The Inner Circle - Brad Meltzer This book starts off with an incredibly implausible scene. Beecher, an archivist, is helping an old the friend in the archives try to locate some information about her long-lost father (who turns out to be in an asylum for the criminally insane after attempting to assassinate the president.) He is showing her a SCIF room, very private rooms where the president and other special dignitaries can view especially important and secret documents without being spied upon (why would they have surveillance videos in the room then? Anyway, Beecher spills coffee and knocks over a chair revealing a hidden document which for some bizarre reason (the room might be being used as a blind drop site) Beecher and the security guard friend feel they must take and investigate. The guard squirrels away a copy of the security video to hide that they were in the room and then he is murder. Inexplicably, Beecher becomes immediately paranoid assuming everyone else knows something is is out to get him. My crap detector was into overdrive by this point.

The premise is not a bad one, and I love books that integrate historical facts to build alternate conspiracy theory type of story. The Culper Ring was a group of spies working for George Washington. This group actually existed, but Meltzer takes it one further, building his plot around the continuation of the ring as a conspiracy to well, you know, take over the world. Supposedly they communicated by using special invisible inks and sending messages on pages in books in the Library of Congress and the National Archives. Clementine (Clemmi for short if you can swallow it,) is an old friend of Beecher (his fiance had recently died, of course) and, we learn, the unknown daughter of Nico who had assassinated the president’s wife, missing the president, and is now incarcerated in a mental institution. The implausibilities continue to build.

That’s enough. A big disappointment.

Smacks of a badly done DeVinci Code. I received this book free as an advance reader copy.