who didn't read the previous 2 books with these characters, he should have considered some recap or summary. Even though I did read the books ("The Book of Fate" introduced Nico Hadrian and "The Inner Circle" introduced the Culper Ring), I didn't remember everything from be
Chris Durkin
Feb 19, 2013 Chris Durkin rated it liked it
I have read all of Mr Meltzer's books and this one and the Inner Circle are some of his worst. That's not to say that they are not good novels. Just the characters are nowhere near as interesting and compelling as the characters in his other books. Ironic that this is the first time he has had a character in more than one book.

Secret Societies. There have been so many novels in recent years, since *cough* *cough* DaVinci Code *cough* *cough*, that this genre is really worn out. It's sad to see
Alan Kaplan
Feb 24, 2013 Alan Kaplan rated it did not like it
I had never read any books by this author, and I did not realize that they are part of a series. I bought the book simply because it was at Costco.
Nevertheless, I understood the main plot of the book, but really I know nothing of the back story. For the most part, I felt that the book was an incomprehensible mess. A member of a conspiracy is attempting to recreate the four assassinations of US presidents, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy. This conspiracy has something to do with playing
Anita Porterfield
Feb 11, 2013 Anita Porterfield rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to read
Recommended to Anita by: Publisher sent me a review copy
“. . .suddenly the bullet dropped out through my fingers and fell, breaking the solemn silence of the room with its clatter, into an empty basin that was standing beneath. There it lay upon the white china, a little black mass no bigger that the end of my finger—dull, motionless and harmless, yet the cause of such mighty changes in the world’s history as we may perhaps never realize.”

Those are the words of Dr. Edward Curtis, the physician who performed the autopsy of President Abraham Lincoln.

Feb 13, 2013 Juli rated it did not like it
I've struggled as to how to write up my review to this book, being that I very rarely provide written review to books that I've read. In this case, I feel compelled to review this book based on my overall dislike of the entire experience. Hoping that other readers will benefit from my experience & not read this book.

I think the best description to wholly convey my thoughts is that I fell down a rabbit hole, just like Alice. And, frankly, were I in Alice's shoes, it would have made more sens
Apr 22, 2013 Darrenglass rated it it was ok
Brad Meltzer often gets lumped in with the cheesy thrillers that Dan Brown et al write. Normally, I don't think this is a very fair comparison, as I think Meltzer brings a level of depth and research to his books that make them several cuts above the cheesiest thrillers. They are still light fast-paced thrillers, but definitely on the intelligent end of the spectrum.

Unfortunately, I didn't think that was the case with his latest, THE FIFTH ASSASSIN. I actually found the whole book kind of a mes
Mike French
I didn't enjoy this book as much as The Inner Circle. Just when things were getting exciting, there would a couple too many flashbacks. Book would slow down and when it built back up, here come the flashbacks again.
Jan 22, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The Good: This series isn't my normal type of thing, but the books keep dragging me in. This time, a serial killer is going around assassinating priests, in the same style as past presidential assassinations. The history of it was intensely fascinating. We see these past presidential deaths first-hand in the book, which is newer to most than it really should be. We're usually taught about Kennedy and Lincoln but often American educations neglect details from the assassinations of Garfield and Mc ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Meltzer's latest novel layers history, politics, and murder into a masterful tale that grabs the reader from the opening pages and does not let go until well after closing the back dust cover. Picking up where 'The Inner Circle' left off, Meltzer posits more conspiracy deep inside the US Government, this time a long-standing secret society in which all four presidential assassins belonged. When murders that replicate these four historical assassinations begin, no one is safe. The society is not ...more
Patrice Hoffman
Feb 07, 2013 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
I suggest anyone reading this to first read The Inner Circle. This book starts off a few months later from where The Inner Circle ended. The characters are the same. There's still the awful President Wallace, the wise old guy Tot, the enigma Clementine, and the evolving Beecher White. I say Beecher is evolving because he doesn't come off as baffled and clueless as he did in The Inner Circle. He's definitely finding his voice and strength the longer he is with the Culper Ring.

