In the latest thriller by bestselling author David Baldacci (The Winner, Absolute Power, Last Man Standing, The Simple Truth, Total Control) you have a heady mix of today’s political scene and conspiracy theories - and conspiracy theorists. The prologue is one of the hottest, barnburning, white-knuckle openings to a book I’ve read in a long while. Adnan, a Saudi Arabian, is driving in Virginia countryside with Iranian Muhammad al-Zawahiri and Afghani Gul Khan in the backseat. They spot a helicopter overhead and begin to panic.
“If you are to die while we escape, then give me your gun,” Adnan said bitterly. “You will have no need for it.” The Iranian pulled out his pistol and tossed it to Adnan. The Burly Khan turned toward the chopper and smiled “How about this plan, Adnan?” he said over his shoulder. “Firing into their tail prop before they can land worked very well against the Americans in my country their spines snap like twigs when they hit the ground.” The Bullet hit him in the back of the neck, ironically snapping Khan’s own spine like a twig, and the big Afghani fell dead. Adnan swiveled his pistol away from his first victim and pointed it at Muhammad, who, seeing this traitorous attack, had started to run. He was not fleet of foot, however, and the cowboy boots he favored were not built for running. Adnan caught up with him when Muhammad fell over a rotting tree trunk.”
There is more to surprise in this prologue, and you can quench your thirst for the twist when you get the book. But once we dive into the first chapter, we start meeting the multitude of characters: Alex Ford, a forty-two-year-old CIA agent; the ragtag crew of sixty-one-year-old conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone (could there be a better-named character for a conspiracy-theorist character?), named The Camel Club: Reuben, Milton Farb, and Caleb Shaw, all highly intelligent and with Vietnam-era gripes with the government; not to mention a President and his underling, Carter Gray.
While on Roosevelt Island in the middle of the Potomac, the Camel Club just happen to witness he murder of Secret Service employee Patrick Johnson, a murder made to appear like a suicide. As the perpetrators come back to complete the crime scene alteration, they spot the club. With a near miss, Stone and his crew get away in the fog, setting off the Camel Club and Alex Ford into investigating the conspiracy.
Overall, this is one great book. The plot is a bit complex as it bounces around, but it is tight and filled with much suspense. This is one top-notch thriller, an excellent read that is more than worthy of the five-star rating.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Bobby Blades, 2005