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Cincinnatus: The Secret Plot to Save America

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Washed-up golfer Matt Thurman dreams of returning to the PGA circuit. Instead, he finds himself framed for murder. Espy Harper, a Department of Justice attorney, wants to solve a mystery involving fixed golf tournaments. Instead, she uncovers a draconian plot with world-changing consequences. Together they race to find answers before it’s too late—for them and for the country. Their quest leads them deep into America’s past, to a brotherhood of direct descendents of the Continental Army. Cincinnatus weaves a riveting dramatic tale full of intrigue, murder, and lost love that will leave readers breathless.

523 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 2008

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About the author

Rusty McClure

5 books13 followers
Rusty McCLure, is the New York Times bestselling author of Crosley, Cincinnatus, and Coral Castle.

He has a Master of Divinity degree from Emory university and a Harvard MBA.

An advisor and investor in numerous entrepreneurial projects, Rusty teaches the entrepreneurial course at his undergraduate alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan university.

He is the son of Ellen Crosley McClure, daughter of Lewis Crosley and direct descendant of the Crosley brothers.

Rusty resides with his wife and daughters in Dublin, Ohio.

Rusty has served as a PGA scoring observer for twenty years.

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5 stars
18 (23%)
4 stars
24 (31%)
3 stars
30 (38%)
2 stars
3 (3%)
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2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Jeff P.
255 reviews21 followers
June 28, 2022
I found this book on a shelf in my garage last week. I don't remember where or when I bought it but it was probably in a yard sale or thrift store in the last few years. Then I started reading it and enjoying it. The story starts off with a young professional golfer who has been injured and is reduced to caddying to make ends meet. Late in the evening on a Sunday, when caddies are allowed to play, he was working on his game and witnesses a murder and is framed for it. And the story takes off from there with the FBI, the DOJ and a secret society that's lost it's way. Part of the fun (for me) is that it takes place in Ohio, mostly Columbus and Cincinnati, and some of the locations are real. One of the locations was Camp Washington Chili in Cincinnati, where my wife and I had lunch last year. It's pretty good if you like Cincinnati style chili.
3 reviews340 followers
January 20, 2010
This book does exactly what a suspense novel is supposed to do -- it keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.
When I first heard about this novel I was intrigued. How exactly do you mix fixing PGA tournaments, the secretive military society of the Cincinnatus, a plot of monumental proportions, middle eastern terrorists and the paranormal enigma of Ed Leedskalnin, the weird guy who built Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida (it is a 1100 ton structure supposedly built by this one person, all by himself--nobody knows how he did it) and his theories of magnetism/anti-gravity? Plus, let us not forget the major sub-plot of lost love which permeates the book. Seven lost loves to be exact and in addition, seven disguised plot references to lost love.
Well the author's Rusty McClure and David Stern didn't disappoint, telling an intriguing story which takes you from depression era Homestead, Florida and a meeting with the strange Ed Leedskalnin who secretly built a monument to lost love using mysterious powers to present day, California, Cincinnati, Florida and the Bahamas.
The novel opens with down and out ex-PGA golfer Matt Thurman being framed for murder. His escape from jail is arranged by a mysterious stranger. Along the way he meets Espy Harper, a Department of Justice attorney. Together they discover a plot of monumental proportions involving members of the Order of Cincinnatus, a society of descendents of officers of the Continental Army and the fixing of PGA golf tournaments to finance the plot. The book culminates at an exclusive Bahamas resort island in which the plot is revealed and it all connects: golf mixes with the paranormal discoveries of Ed Leedskalnin, the builder of Coral Castle as well as the plot which is of Clive Cussler like proportions.
This is an entertaining escapist read. Full of intrigue and suspense and interesting plot twists that mixes several seemingly disparate elements into an enjoyable whole. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Colleen Estep.
91 reviews3 followers
December 30, 2013
Wow- absolutely loved this book! Not a big science fiction fan, however, this novel changed my mind. From page 1 that starts in 1938 I was hooked. Strong and very likable characters, though Matt Thurman has his moments. A washed up golfer for sure but he knows his come back is just around the corner...how could it not be. He just needs to clean up his act....then he meets DOJ attorney Espry Harper who is going to stop the "fixing" of PGA tournaments that she is sure is happening.What follows is a combo of history, sci-fi, paranormal and love!
Together Matt and Esprey not only do some time traveling but figure out just how Edward Leedskalnin was not only able to cure his own case of tuberculosis but built Stonehenge in Florida totally alone and with his own hands. Everyone wants that secret which is 80 years old.But as it turns out it was much, much older then that. How to get there, find it and return to the present is the question. There are a lot of facts and real people mixed in with the story. I loved it and think if you read one book in the next few months, this should be it. And of course, you will need to know what happens with the beautiful Espry and the washed up Matt.
Many, many thanks to Rusty McClure and David Stern for such a great read. I received my copy from Goodreads.

