Today’s featured mystery is The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer, book one of The Culper Ring series. This is one of the books passed along to me by my friend Patty and right away struck me as being a Washington thriller/mystery à la Margaret Truman style. I couldn’t wait to get into and it certainly didn’t disappoint. There were so many twists and turns, I couldn’t spoil it for you if I tried; a veritable “who can you trust” who-dunnit.
When Clementine Kaye unexpectedly waltzes back into Beecher White’s life, the young archivist at the National Archives begins stumbling over himself trying to impress her. She was his childhood crush and his first kiss and he can’t see past the flirty facade she projects as he leads her around his work place. When his friend, security guard Orlando offers to show them into the secure room (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility — SCIF) the President uses when he comes to the Archives to read, that’s when everything starts to go haywire. A few hours later, there is a missing video tape of the three of them in the SCIF, a defaced 200-year old book that may have belonged to George Washington is discovered, Clementine learns her father was an assassin who tried to kill a former President of the United States, Beecher is covering up a possible secret “drop” spot between the President and someone unknown, and Beecher is being set up for Orlando’s murder. Beecher doesn’t know who he can trust; you don’t know who he can trust.
This is an extremely fast read because the plot and the writing move you along compulsively — you can’t put it down. You see a lot about the Archives and how they work, more about the Washington area, and learn about the Culper Ring, a spy group originally started by George Washington that is in place to protect the presidency — not the president. But as presidents go, Orson Wallace is one that doesn’t deserve the allegiance and protection of the Ring, and like others before him, has his own group of “plumbers” in place forming a second ring — an inner circle. Fast-paced, full of surprises and a variety of characters both sane and insane, with some interesting history thrown in as well. A great book to curl up with for the holidays. * * * *
If you, too, are a fan of mysteries, I hope you’ll not only enjoy my Monday posts but will contribute by publishing your own Monday Mystery, mentioning my meme, then come to my blog, comment on your mystery (or mine) briefly, and include the link directly to your mystery review. You can also copy my MMM badge to your post.