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The President's Shadow (The Culper Ring Series Book 3) Kindle Edition
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"History and suspense collide in shocking ways - and the intensity never lets up. Beecher carries the weight of the story. He's a great character who will resonate with readers since he's like the fun next-door neighbor or your best friend in college....One of his best books to date...The ending of The Fifth Assassin appears to announce that Beecher White will return, and that cannot come fast enough."―Washington Post on The Fifth Assassin
"Because not since the Fletcher Knebel seminal Seven Days in May or James Grady's scathing Days of the Condor, has there been a political thriller as relentlessly paced or blisteringly effective as The Fifth Assassin. An early contender for the best thriller of 2013."―The Providence Journal on The Fifth Assassin
"Full of surprises, action, twists and turns, it is a wild and entertaining (and yes, educational) romp, wonderful in every way...Read The Fifth Assassin and prepare to be entranced and enthralled."―BookReporter on The Fifth Assassin
"All of Brad's books are a fascinating read. He is a great storyteller who keeps all of us on the edge of our seats."―President George H.W. Bush --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00O7X61XG
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing (June 16, 2015)
- Publication date : June 16, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2172 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 362 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #62,082 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This staple plot completely sums up The President's Shadow, as indeed it does all the books of the Culper Ring series; and if that is all the books had to offer, they would still be pretty good books. Four stars, I'd say.
But Brad Meltzer adds another layer to the mix here: history. No, not the history of presidents and espionage and secret organizations, although these are also to be found in the Culper Ring books in great abundance. I'm referring to personal history. As protagonist Beecher White says, when you're looking for your family, what you're really searching for is yourself.
After all, let's suppose that you or I stumbled across some kind of evidence of an incredible plot by or against the government. What would you do? Most of us, I'm sure, would be happy to turn the evidence over to the police or FBI and wash our hands of the whole thing. Hardly any of us would decide to quit our jobs, fly around the country chasing clues, and endure being shot at by Secret Service agents gone rogue -- yet this is what most thrillers on the market would have us believe.
On the other hand, we might do a lot, if it meant learning more about the father who died when we were 4, or if the girl who gave us our first kiss in 8th grade suddenly reappears, asking us for a favor. Brad Meltzer knows this. It seems that every one of his characters has some kind of motivation like that, and it turns a genre thriller into something more emotionally complex. It also blurs the lines of good and bad: as one of the characters in the book, one of the "bad guys" says, we are all many people inhabiting a single body. Or as another one says, near the end, we are not who we are on our worst days.
The book is fast-pace and very readable; in fact for the first time in I-don't-remember-when I read the whole book in a single day.
Finally, I have to share this experience: when I received the book in the mail and opened the package eagerly, and, seeing Meltzer's portrait on the back, fondly recalled the occasion when I met Brad Meltzer personally . . . only to remember that, actually, I've never met him. We've never even exchanged emails. So why did I, for a brief moment, think that Meltzer was an old acquaintance of mine? It's not like it happens to me all the time.
The only thing that I can think of was that I had read an essay that Meltzer wrote once on some blog, talking about his days reading The New Teen Titans comic back in the early 1980s. It was a good comic, one of the best ever, and a year or so into its run the introduced a mysterious character named Terra -- streetwise, young, yet vulnerable. She was accepted as a member of the Titans, then it was revealed that she was actually working as a spy for the Titans' worst enemy, Deathstroke. For more than a year you could see the confrontation coming, according to all the accepted staple plots of the comics genre: the Titans and Deathstroke would battle, and the Titans would be losing until Terra shows her inherent goodness and rescues the Titans.
Except it didn't happen that way. Terra betrayed the Titans, and died in the attempt. I was devastated. I didn't read comics again for 20 years, until Brad Meltzer started writing them. And I read in this essay of his, that Terra's betrayal hit him every bit as hard as it hit me. He merely put in words all the emotions I had been feeling 20 years earlier. And in that moment, Brad Meltzer became the childhood friend I never knew.
So that is the Culper Ring series. Thrillers, set in history: America's history. And the childhood traumas that none of us ever completely gets over.