Profile Image for Mark Miller.
11 reviews3 followers
October 29, 2013
I will admit to being pleasantly surprised. It is a daunting task to craft a story that manages to tie together a variety of unrelated, though interesting, topics - the supernatural, Founding Father history, professional golf, terrorism, entrepreneurship, secret societies - into a cohesive, entertaining story. For me, it hasn't been since I read one of Dan Brown's novels that I found myself as feverishly pressed to keep turning the pages. Took me only two days to get through it.

While the plot structure has a feel which resonates somewhat with preceding bestselling thrillers, it does manage to offer its own flavor. It succeeded in jolting even a reader as myself - who tries to keeps his guard up against the plot twists that hope to take us by surprise in the coming pages - into moments of bemusement, fear, disbelief, sadness, and relief. For me, it read much like a movie.
On a note of personal preference, I also have an appreciation for books which take the multi-protagonist approach, as this does. Most stories never occur simply from one perspective, and can be enriched by acknowledging this. The book does a decent job, in my opinion, of keeping a natural flow, amidst the multiple setting transitions inevitably involved with this.

By the end of the book, I was left not only with a desire to reread it (my litmus test for determining a good book), but a piqued curiosity about many nonfictional elements which it incorporated. For example, I was surprised to have never heard, prior to this book, about the fascinating mystery surrounding Ed Leedskalnin and his Coral Castle (that in itself is a mystery to me, no pun intended).
1 review
January 22, 2010
I’m not a fan of golf and plots involving secret historical societies don’t usually spark my interest, however I have to say that this book is a real page turner. I really enjoyed it! It is a very exciting read.
First there is the intriguing prologue involving the paranormal abilities of Ed Leedskalnin, this eccentric man who built this real mysterious place in South Florida called Coral Castle – a monument to unrequited love by the way. Then you are plunged straightaway into the life of Matt Thurman, a disgraced professional golfer who is framed for murder. Thurman meets up with a Department of Justice Attorney by the name of Espy Harper who is investigating the fixing of PGA Tournaments and together they delve deeper and deeper into a plot that twists and turns taking them all across the United States and to an exclusive island in the Bahamas.
I couldn’t wait to find out what happened and stayed up three nights in a row to finish the book. If you are looking for a good thriller that weaves lots of interesting layers like golf, professional golf, the paranormal, lost love (which is a major underlying theme), and a secretive historical society made up of descendents of the Continental Army, then pick this book up.
Profile Image for Mark Lacy.
Author 6 books6 followers
September 1, 2016
[July 6, 2012] I think it's always fun to read a fiction book whose setting is a city or locale in which you live or with which you are very familiar. I was drawn to reading "Cincinnatus" because I live in the greater Cincinnati area. If I was to judge this book by its cover, I would be soooo far off the mark. This is one of the few books I can honestly say I couldn't put down. A great thriller. Of great literary value? No, but then most thrillers aren't. But it was fun, and I enjoy a fun book now and then. Flaws? Some, but nothing I couldn't overlook. The one thing I didn't care for about this book (the hardback edition) was simply its cover, and unfortunately I think the cover will dissuade some potential readers from giving the book the chance it deserves. The book jacket is boring and does nothing to encourage you to pick up the book. A word of advice: give the book a chance anyway. You will be rewarded.
Profile Image for Mel.
200 reviews
May 19, 2010
Just finished this one today. I picked it up at the library a couple weeks ago, not expecting much, after seeing a few billboards for it around town last year. It turned out to be a rollicking good read, pulling me in after just a few pages (a feat another book I was really looking forward to reading, "Rebels and Traitors" by Lindsey Davis, has not yet managed, about 1/3 of the way in) and sustaining that excitement almost all the way through.
Call it a spy thriller with allusions to fantasy, call it local flavor, it all works. Nice book!

PS: The primary locations all have maps and info in the appendices. Nice touch!
Profile Image for Don Snyder.
Author 2 books25 followers
May 28, 2010
I imagine it's a task for writers to keep readers involved and engaged in a book that's 500 pages long, but author Rusty McClure does it with ease in his new book Cincinnatus. What you think might be a simple murder mystery on a golf course turns into a many-leveled tale of espionage, intrigue, and adventure (and several more murders.)

