Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer

The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer
2013, Grand Central Publishing
Series: Book 2 of Culper Ring

Synopsis: From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States.

Four have been successful.

But now, Beecher White -- the hero of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Inner Circle -- discovers a killer in Washington, D.C., who's meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But what if they were wrong?

Beecher is about to discover the truth: that during the course of a hundred years, all four assassins were secretly working together. What was their purpose? For whom do they really work? And why are they planning to kill the current President?

Beecher's about to find out. And most terrifyingly, he's about to come face-to-face with the fifth assassin.

The Good: This series isn't my normal type of thing, but the books keep dragging me in. This time, a serial killer is going around assassinating priests, in the same style as past presidential assassinations.  The history of it was intensely fascinating. We see these past presidential deaths first-hand in the book, which is newer to most than it really should be. We're usually taught about Kennedy and Lincoln but often American educations neglect details from the assassinations of Garfield and McKinley. The book is very suspenseful and quite surprising at times. It took a little getting into, but after the first couple chapters, I flew through the book.

The Bad: More and more, I'm finding it hard to believe that there is a shadow organization that would rely so heavily on a man who is clearly mentally unstable. I don't doubt the shadow organization. I doubt that they would be so invested in an institutionalized man who is clearly schizophrenic on top of other mental issues. Wouldn't they find someone a bit more reliable to, um, rely upon?

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