The Inner Circle
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The Inner Circle (Beecher White #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  9,064 ratings  ·  922 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...more
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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Deception Point by Dan BrownThe Inner Circle by Brad MeltzerFirst Family by David BaldacciSpin Doctor by M.C. LewisThe President's Assassin by Brian Haig
Presidential Fiction
2nd out of 19 books — 14 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
So What Are You Reading This Summer?
42nd out of 194 books — 97 voters

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Community Reviews

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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...more
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
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
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
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...more
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...more
Daniel Audet
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
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
Rebekah Scott
May 01, 2012 Rebekah Scott added it
Shelves: 2011
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
Apr 05, 2011 Monica! marked it as abandoned
This book was recommended to me by a particularly frazzled individual, who spoke at great length about how The Government had actually ordered Brad Meltzer to cut out portions of his book, because it was so true that he was revealing secrets They couldn't let anyone else know.


I can only assume that all of the thrilling parts were among those Secret Sections, because the remainder of the book was so blah I couldn't even finish it. I blame the th...more
David Monroe
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
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
Perry Reed
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...more
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...more
Jenny C.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Giovanni Gelati
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...more
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...more
Chris Matney
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...more
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...more
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...more
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)...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*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...more
This is the 2nd Brad Meltzer book I have read, and enjoyed it much more than Book of Fate... although I would not have enjoyed this one as much without first reading that one.

A key figure in that first book has another key role in this one and many things that are glossed over are enhanced if you know the other book.

It's been a while since I've read a book that I could see made into a movie more than this one... considering the way this book ends... maybe there are plans for a sequel as well.

Matthew Carlton
Beecher is a young archivist working at the National Archives in Washington D.C. He has an "oops" moment at the beginning story, just after he's reunited with the girl he had a crush on in High School, where he spills a cup of coffee in a secure document room. This one act starts a roller coaster ride that lands him directly in the way of the President of the United States. He doesn't know if his friends are enemies or if the enemies are friends.

This was the first book I've read by Brad Meltzer,...more
Kate S
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
I am repeating Tom Calloway's review, verbatim, because no one can say it better:

"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...more
This was the First of Brad Meltzer's books I have read. I honestly didn't know who he was until after I watched Decoded on the History Channel.

Normally I don't read fiction because I get my fill of fiction from what I watch on TV. Because I enjoyed Decoded I thought I would give Brad's books a shot when I saw The Inner Circle in Barnes & Noble.

For me I got what I was expecting out of the book. All I was looking for was to be entertained by an interesting story. Brad included enough history i...more
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-lo...more
I like historical fiction and history in general. I've read a few of Brad Meltzer's books in the past and generally liked them. This book is about a nerdy archivist in washington d.c. who gets involved in a murder mystery. He is contacted by an ex crush from grade school who has a connection to a past would be presidential assassin. There is a mystery that involves the current president and a past mistake he tries to cover up and the archivist isn't sure to trust his past friend, or current co e...more
This is a narrow but inside look at the National Archives, set in a current day mystery that uncovers deep secrets about the historical past, involving the presidents, and the national archivist. Highlights the role and importance of the archives, as well as the documents stored there, and their current usefulness. I found the story to be a bit predictable.
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Brad Meltzer 1 11 Apr 30, 2013 08:45AM  
Very weak plot 7 37 Apr 06, 2013 11:20AM  
Help! Book suggestions 3 43 Sep 11, 2012 09:39PM  
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
  • The Rule Of Nine (Paul Madriani, #11)
  • The Jefferson Key (Cotton Malone, #7)
  • Supreme Justice (Dana Cutler, #2)
  • The Templar Salvation (Templar, #2)
  • Deliver Us From Evil (A. Shaw, #2)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)
  • A Heartbeat Away
  • The Assassin (Ryan Kealey, #2)
  • The Judas Gate (Sean Dillon, #18)
  • Power Play
  • Damage (Abe Glitsky, #3)
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, The Book of Fate and The Book of Lies.

He is also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby—and is the Eisner Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed comic book, Justice League of America.

More about Brad Meltzer...
Identity Crisis The Tenth Justice The Zero Game The Book of Lies The Book of Fate

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“there's nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood. And understanding someone else.” 89 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.” 80 likes
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