A thriller about a librarian? Have no fear, best-selling author Brad Meltzer soon gets you hooked. After a somewhat slow start, The Inner Circle quickly becomes a fast, fun thriller. Once the twists start coming, Meltzer proves his prowess with the Washington D.C. political thriller and soon it’s impossible to resist the lure of the next page. Meltzer cleverly disguises who’s telling the truth, making the reader question if there’s anyone they can trust.
An unlikely leading man, Beecher White is an archivist at the National Archives. Buried in history every day, he makes a living by finding answers to arcane questions. “Mysteries are my speciality,” Beecher says with nerdy pride.
When Clementine Kaye, his elementary crush and first kiss, asks for his help in finding her father’s identity, Beecher can’t resist showing off his research skills. He’s been sleepwalking through life since his fiancée left him, and a chance to reconnect with this woman is a much-needed wake up call.
An ordinary day of a guy trying to impress a girl quickly goes wrong. Beecher and his security guard friend show Clementine the secret vault where the President comes to de-stress by reviewing old documents. An accidental coffee spill unearths a torn-up old dictionary hidden under a chair. One that belonged to George Washington. One that may be used to send secret messages to the most powerful man in the United States.
Soon the security guard is dead and Beecher and Clementine are on the run. As they try to stay ahead of who might be after them, they have to solve the puzzle of the book. The more answers they find, the closer they get to the President and a secret that he and his inner circle are determined to keep buried.
As the book picks up the pace, Beecher comes alive too, shedding his naive, nice guy persona as he uncovers the layers of conspiracy. And as he uses his librarian sleuthing skills it’s impossible not to root for the little guy going up against the President. Meltzer’s ending leaves the door open to future adventures for Beecher. Let’s hope we see him again.