"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....
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-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.
Gripping, fast-paced, and filled with the fascinating historical detail for which he is famous, The Inner Circle is a thrilling novel that once again proves Brad Meltzer as a brilliant author writing at the height of his craft.
©2011 Brad Meltzer (P)2011 Hachette Audio
"Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci." (People)
I love stories that educate while they tell their story. Meltzer does a good job of telling the reader everything available from the National Archives, about the Culper Ring, and several other facts. However, the story never pulls me in and allows me to suspend belief. At no point did I say, yes this could really happen.
Also, Scott Brick the narrator sounded like "The Brain" from the cartoon "Pinky and the Brain". It was really distracting.
I bought the book because of the publicity regarding Meltzer's careful research of the archives and the archival process. Unfortunately, it's that very preparation that is the most bothersome element of the novel. Every paragraph makes a point to remind the reader, "I've done my homework," or "I can really produce campy metaphor, simile, and plot twists." The novel is self-absorbed, more about its process than about the story.
I listened to the entire book, hoping for an interesting or thoughtful denouement, but it was not to come. The book ends about three-quarters through the story, as though the author were called away from his desk to a more significant task, leaving so much unresolved that we're left with the feeling that the issues and characters weren't important to begin with.
I know the author put in a great deal of work/effort to write this story and Scott Brick did likewise to narrate it. However, I found it to be so melodramatic and convoluted that it was hard to follow the plot or to care about any of the characters. The topic of the national archives interested me but that soon was displaced by the implausibility of the story and the repetitive nature of the dialogue. I finished it but sad to say I did not enjoy it very much.
I've just made it through the 1st Part & I feel like I need to rip my hair out. From the reviews, either you love it or hate it. You can count me as one of the later.
The story wanders and goes no where. Maybe if I could make it to the end, it might come together but why bother?
Story was interesting, voice talent made it difficult to enjoy though.
I would like to listen to nother Brad Meltzer book, but only if someone different narrates it.
Narrator TOTALLY detracts from the story. HORRIBLE. I found myself so turned off by it I found it hard to concentrate. Very annoying. I'm an avid audio book listener, having a long commute. This voice talent was terrible. Ugh! All characters sounded the same, all having the same slow, almost smart alecky tone. Dry emotionless. No fun whatsoever. I don't think I enjoyed the story as much as I may have otherwise. I got through the whole thing, cause I spent money on it, but I wouldn't purchase another audio book with the same narrator. God awful!
This man needs an editor. Maybe he just needs to read a little more Elmore Leonard, who'd housekeep his way through Meltzer's trash like a strong broom. Brad Meltzer's got a plot that moves along nicely, but he clutters it with bad writing. Hallmark of a bad writer is the crutch verb. (Who goes there, he challenged.) Meltzer is addicted to using challenge as a verb. A deeper problem is the ending. He didn't know what to do with his story, so he just ended it. Although he can hook a reader of intrigue fiction, in the end the reader spits the hook out with disgust. With an editor, he could be somebody. All those people he thanked for their editing help need to be ashamed.
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