Book Review: The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer


Rating: 2.5 / 5

I remember being in college and loving Brad Meltzer’s earlier works, such as Dead Even, The Millionaires, and The Zero Game.  Those were the books that kept me up late because I didn’t want to go to sleep not knowing how they ended.  I stopped reading his books because they seemed to be heading towards The DaVinci Code type of stories.  But when I picked up The Fifth Assassin and read the jacket, it seemed like something right up my alley.  Unfortunately, it ended up being a book that intrigued me but I didn’t think was executed that well.

Beecher White is back (maybe part of the problem is that I didn’t read the first book, The Inner Circle), this time trying to find a serial killer whose goal is to assassinate the President of the United States, Orson Wallace.  Pastors are being killed in the same style as the previous presidential assassinations, starting with Lincoln.  As part of the secret Culper Ring, White is tasked with helping protect the presidency, even though he loathes Wallace.  This is because White knows that Wallace and Dr. Stewie Palmiotti, head of the White House Medical Unit and Wallace’s personal physician, are harboring a secret related to a decades old murder.  White has made it his mission to uncover this secret and make both men accountable for their actions.  So even though White is no fan of President Wallace, duty takes precedence, and he must help find who is trying to assassinate Wallace, even though with each murder of a religious leader, Beecher is realizing he is closer to the murders than he imagined.

The premise of The Fifth Assassin is awesome.  A killer that is murdering pastors and preachers the same way as the previous four presidential assassinations had occurred, and as warm up to the assassination of the current president? Sign me up.  I was expecting to get my socks knocked off, but sadly, it didn’t quite work out that way.

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