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Extended Audio Sample The Fifth Assassin, by Brad Meltzer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,933 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brad Meltzer Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Culper Ring Series Release Date:
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Over twenty four attempts of assassination have been made on the President of the United States, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald among the most notable. Only four have succeeded. Now, Beecher White, protagonist of The Inner Circle (a New York Times best seller), learns of a new murderer in Washington, D.C. who is trying to methodically piece together the former assassination attempts of the four killers who succeeded. They are known to historians as the four lone wolves, but, what if they weren't working alone?

Soon Beecher will find out what really happen during the last century. Perhaps these four were joined in a single purpose, but what was it? Who was putting them to work? Will they attempt another assassination? Beecher must be careful as he gets closer, even face-to-face, with the fifth assassin.

Brad Meltzer was born in 1970 is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, television and comic books. He is known for his award winning comics and for his best selling political thrillers. He was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and then moved to South Florida. He befriended another comic book writer and artist and worked in sales for a comic company during the day, while at night he wrote his first novel. He also received a law degree from Columbia Law School. Meltzer has worked with various intelligence agencies to brainstorm new avenues that terrorists might take against the U.S. His first book for his son reached the New York Times best seller list.

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, DC, 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 is about to find out. And most terrifyingly, he’s about to come face-to-face with the fifth assassin.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Meltzer has earned the right to belly up to the bar with John Grisham, Scott Turow, and David Baldacci.”


  • “Along with some standout character moments, Meltzer lays out a history for Beecher that’s just as interesting as the real-life details and the hunt for the assassin.”

    USA Today

  • “When Meltzer got his hooks in me by the end of page three and never stopped reeling me in, I have to say I was impressed. I was also impressed that the hero of The Fifth Assassin (first introduced in The Inner Circle) isn’t a misanthrope cop or hard-drinking PI but a brainy archivist at the National Archives. Beecher White is a glorified librarian, for god’s sake. But with a dash of Sherlock Holmes and a hint of Indiana Jones, White is a refreshingly quirky pursuer of justice, and his hunt for a would-be assassin—which takes us through history and through the secret spaces around Washington, DC—makes for a thrilling read, as well as a nice reminder that a page-turner can be smart, deeply researched, and just plain fun.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “John Wilkes Booth; Charles Guiteau; Leon Czolgosz; Lee Harvey Oswald; all four presidential assassins were cut down soon after their heinous deed. But did all these ‘lone wolf’ assassins really act alone, or were they part of a conspiracy that stretches into the present? To answer that question and save another president’s life, Beecher White, the hero of Brad Meltzer’s The Inner Circle, must now place himself in grave danger.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “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.”

    Washington Post

  • “In The Fifth Assassin, Meltzer skillfully makes the narrative accessible to newcomers without alienating fans who are familiar with The Inner Circle…History and suspense collide in shocking way—and the intensity never lets up.”

    Associated Press

  • “A fascinating story that blends historical facts, secret codes, with an engrossing mystery...Meltzer is a master at writing his mysteries as puzzles where the pieces are hints dropped throughout the book.”

    Military Press

  • “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.”

    Providence Journal

  • “When you sit down to start reading, make sure the chair has a comfortable cushion because you’ll find yourself unable to put the book down and get anything done. It’s that good a read…As always Meltzer’s character development and believable plot is spot on. Clearly Mr. Meltzer has done his homework. I think his attention to detail, using true facts combined with fiction to tell his story is what makes him a standalone author in the thriller genre and has his fans coming back for more.”


  • “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.”


  • “Meltzer’s fans will enjoy the usual sprinkling of history factoids, fast-paced writing, and the double-whiplash bombshell conclusion.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “National archivist Beecher White returns in another heart-pounding thriller set in Washington, DC. As if he were spinning plates, Meltzer balances almost too many characters’ stories simultaneously…setting a frantic pace that will leave readers breathless and tense…This roller-coaster car should come with a seatbelt!”


  • “Hold on tight as Scott Brick employs his trademark serious tone to ratchet up the suspense. Such is his vocal power that in the character of the president of the United States his control and presence are felt unequivocally. And the voice he gives to the hesitant institutionalized whack-job evil genius of the story makes us feel the confines of his insanity and the high-security institution that holds him. Listeners of Meltzer’s last book, The Inner Circle, will love the continuation of the intrigue he set in motion.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A 2014 Audie Award Finalist for Best Thriller/Suspense Narration
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2013

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kate | 2/15/2014

    " Love it! Another great read - could not put it down "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rickhow | 2/11/2014

    " Not sure why people write long newspaper like reviews here, hate them, so will keep it short and sweet. Likes: have to complement author on coming up with such a good plot/concept, held my interest throughout, good twists and turns. Dislikes: this book jumps around WAY too much and is in much need of a better editor. There are tons of short 4-5 page chapters which jump around from present day, then next chapter is 18 yrs earlier, then next chapter is present day, didn't like that at all. Then the worst of all, the ENDING. It just abruptly ends, without resolving the story completely, obviously leading up to a follow up novel. Frankly while it was good, I wouldn't recommend you waste your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Janet Martin | 2/5/2014

    " Not his best, but a better than average thriller--4 stars is generous, should be a bout 3.2 or so. Since the action picks up very shortly after the end of The Inner Circle, it is best to read them in order. Main character seems to make a lot of bad decisions for someone who is supposed to be very bright. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robin | 2/5/2014

    " I love Brad Meltzer's books and Decoded. I really liked this book. You definitely should read the two books that come before this or you will not understand much of it. I read them and I still struggled to remember the details. Also, how did Mitchell get burned? Did I miss something? "

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