Tag Archives: david baldacci

a minute to midnight

A Minute to Midnight (Attlee Pine #) by David Baldacci

From Goodreads:

FBI Agent Atlee Pine returns to her Georgia hometown to reopen the investigation of her twin sister’s abduction, only to encounter a serial killer beginning a reign of terror, in this page-turning thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s life was never the same after her twin sister Mercy was kidnapped–and likely killed–thirty years ago. After a lifetime of torturous uncertainty, Atlee’s unresolved anger finally gets the better of her on the job, and she finds she has to deal with the demons of her past if she wants to remain with the FBI.

Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum head back to Atlee’s rural hometown in Georgia to see what they can uncover about the traumatic night Mercy was taken and Pine was almost killed. But soon after Atlee begins her investigation, a local woman is found ritualistically murdered, her face covered with a wedding veil–and the first killing is quickly followed by a second bizarre murder.

Atlee is determined to continue her search for answers, but now she must also set her sights on finding a potential serial killer before another victim is claimed. But in a small town full of secrets–some of which could answer the questions that have plagued Atlee her entire life–digging deeper into the past could be more dangerous than she realizes . . .

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Having read a few very detailed and involved books recently I needed something a lot easier to read and this fit the bill nicely. Baldacci is pretty much in auto mode with this series. The writing is good, but not great and many of the structures and characters are very familiar to anyone that reads this genre on a regular basis.

I do like to see a strong female character as the lead, in fact there are a number of strong female characters in this one. I’m also glad to see no evidence of man bashing that often accompanies this kind of character. Mrs Blum’s character also felt better this time. In the first story her two personas were just jarring and too disconnected to be believable. This depiction suits her much better.

Overall an easy to read story, with a few little twists and some interesting detail on Atlee’s back story. I definitely like how he’s developing this as we progress through the books. If you can deal with the Scooby Doo style ending then you should enjoy it too.

Header image by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

long road to mercy

Long Road to Mercy (Attlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci

From Goodreads:

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe.

It’s seared into Atlee Pine’s memory: the kidnapper’s chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She’s the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon.

So when one of the Grand Canyon’s mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she’s abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it…

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

This story felt like the author was trying to create a female version of Jack Reacher. In doing so he makes her a loner with personality issues and very butch. I think he could have done a better job with this.

The storyline is interesting and very well written for the first half but then it went off the rails into absurdity that I had difficulty with. I also had issues with Mrs Blum’s character. The change she went through just felt wrong as did the dynamic between her and Pine.

Saying all that the book is very readable. It’s styled like Reacher books also with short, snappy chapters that trot along at a fast pace drawing you along.

Overall I enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what happens next with Agent Pine.

Header image by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

walk the wire

Walk The Wire (Amos Decker #6, Will Robie #5.5) by David Baldacci.

From Goodreads:

Amos Decker — the FBI consultant with a perfect memory — returns to solve a gruesome murder in a booming North Dakota oil town in the newest thriller in David Baldacci’s #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series.

When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution — and now murder.

Decker and Jamison are ordered to investigate the death of a young woman named Irene Cramer, whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open — which is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. As Decker and Jamison dig into Irene’s life, they are shocked to discover that the woman who walked the streets by night as a prostitute was a teacher for a local religious sect by day — a sect operating on land once owned by a mysterious government facility that looms over the entire community.

London is a town replete with ruthless business owners, shady government officials, and religious outsiders, all determined to keep their secrets from coming out. When other murders occur, Decker will need all of his extraordinary memory and detective skills, and the assistance of a surprising ally, to root out a killer and the forces behind Cramer’s death. . . before the boom town explodes.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

It’s a while since I read any David Baldacci books and I was looking forward to reading another installment in the Amos Decker story but this was a bit disappointing. It felt like the author was just going through the motions and that this is a book written for money rather than a good story.

The biggest problem is that he tries to take three different mysteries that are only loosely connected. It would have been better to drop to one or probably two and keep a tighter storyline.

The author also depends too much on Amos’ perfect memory as a crutch. I lost track of how many times that he sat down, accessed his “cloud” and suddenly had a flash of inspiration that became a significant break in the case.

Will Robie and eventually Jessica Reel are pretty much shoehorned into this book. Again they’re used as a crutch to make storyline moves, they always seem to be in the right place at the right time and it does neither character any great favours.

The overall story is worth reading and I did enjoy the book. The three cases have merit, I just would have liked to see two of them developed better. It was also nice to meet Amos again and see how his personality is changing and developing. The final reveal did surprise me in the end up even if it was all a bit “Scooby Doo” and “those pesky kids”. Now that he’s updated Amos’ story I hope he is considering a return to the Camel Club.

Header image by Kaboompics .com from Pexels