How to stop the evil doers

By Ande Jacobson

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’

By Ande Jacobson

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?

By Ande Jacobson

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

By Ande Jacobson

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