The Inner Circle involves a mythical group called the Culper Ring, a group of spies who operate outside of any normal intelligence circles and are completely loyal to the office of the president. Their information helps the president make crucial decisions. In this novel, Beecher White, an archivist at the National Archive, gets in the middle of a plot involving the Culper Ring, another group of the president’s cronies known as the plumbers, and someone trying to blackmail the president for something that he did while he was in college.
What I always enjoy about Brad Meltzer’s novels is that they always offer a tantalizing premise, and his writing style is what you would call a page turner. I always want to find out what is going to happen next and what his big reveal is going to be. Where Meltzer’s novels tend to fall apart is due to ridiculous levels of unbelievability. As a reader, I am only willing to suspend disbelief so far. The Inner Circle is a little different because although the premise may not be as tantalizing as some of his other novels, it doesn’t fall off the cliff with things that are too hard to believe in. Beecher White isn’t a terribly interesting character as far as protagonists go, but the supporting cast is pretty strong. The action unfolds at a brisk pace and this novel was fun to read. There was a lot to like in the novel, although I wasn’t crazy about the lack of resolution at the completion of the novel. Any reader of Meltzer’s work will enjoy this novel.
Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity