Monday, July 18, 2011

The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer

The second road-trip book was Brad Meltzer's latest, The Inner Circle. I've only read Meltzer's three most recent novels, so I'm not sure what his earlier ones are like, but from the three books I have read along with having watched several episodes of his show Decoded on the History Channel, I'd describe him as a conspiracy theorist with mainstream appeal.

Beecher White leads a fairly mundane life as an archivist employed at the National Archives in Washington D.C., watching over some of our country's government's most important documents. But his life takes a dramatic change in direction the day a childhood girlfriend shows up at the Archives searching for the identity of a father she's never known.

As they begin their search for the identity of Clemintine's father, Beecher decides to make the most of the situation and tries to impress Clementine by showing her the secret vault in the Archives that the President of the United States uses when he's reviewing top secret documents. While there, they discover a hidden book owned by George Washington which contains coded messages and a secret which some at the highest positions of power will do everything to keep hidden.

I like a story that has a good plot twist, and I like it when the protagonists and antagonists change rolls at the end of the book. But Meltzer didn't know when to quit when he wrote this one. He included so many plot twists that eventually the plot had no direction at all. And by continously trying to get me to change my mind about who the good guys and bad ones were, Meltzer got me to stop caring about all of them entirely.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

1 comment:

  1. Hey Sean,

    I keep waiting for you to post a review of The Devil Colony. Once you've read it, please visit my blog and share your thoughts on the Mormon aspects of the plot. Another LDS friend is curious to hear your view on that. I'm just curious if you liked the book. Jimbo's just back from SLC, BTW. He enjoyed his time there and was warmly received. What a shame you had to miss him!

    As for The Inner Circle, I enjoyed it quite a lot (4 stars), but I can't entirely disagree with your criticism. For me, the DC setting was a bonus, as that is my home town. But I also thought it was stronger than the last couple of novels, which were disappointing. The Zero Game is my personal favorite, and I do think some of his earlier works are stronger than his most recent. However, I think Mr. Meltzer is a born story-teller, and I'm not ready to give up on him yet.