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 number one New York Times best seller The Inner Circle - discovers a killer in Washington, D.C. who's meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But what if they were wrong?
Beecher is about to discover the truth: that during the course of a hundred years, all four assassins were secretly working together. What was their purpose? For whom do they really work? And why are they planning to kill the current President?
Beecher's about to find out. And most terrifyingly, he's about to come face-to-face with the fifth assassin.
©2012 Brad Meltzer (P)2012 Hachette Audio
This is a service to those Brad Meltzer fans out there- BEFORE you listen to The Fifth Assassin, which I was really looking forward to, you need to re-listen to The Inner Circle so that you are caught up on all of the nuances at the beginning of the book. It has been awhile between book releases, so frankly I had forgotten all but the major premise of the previous book.... so just a heads up to reread the prequel to this book first in order to get the most enjoyment from it.
I am the author of "Inner Fears", a thriller by MFKing. I am a social media manager for Jazz Social Media. Audio books are my main entertainment, and I think the best entertainment offered today.
After The Millionaires, which sucked me in in 2 paragraphs and let me listen over and over with joy, I was willing to give Brad Meltzer a lot of latitude.
But I'm on Chapter 9, and still can't figure out what the point of this narrative is. I know his wife is in congress or something. I know he is proud of his historical snippets. But this is just bad.
The story he is continuing is a boring one, and the characters are non-existent.
I'm turning it off.
I have actually enjoyed some of Brad Meltzer's ridiculous rides before (I listen for entertainment). This was not one of those. When the Culpa Ring "story" (a "secret club" riddled with such incompetent members that it would be amazing to think they could have survived a month, needless to say a century) degenerated into "the real name of Jesus" I KNEW I had to stop listening (I have to admit that I was tempted to drop the audiobook way before). The storyline is ridiculous. I really couldn't care less what happens to ANY of the characters in this story. A bunch of self-centered idiots bound by a bunch of ludicrous coincidences.
...or you'll be befuddled with all the twists and turns. Meltzer has his ups and downs with his books. This was an "up". Brick has his ups and downs with his narrations. This was an "up".
The plot and writing of it could have been less disjointed and more cohesive. The narration could have been less melodramatic. Additionally, the historical connections could have been more succinctly and clearly presented toward the beginning of the novel to provide a better framework for the storyline.
The story jumped around too much without sufficient connection or explanation.
Normally, I like Scott Brick, but in this book, he over-dramatized the characters from the beginning. Maybe it was the writing, but compared to his other great narrations (Robert Littel's "The Company" for example), Brick's narration of this book falls flat. It is like he's reading every sentence as if it were the climax of the story.
I don't know that I would cut the scenes so much as rearrange them for better continuity. There are a lot of flashbacks.
I could not follow this book. Not sure if it was the naration or the way it was written but it seemed very confusing so I gave up. Pity since I adore Scott Brick and have listened to many in this series.
I have liked several of Brad Meltzer's books in the past and had read the first book in this "Culpa Ring" series. I also was out of books to listen to by always-great authors like Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, David Baldacci and James Rollins. This was a painful listen in every way.
First, unlike so many other reviewers, I am NOT a Scott Brick fan. I think the criticisms here that he reads each sentence as if the weight of the Universe is hanging on his next breath is an apt description of every book he narrates. If the story itself is good enough, I can suffer through Mr. Brick's love affair with his own pronunciation. Unfortunately, this book was almost as bad as the narrator. He makes the characters either too whiny or too self-important or puts an inflection in his voice that makes the listener know "this is the BAD GUY." The overly dramatic narration made it almost impossible to finish.
Secondly, I could have gotten past the narration if the story wasn't SO incredibly weak. I don't believe that the story was convoluted or told out of order as some other readers have suggested. The story was just plain stupid. When I am reading espionage thrillers (and I read many, many books within this genre), I'd like there to be some sort of basis in reality. I can willingly suspend my disbelief to a certain point -- all espionage has some angle that is not credible. Where Mr. Meltzer fails miserably in this story is that at no place in the story did I ask myself "could this really happen?" or "is there someone like this running around the federal government?" Without that mere hint of realism, the story is laughable.
It was not a good use of my credit. More importantly, after agonizing through yet another of Scott Brick's narrations of a Meltzer novel, I am done. The two -- author and narrator -- are a deadly combination. And not in a good way.
Say something about yourself!
I bought this one without previewing it first. Big mistake!!
The story is OK enough, but Scott Brick was almost impossible for me to listen too.
Where he came up with the voice for (Beecher?) is hard to imagine....just about the worst he could have done.....I hope.
However, if you can struggle thru Brick's performance,(my daughter couldn't) the story is entertaining.
I was curious about Meltzer, having never read him before....might be a while before I try him again..
Not so much..
might try one with a different narrator.
No, I usually don't repeat books.
It did keep me going, and I had to wait until a slower part came around to shut it off.
As far as I'm concerned Meltzer is a wonderful teacher and darn good writer. Very, very bright while he weaves fiction and fact. I've watched him on the History Channel doing the "Decoded" series, very interesting as are the topics he has his team research.
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