The Culper Ring was a secret spy ring, made up of civilians, used by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The Culper Ring's purpose was to provide information to the General and eventually the President without any bias or predisposition to the actual information. So secret was the Culper Ring that even Washington himself did not know who were some of the members.
Brad Meltzer has a new book that comes out on 1/11/11 called The Inner Circle. The story is about a modern day Culper Ring although the story and characters are fictional. Meltzer always grounds his characters and stories in some basis of truth which makes his work of fiction almost seem real.
Beecher, the main character, works in the National Archives and stumbles, either by accident or by design (which I still have not figured out) onto a secret communications ring which centers around the President of the United States. The secret spy ring discovers that Beecher has discovered them and now nobody is safe. Beecher has been recently re-acquainted with Clementine, his old child hood crush, who has some secrets herself.
Beecher and Clementine have to put together coded communications left in mysterious locations in an effort to protect themselves from an unknown enemy. At one point they have to seek assistance from Nico Hadrian, a mental patient and would be Presidential assassin (a character from previous Meltzer novel The Book of Fate) whose beliefs are entrenched in secret societies.
I have read every Brad Meltzer book. I watch his show Decoded on the History Channel. I would have to say that Inner Circle is my favorite work of his so far. In all of Meltzer's other books or shows there is always a moment that I say to myself ,"Oh, right, that could never happen." and it takes me out of the action or pacing of the story. Not once in The Inner Circle did I feel that way.
It is a great story, with great, believable characters based in historical locations with historical documents. It blends truth, secret coded messages and fiction. What else could you ask for?
Brad Meltzer apparently was an intern on Capitol Hill-Senate Judiciary Committee- in Washington DC in the early 90's .
Brad Meltzer, apparently, co-wrote the Ameri-Corps Oath, that has been delivered by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Brad Meltzer, apparently interviewed former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as research for a couple of his novels.
Brad Meltzer apparently is now friendly with the former Presidents.
In 2006, Brad Meltzer participated in a group think tank, along with the CIA, FBI, various psychologists, and Department of Homeland Security intelligence staff to brainstorm new ways that terrorists might attack the U.S.
Brad Meltzer, could very well be a part of a current Culper Ring.