Saturday, July 11, 2015

Review: The President's Shadow by Brad Meltzer

I have been following Beecher White and his adventure's with the Culper Ring since Brad Meltzer's The Inner Circle. I admit I was smitten with the charmingly befuddled, completely out of his element United States government archivist. He spends his days protecting the history of America. By night he protects the Presidency... or at least tries.

What I like most about these books is that Meltzer pulls the reader in by the discovery of a severed arm buried in the White House garden. Now... that's crazy. To think someone had enough time to bury an arm so close where the president lives makes me think security ain't so tough in those parts. What's more interesting than the arm and who it belongs to is what it's clutching in its deathlike grip (yes...pun intended).

Beecher is thrown into the mix because the hand might hold the key to his father's death. It is something that has enticed Beecher since he's never met the man. The President's Shadow begins allows Beecher this journey into his past by often jumping from different points of view including Beecher's, the past twenty-nine years earlier, and Clementine's. Oh yes! She makes a return.

Actually, quite a few people return from The Fifth Assassin including Clementine's nutso father Nico. Nutso-Nico... awesome. I digress... and of course, someone's either out to kill the President or Beecher, or somebody. Sounds a little hard to follow? That's because it is.

My gripe with this novel is that it was never really focused. There was too much going on and I never got enough information to stay invested in any of the intersecting storylines. Beecher wants to find his father, so does Clementine, while Marshall wants to find the guy with White eyelashes, or something. Nothing really stuck for me with this one. I remember reading The Fifth Assassin and becoming a whole-hearted fan of the Culper Ring series. I was ready and willing to help Beecher re-establish the dying elite group of people who serve as a protector of the United State's presidency. They have cemented their place in history and Beecher must keep up the tradition.

All in all, I won't give up on this series. Brad Meltzer is definitely an author I like reading. Although this particular installation of the Beecher White series didn't captivate me like the other two, I still find it a worthwhile read for those who are as invested in this series as I am. I enjoy witnessing Beecher grow more confident, smarter, and interesting. I look forward to the next adventure with the Culper Ring. **

Copy Provided by Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley

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