If you're a reader who enjoyed "The DaVinci Code" or a fan of "The Bourne Identity" (with a few James Bond moments thrown in for good measure) -- then you will enjoy "Cincinnatus" by Rusty McClure.

Oh, and I fully expect a movie adaption within the next couple years, so I am going on record right now with my vote for Thandie Newton to play "Espy."
97 reviews3 followers
February 16, 2010
A character in this book is named after our handyman. It's kinda fun to see Mike's name over and over again. Getting some interesting tidbits about history as well...

This was a fun read - mostly because of the name of our handyman being in it. Not really my genre (mystery, terrorism) but a nice departure from my "usual" reading list.

It took about halfway through the book before I was hooked, and then I couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Paulette.
238 reviews
July 22, 2013
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book - a local, golf-centered murder mystery didn't seem like my cup of tea, but I was really pleasantly surprised. It's actually quite good - decently written and nicely paced, the story mostly holds together (there are some fancy coincidences, but those can be overlooked), I liked the local Cincinnati references, and they weren't too "insider-y" or intrusive, as they can be. Overall, an enjoyable read.
14 reviews
January 19, 2013
This book was a pretty good "thriller". What made it a little better than the average thriller book was the setting. Being familiar with the places and buildings mentioned in the book makes you feel like you somehow have the inside story. But for people not from the Cincinnati area it's still a decent, quick read.
Profile Image for Judi .
28 reviews2 followers
August 26, 2013
As I read through the first chapter I wasn't too impressed, but I stuck with it a few more chapters and I was hooked! Really great thriller.
1,721 reviews9 followers
August 15, 2021
(1 1/2). a friend of mine who knows one of the authors turned me on to this book. it is very much a good news, mostly bad news situation. It has some golf, some interesting references to my home town and Ohio, and is pretty fast paced. The problems are many. Too often something major happens and the follow up is non existent or barely alluded to many pages later. Characters are introduced, presented as important and rapidly discarded. The plot is one we have seen many times before and is dealt with in a mostly ridiculous manner. And to top it off, it is way too long! Barely reasonable stuff.
Profile Image for Lisa.
33 reviews1 follower
September 7, 2022
More accurately 3 1/2 stars -

I was quickly invested in Espy and Matt as well as their families. Their stories are the highlight of this book. Overall an interesting read, but it was far too lengthy and included too many characters to follow. I also felt the author added so many explanations/excuses for the mayhem planned but much of the ending was unbelievable and confusing.
January 11, 2022
Ed Leedskalnin was a genius at the very least, and deserves better. Come to think of it, so do the Crosleys.
Profile Image for Glen.
75 reviews29 followers
March 1, 2014
First I have to say that I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I received a signed copy of Cincinnatus along with a kind note from the novel's publisher asking me to review the book when I had finished.---That being said, Cincinnatus was excellent. The novel hooked me in the first chapter and never let go. I stayed up way too late finishing the book on only the second day of owning it. Any book that can keep me turning pages even though I know my alarm will be going off in only a couple of hours is a well conceived and well written work. Cincinnatus is full of so much suspense and so many plot twists that I don't want to say much about the plot itself. What is revealed on the dust jacket is in my opinion enough to get you started. A washed up golfer, an American Stonehenge, the Continental Army, and the Department of Justice all wrapped up into one hell of a fun book to read.
Profile Image for Jessica.
168 reviews
November 17, 2015
A couple of years ago my dad gave me this book and a non-fiction book about Coral Castle. I eyed both with skepticism. I started with the non-fiction book since it was a quarter of the length. I couldn't read it. It was dreadfully boring. I couldn't even read it while waiting for my car at the mechanic.

So, I wasn't exactly excited about the prospect of reading this book.

However, I was surprised to find myself in enjoying this book. There were parts that I didn't care for (ie a lot of the golf stuff), but it did hold my attention throughout. Definitely an interesting read given recent events.
Profile Image for Vicki Jaeger.
879 reviews3 followers
June 5, 2010
This tried really hard to follow the DaVinci Code model of intrigue, information that could change the world as we know it, etc. It was okay, but not compelling enough by the ending. It kept my interest, but the ending went a bit wild.
Profile Image for Mindy.
64 reviews
April 24, 2010
Spot on with the Cincinnati locations.

I thought this was a great read up until the end. I just felt let down by the ending. Big, big buildup--very little resolution. Enjoyable overall.
Profile Image for J Crossley.
1,719 reviews15 followers
November 15, 2017
I was happily surprised by the plot of this book. It was well-thought out and at the end the ends tied up nicely.
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews

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