The Fifth Assassin

The Fifth Assassin

In the history of the United States, there have been over two dozen assassination attempts on the President.

Four have been successful.

Historians have branded the assassins four lone wolves. But what if they were wrong?Now there’s a killer in Washington, DC who’s meticulously recreating the crimes of these four men. And Beecher White has just discovered the truth: over the course of a hundred years, all four assassins were secretly working toward one goal. How are they connected? Who do they work for? And why are they planning to kill the President today?

Beecher’s about to find out. And most terrifying, he’s about to come face to face… with the fifth assassin.

It’s hard to imagine ending one year and beginning the next with a better, more engrossing, read than Brad Meltzer’s The Fifth Assassin. This is only the second book I’ve read in the Beecher White series – I read and reviewed The Inner Circle in December 2011 – and I have to admit I am completely hooked in the series and the characters. I certainly plan to read more in this series and hope to one day make it back to the very beginning.

Conspiracies, political intrigue, The White House and numerous secret societies – you’ll find all this and more in The Fifth Assassin, a book you’ll find it hard to put down. I certainly struggled late last night when I found myself reading until 3am, eager to find out what happens to our protagonist and the President. Incredibly rewarding, this thriller has a well-balanced pace with an intelligent and complex narrative that simply sucks you in and leaves you begging for more.

As with The Inner Circle you may find the beginning a little sedentary, a little stop start, with Meltzer taking great care to lay an intensely solid foundation, introducing characters and filling in the back story for those not yet acquainted with his previous work. It is so well done that reading his previous work isn’t necessary to enjoy this gripping conspiracy thriller but as with any series it’s certainly more rewarding to read back copies so you have a rough idea who the main characters are and their purpose.

Once the foundation is set the book takes on a pace all of its own and the way Meltzer combines history and fiction is incredible. The number of times I found myself checking google to separate fact from fiction is no one’s business. Fortunately I read American History many years ago and I had a fair Presidential grounding going in to this book but I still gained a knowledge I wasn’t expecting, especially certain sections that included John Wilkes Booth and his remains!

The story itself is impressive and you never quite know what to expect, who’s responsible for the deaths and who will come out the winner in the end. There are a few shocks along the way and the author certainly leaves the door open to the next novel in the series – I for one can’t want to read it. Seriously Brad, hurry up will you?!

Characterisation is once again impressive, Beecher White taking centre stage as you would expect, and with numerous powerful and intriguing characters, all helping the story to progress, I found myself wanting to learn more about each and every character. There’s no dead wood here, they all serve a purpose.

If you haven’t read any of Brad Meltzer’s work – and don’t have the time to read them all – I would highly recommend reading The Inner Circle first and then follow that up with The Fifth Assassin – you won’t be disappointed, especially if you are a fan of well written political thrillers as I am. If you need a reason to read The Inner Circle then according to the author’s note in this book there’s a hidden code included that leads to yet undiscovered treasure! I just hope I’ve not misplaced my copy!

Meltzer takes you to Camp David, The Lincoln Memorial, The White House and a variety of other locations throughout America, both past and present, and with numerous twists and turns throughout this political thriller is the benchmark for all others to follow in 2013. Sensational stuff.

Available in hardcover and Kindle.

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Unabridged edition (31 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444764527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444764529
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2 Responses to “The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer – Book Review”

  1. Nikki-ann says:

    I’m not sure if I’d enjoy a political thriller or not… Maybe this and The Inner Circle could be my test case, especially having read your review.

    Happy New Year! :)

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