Once again, the Culp
Keri ♠
This is the second book in the Beecher White/Culper Ring series. I listened to the first book, Inner Circle, back in May 2012 and really enjoyed it, so when I saw there was a second book in the series, was excited to learn there was a continuation. I was also happy to learn that The Fifth Assassin was narrated by Scott Brick, like Inner Circle. A few of the characters from the first book showed up in this one, along with a new childhood friend of Beecher's, whom I liked a lot better than Clement ...more
Ray Palen
Jan 15, 2013 Ray Palen rated it it was amazing
What if all four of the U.S. Presidents who were assassinated while in office was actually part of some sinister conspiracy --- a plot that has existed for nearly 150 years?

This is the amazing premise of Brad Meltzer’s latest novel --- THE FIFTH ASSASSIN. What makes this brilliantly conceived novel jump out of the readers hands is the fact that the action within is even more exciting than the premise it is built on.

The assassins in question – John Wilkes Booth, Charles Guiteau, Leon Czolgoz and
Feb 10, 2013 J. rated it really liked it
The first thing I have to say about Mr. Meltzer’s follow-up to his novel The Inner Circle is that the chapters are very short. It is the most superficial thing I like about many novels, especially if I have a hard time getting into them. I did have a hard time gaining interest into this book, but I must admit, I had not read the first novel so I was a bit lost at first. My fault, I picked the novel because the author looked like a “hipster” and I loath hipsters. I do owe it to my species to try ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
First of all, let me get it out of the way. I really like Brad Meltzer's books and most of the time I learn a lot about history. Secondly, this is not a stand alone book. It is part of a series. You need to read Book of Fate and The Inner Circle by Mr. Meltzer to understand the full plot of what is going on with Nico and the Culper Ring. Beecher (main character) grows more in this book. We find out a little about his past and what led him to where he is in life now. I enjoy the fact that he is a ...more
The Fifth Assassin is built around the premise that all four of the U.S. Presidents who were assassinated while in office was actually part of some dark conspiracy by a group who have been around covertly for over 150 years.

Religious figures around Washington, D.C. are being murdered using the same methods as each of the late Presidents. Is this a resurgence of this group, known as The Knights of the Golden Circle? Is the current president in danger? What is the message being sent? After all, t
B.G.M. Hall
Mar 14, 2013 B.G.M. Hall rated it really liked it
The second book in Meltzer's Culper Ring series has a villain who is recreating US Presidential murders, targeting pastors who have dealt with this book's POTUS - Orson Wallace - and leading up to an attack on the president himself.
Beecher White, hero of the previous book, struggles with the idea that the assassin may be his childhood friend.
Meltzer's trademark conspiracy theories, obscure trivia (this time around playing cards) and detailed research about the US Secret Service and Presidents (
Dec 21, 2012 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2013 Mommasaysread rated it really liked it
I’m fond of how Brad Meltzer takes me inside the secret. As a comics fan I was well pleased reading his Book of Lies; weaving the Biblical murder of Able by his brother down through the years to the family tragedy surrounding Superman creator Jerry Siegel’s fathers murder into a very satisfying series of complications for that book’s protagonist. In The Fifth Assassin Meltzer lets is in on another great conspiracy. By weaving real history and well thought out intrigues together he leads us to a ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Jennie rated it liked it
This was a hard book to decide on its rating, through out much of the book I would have given it a 5, (kept my interest, didn't want to put it down, brought history into it.....). On the other hand I like reading books that come in a a full package, this certainly did not fit that bill. It by far does not have a full ending, which then I assume there will be another book coming after this. this by no means says I don't like series, I love series, but when I picked this book up I didn't know that ...more
Seeley James
Mar 28, 2013 Seeley James rated it liked it
While packed full of interesting history, this book is in dire need of a serious editor. Both a conceptual editor to reduce the lengthy and boring expository dialogues, and a real proof reader.

While lots of little things get through the best proofreaders, this book contained the sentence, "From the angle she was at, she couldn't see into the breakroom." Need I say more?

