Divine Justice is the fourth book in David Baldacci’s Camel Club series. The Camel Club is a ragtag team of eccentrics who are attuned to and intent on exposing the missteps of our government from all sides. They are led by John Carr, AKA Oliver Stone, a former government-trained assassin from a highly secret (and fictional) branch of the CIA who’s been on the fringes of society since his ouster by the corrupt leadership that had his family executed when he wanted out. When he went on the run, he took the name Oliver Stone because he saw real conspiracies everywhere. The other charter members of the club are Reuben Rhodes, Caleb Shaw, and Milton Farb. Continue reading
The end of the King and Maxwell series
King and Maxwell is the sixth and final book in David Baldacci’s King & Maxwell series, and it doesn’t disappoint. The last three books of the series, First Family, The Sixth Man, and King and Maxwell are closely coupled, each picking up where the last one leaves off. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are looking to get back to a more normal, less life-threatening routine when they come upon a teenager running through the woods with a gun in a vicious storm. The boy, Tyler Wingo, is frantic. He’s been informed that his father, Sam Wingo, was killed in combat in Afghanistan. The trouble is that Sam Wingo is very much alive, and he’s a hunted man though it takes a while to determine that this is the case. After some negotiation and being threatened by various government and government adjacent thugs, King, Maxwell, their client Tyler Wingo, his father Sam, and a couple of innocent bystanders are in grave danger. No matter the risks, they aren’t deterred from their quest to clear Sam’s name and get him and Tyler to safety. Continue reading
What happened to Edgar Roy?
David Baldacci’s fifth book in the King & Maxwell series came out in 2011. The story in The Sixth Man picks up where First Family left off. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell have again taken on more than they expected when they venture up to Maine to help out King’s old mentor on a case. A brilliant but troubled genius has been accused of mass murder. The man is Edgar Roy who theoretically worked for the IRS. In reality though, his job was far more complex than that. He was recruited to help the intelligence community in ways that are completely unimaginable. He was the only person in the country, and probably the world, who could do the job for which he was hired. He was part of something known as the E-Program, and he was the only E-Six ever discovered after a few E-Fives went down in flames. Continue reading
The law applies to everyone, even the ‘First Family’
In 2009, David Baldacci’s fourth book in the King and Maxwell series dropped. As so many of his stories seem to be, First Family has some references that could directly apply over a decade later. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are former Secret Service agents who had to leave the service under murky circumstances in the first book in their series, Split Second. At the end of that one, they established a partnership as private investigators. They’ve maintained some of their contacts within the service and other law enforcement agencies and have since taken on some complex cases as PIs. Continue reading
How to stop the evil doers
Though first released in 2010, David Baldacci’s Deliver Us from Evil is just as relevant today. This is the second (and so far last) in the Shaw series. The story can stand alone and grips the reader from the very first page. Shaw works for a shadowy international organization under Frank Wells and was originally conscripted for his considerable talents in exchange for dismissing some sticky legal issues in which he’d been ensnared. While his every move is tracked, he takes on assignments to apprehend the most dangerous criminals to hand off to the appropriate law enforcement organizations through a cooperative, multinational effort. At the outset, Shaw is still smarting from his previous assignment through which his fiancée lost her life, and with her, he lost his heart. The bulk of his backstory was shared in the first book of the series, The Whole Truth. Continue reading
It only takes a ‘Split Second’
David Baldacci’s Split Second came out in 2003 and provides the origin story behind the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell partnership. King, a former Secret Service agent, and Maxwell, a current agent, become targets of a long-running conspiracy that bring them together after similar career mishaps. King had ended his career with the service in disgrace after his protectee was executed right in front of him during a split second’s distraction. Maxwell’s charge is abducted eight years later when she leaves him alone very briefly per his request. Both were rising stars in the service. Both had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and fell victim to horrific events that were far more complicated and violent than they realized at the time. Continue reading
Can we believe the reports?
David Baldacci is known for gripping adventure novels that can sometimes seem a bit too plausible in today’s world of perception management. In his 2008 book, The Whole Truth, he introduces a new hero, Shaw. The reluctant international intelligence agent with no first name and a mysterious past may be the only person who can unravel a manufactured crisis before it’s too late. Teaming up with Katie James, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has fallen from the top of her field and is looking to redeem herself, they desperately seek the source of the crisis de jour that begins as a humanitarian catastrophe and expands to include a London massacre that blanket the news worldwide. Which events actually happened? Who is behind these events, and why did they set them in motion? Continue reading
Breaking the code
I recently read and reviewed Kate Quinn’s The Rose Code for an upcoming book club Zoom, and at the same time, I was reading David Baldacci’s Simple Genius. I had started Baldacci’s book first, but as I decided to get a jump on my book club reading, I discovered an unexpected connection. Both books feature the mystique of codebreaking and of Bletchley Park, albeit at different times in history. As mentioned in my previous review, The Rose Code takes place at the time that Bletchley Park was active during WWII and its immediate aftermath and provides the reader with riveting historical fiction. Simple Genius doesn’t qualify as historical fiction and is instead a political thriller/murder mystery, the third in Baldacci’s King and Maxwell series. Continue reading