I don't read other reviews of a book that I'm going to review, because I don't want to be influenced, however coincidentally, by them. I did notice, however, that there is a wide variety of readers giving this writing from 1 to 5 stars, which shouldn't shock me, I suppose, because each reader takes from the book what he or she perceives to be good or bad about it. In my case, I found the book to be very good.
I confess that I really enjoy thrillers, especially those that contain likeable heroes and a constantly changing and moving plot. This book has that for me. It begins in the National Archives, where a young archivist inadvertently gets involved in finding a book that leads to murder, apparently, and various folks looking for him, for one reason or another.
Along the way he learns about a spy ring set up by George Washington and that still appears to be in operation today. There are surreptitious means of passing information between the members of this group, and there is the possibility that another group exists alongside (but not part of) the initial group, and they each have their own priorities, which may conflict with one another.
Soon our archivist is on the run, and he doesn't know who he is able to trust. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book and some very interesting scenes in places about which the average reader is unaware. Finally, it seems that the conundrum for our hero has been resolved, but the author gives some not very subtle hints that there may be a sequel to this book. I hope that there is, for I want to read more of the adventures of the folks from the book, both good and bad.
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About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka (frankiethek)
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
In this political thriller with historical-conspiracy overtones (or perhaps it’s the other way around), Meltzer creates his most engaging protagonist in years. Beecher White is an archivist with the National Archives, who stumbles upon an old book hidden away in a room used exclusively by the president. But did the president know that the book (a spelling dictionary that once belonged to George Washington) was there? And—almost impossible for Beecher to imagine—could it be that the president or someone close to him is willing to kill to regain possession of the book? Meltzer teams Beecher with an equally strong character, Clementine Kaye, a woman from the archivist’s past whose estranged father is, perhaps not coincidentally, the man who tried to kill the current president’s predecessor. Meltzer expertly develops the story, throwing in twists and turns at appropriate intervals, and he does an excellent job of putting us in Beecher’s corner and making us care about what happens to him. The story has a surprising and satisfying conclusion, and Meltzer leaves the door wide open for a sequel. --David Pitt