Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013: I consider myself a cagey reader, the literary equivalent of a wizened salmon, suspicious of fakery, wary of sloppy plotting and cliché, and ready to bail if I’m not lured in by page 50. So when … see full wiki
This book is the sequel to the author's "The Inner Circle", and retains most of the characters from that book. Once again our hero, Beecher White, an archivist at the National Archives in Washington (and the newest member of the Culper Ring) is thrust into the middle of some serious doings.
Ministers of churches often visited by presidents are being murdered in what appears to be an attempt at recreating the assassinations of the four presidents who were killed. Oddly enough, the murderer wears a plastic mask copied from Abraham Lincoln's likeness. Old friends, and enemies both old and new, fill these pages with surprises and suspense. Will Beecher and his cohorts in the Culper Ring be able to solve these murders before the sitting president, no friend of Beecher's, is assassinated? Also, who is this murderer who considers himself the latest member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret society that existed during (and after) the Civil War.
Complicating matters is the reappearance of Clementine, Beecher's first love and a strange character whose loyalties always seem to be questionable. Of course, there is Clementine's father, the hospitalized psychopath and killer Nico, who appears to have some connection to these murders. To these folks is added Marshall Lusk, a badly disfigured burn victim who was once abandoned by Beecher when he needed help, and which led to some dire consequences for several people. For whom is Marshall working, and could he be the Knight?
The questions and suspense go on and on, pulling the reader ever deeper into a complex mystery that may or may not have been resolved by the end of the book. To that end, I'm quite happy to look forward to the next installment of Beecher White's life and troubles.