RICHARD reads reviews: STONE COLD, David Baldacci

Another in the Baldacci series, Camel Club

Synopsis
(Source: Goodreads)
The #1 bestselling author of The Collectors and Simple Genius returns with STONE COLD…an unforgettable novel of revenge, conspiracy, and murder that brings a band of unlikely heroes face-to-face with their greatest threat.

Oliver Stone, the leader of the mysterious group that calls itself the Camel Club, is both feared and respected by those who’ve crossed his path. Keeping a vigilant watch over our leaders in Washington D.C., the Camel Club has won over some allies, but it has also earned formidable enemies-including those in power who will do anything to prevent Stone and his friends from uncovering the hidden, secret work of the government.

Annabelle Conroy, an honorary member of the Camel Club, is also the greatest con artist of her generation. She has swindled forty million dollars from casino king Jerry Bagger, the man who murdered her mother. Now he’s hot on her trail with only one goal in mind: Annabelle’s death. But as Stone and the Camel Club circle the wagons to protect Annabelle, a new opponent, who makes Bagger’s menace pale by comparison, suddenly arises.

One by one, men from Stone’s shadowy past are turning up dead. Behind this slaughter stands one man: Harry Finn. To almost all who know him, Finn is a doting father and loving husband who uses his skills behind the scenes to keep our nation safe. But the other face of Harry Finn is that of an unstoppable killer who inevitably sets his lethal bulls-eye on Oliver Stone. And with Finn, Stone may well have met his match.

As Annabelle and the Camel Club fight for their lives, the twists and turns whipsaw, leading to a finale that is as explosive as it is shattering. And when buried secrets are at last violently resurrected, the members of the Camel Club left standing will be changed forever.

With unrelenting pacing, stunning reversals, and two of the most compelling characters in modern fiction, STONE COLD is David Baldacci writing at his breathtaking best.

Richard comments
Baldacci seldom delivers a literary dud. Stone Cold isn’t one either. The story is a riveting narration of killers working for the American espionage system, most often the CIA, but occasionally, somehow connected to the FBI. The chief killer is working on a vendetta of revenge with the goal of executing the executives of the American spy system for their assumed wrongful killing of his father.

As usual, Baldacci’s characters are supermen, with outstanding powers of physical, mental and even emotional prowess. They can endure more than other more average humans; they think faster; they are stronger and they are smarter. An amazing group and even when they age, they seem to retain their superpowers doing unheard of things at surprising levels of expertise and skill. 

Stone Cold holds to this pattern. The story is energetic and exciting. The suspense builds creatively. Will the protagonist succeed in his assassination? Will the femme fatale become the weak link of the team in its retaliation assault? Will Oliver Stone, our hero, survive even though he is eligible to collect social security? Baldacci keeps you guess and does so by holding your attention and keeping you on high alert anticipating a negative culmination to the unravelling surge of events.

Baldacci never disappoints. Every novel is an exciting series of page-turning characters and events. The excitement never lets up right to the surprising climax and nicely tied together ending.

If one is pressed for criticism, one could say his cast of many characters, all with very Anglo-“waspish” names can become confusing. But it is an inconsequential criticism in the context of the polished prose produced by this literary professional.

 

However, readers should acquaint themselves with Baldacci’s Camel Club, a group of seeming misfits who are either social outcasts from regular society or simply too old to be part of its mainstream. Led by Oliver Stone, whose home is in Washington’s Arlington Cemetery, the club members work together under Stone’s leadership to help defend American democracy and its principled way of life by chasing after and usually killing the villains who assault the American freedom, liberty and equality. American justice will prevail, regardless of the age or eccentricities of the defendants.

This entry was posted in RICHARD reads reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.