The darkest secret of the U.S. Presidency is about to be revealed.
Beecher White, a young archivist for the US government, has always been the keeper of other people's stories, never a part of the story himself . . . Until now.
While Beecher is showing Clementine Kaye, his first childhood crush, around the National Archives, they accidentally uncover a priceless artefact - a two-hundred-year-old dictionary once belonging to George Washington. Suddenly Beecher and Clementine are entangled in a web of conspiracy and murder.
Beecher's race to learn the truth behind this mysterious treasure will lead to a code that conceals a disturbing secret from the nation's founding. A secret that some believe is worth killing for.
A fascinating look at the hidden treasures of the National Archives is the one strength of this otherwise unsatisfying thriller. Archivist Beecher White, to impress childhood crush Clementine Kaye during a tour of the archives, shows her the "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" reserved for President Orson Wallace, who often visits the SCIF. The accidental discovery of a rare volume linked to George Washington starts White on a perilous journey involving the Culper Ring, a secret spy group reaching back to the nation's first president; Nico Hadrian, a failed presidential assassin confined in a mental institution; and a presidential secret entrusted only to a few of Wallace's closest friends. Kaye's ambiguous re-entry into White's life adds another challenge. Bestseller Meltzer (The Book of Lies) fails to dial up much suspense with too many sketchy characters and a plot that never lives up to its promise, but the December 2 debut of his History Channel show, Brad Meltzer's Decoded, is sure to win him new fans.