Much has been said about the quality offered by traditional publishers, but this book's editing belongs in the indie category.
Joseph Cognard
Apr 24, 2016 Joseph Cognard rated it liked it
I took this book out of the library. because I saw it in the new releases and it said something about George Washington's spies, I just started watching the series about them, and I thought this would be fun. I knew it was present time but thought it would be interesting while watching the series.
I did not read the first book and most likely will not read it or any follow-up. I did not hate the book, but every other page annoyed me with the amount of disbelief I had to suspend. I am usually qui
Matthew Bartlett
The avalanche of terrible writing and poorly conceived character names continues! When asked "Why? Why are you reading a second Brad Meltzer novel?"
My response was, "for the good of humanity."

Moral outrage should be the response to this book, for part of a Rain Forest gave its life to produce this mess of print and insult to human imagination.

What Meltzer has done with this work, and the projects he does with the "History Channel" should be condemned as a war crime. If American History was a pe
Matt Sadorf
Apr 09, 2013 Matt Sadorf rated it really liked it
Brad Meltzer is a great guy that writes pretty damn good books. That's the simple review.

How do I know he is a great guy? He interacts with his fans, his audience, his friends (as he calls us, and I believe him when he says it). He goes out of his way to get back to those that reach out to him. He has a thirst for quirky information that comes through in his work, both book and television, and this is part of the fun of following his work.

This book was a fun journey with characters that we first
Feb 16, 2013 Kaitlin rated it really liked it
After having listened to "The Inner Circle" a few weeks ago I was anxious to get my hands on "The Fifth Assassin" to find out what was going to happen next. I devoured this book in a day.. the chapters are generally pretty short which makes for easier reading. The chapters jumped from one character to another and to events that happened 19 years ago, 6 days ago to present day (I know some people aren't fond of this but I didn't mind it.. sometimes you have to wait until almost the end of a parti ...more
Chris Matney
Feb 24, 2013 Chris Matney rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio book version of The Fifth Assassin recently while driving across Colorado. I picked up the book not knowing it was a sequel to The Inner Circle. It's a good thing I read the first book first - this is not a good stand-alone novel. You need the background to really understand the motivations here.

Overall, the book was solid. Mr. Meltzer re-introduces us to Beecher, Tot, Nico (still one of my favorite characters ever), Clementine, and the rest. It is a wonderfully sorted cr
Feb 07, 2013 Morgan rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. So, though he'll never see it here, I must thank my husband for the recomendation. He heard an interview with Mr. Meltzer and thought it would be a good book to read, if only he read books. Goo thing he is married to a librarian.

I've read some of the reviews of the Fifth Assassin on goodreads and it seems that most readers have been bothered by two things.

One: the jumping around from character to character and/or place in time. This didn't bo
Bill Mackela
Jan 20, 2013 Bill Mackela rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Mr. Meltzer continues the story that began in the 2012 book, The Inner Circle. If you haven't read that, stop right now and go get it. Borrow it from the library, or buy it for the Kindle. It's $1.99 at this time. The Inner Circle

If you don't, you will regret it. The beginning of the book will confuse you and you will have no idea why anyone is doing what they are doing. I know because that is what happened to me. After reading The Inner Circle, everything will make more sense. This book is rea
Jul 28, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Imagine if it was discovered that throughout history all four presidential assassins were actually working together. New York Times Bestselling author Brad Meltzer is writing to prove just that. Returning in his second novel is Beecher White the young national archives archivist who also belongs to the Culper Ring, a covert network of spies founded by George Washington during the AmericanRevolution. As Beecher races to stop another assassination attempt on this nations president he may just come ...more
Mar 03, 2013 David rated it really liked it
I'd love to rate this book at 3.5 stars. As an expatriate American writing for any Aussie readers, some background in US history and politics would be useful, but not strictly necessary.

The Beecher-Marshall relationship was interesting, though some of the dialogue the 12-year-olds engaged in seemed considerably more mature than might be expected from this age group. Nevertheless, Meltzer's effort to explore the emotional vulnerability of young teen-age boys, and how assaults on that vulnerabili
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Marshall Lusk 10 43 Apr 28, 2013 11:24PM  
  • House Divided (Joe DeMarco, #6)
  • The Lincoln Myth (Cotton Malone, #9)
  • Capitol Murder (Dana Cutler, #3)
  • Enemy of Mine (Pike Logan, #3)
  • The Intercept (Jeremy Fisk, #1)
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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 Inner Circle (Culper Ring, #1)
  • The President's Shadow (Culper Ring, #3)

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