This question may be the crux of my whole review. It is just a little too complicated for listening. This story requires an understanding of the characters and their relationships to each other. Everyone in the book is a complicated and flawed individual and there are just too many of them to keep track of. The story takes place in small town rural America. The back story is one of the demise of the town and the coal mining industry. In previous generations coal and coal miners were revered as those that kept our lights on and our houses warm. But in today's society that is not the case. Coal and miners are thought of as institutional polluters who perpetuate the myth of "Clean Coal," while continuing to spew filth into our air. We learn much about these individuals and in the end, it really does not matter. During this extended character study Baldacci ALSO is introducing us to John Puller. Puller's backstory is terrific and it is clear that Baldacci wants to continue this character in more books. He has the same attitude to his job that Will Robie has in his books. The problem is that Puller's entourage of characters are all encumbered and can't really be woven into more plots. If I owned this in print rather than Audible, it would be a quick reference for future Puller books.
This is my third Baldacci book and I will read many more.
Yes, and as I said in my title, they save the book. Ron and Orlagh have the rare capacity to make subtle changes to their voices to make totaally different characters. In "back and forth" dialog this makes all the difference. Their characters take on an individuality and thereby make the story come alive!
No, it took about 5 days of spare time listening. Much of the book needed to be gone over several times if I was listening while multitasking with another activity.
Despite a TOTALLY unreal experience in the last few moments of the book (for which I penalized the review by a full star,) this is an excellent listen and should not be missed.
Not having the time to actually sit down & read (I do a lot of driving on my job), audio books are perfect for me. This is a superb book!
The story has a lot of twists & turns... just when you think you have it figured out, you realize you were mistaken.
Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy personalize the story... I hope they always are the readers of this series!
I did!!! I listened a few weeks ago and had to share with my husband, so listened again on a road trip!
Love John Puller!!! They really made his character personable.
Enjoyed so much will probably listen again! Want more books with Puller...
I am a retired Wealth Manager,husband, father and Christian grandfather. I hunt, I fish, I play, I read.
A new character.
Very well researched.Baldacci does a great job finding out about Military intelligence,agencies etc. At least i'm fooled. I enjoyed it very much.
This story was good - not the greatest. Characters were difficult to follow at times but I did enjoy seeing that the main character was able to show some emotion.
Certainly do like the narrators Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy.
Overall it was good.
The story line was plausible, fast paced and the performance really brought the characters to life.
I would compare it to "The General's Daughter" by Nelson DeMille in that they both had very strong and interesting male and female lead characters.
Having readers that not only read the author's words but interpret them helps to let you become a part of the story.
This is an extraordinary book and the narration and special effects were spot on! Awesome.
Some compare this to a Reacher novel but really only in that they are "men novels". The character is tough, can kill easily, can stand up to almost anyone, is cold emotionally, and lives only to help others or his country. In other words a super hero without all the faults, insecurities, lusts, and so on that limit us mortals.
The character is different than Reacher because he is not a homeless drifter but a professional. Reacher doesn't have to stay in shape to stay strong, only changes his clothes every 3 days but never smells, never reads it seems yet is always well informed, and runs into evil instead of being sent by the army to investigate it.
Both characters are fun when a guy, like me, wants an adult version of a super hero and in that way the novel works. Reader was excellent.
The use of different people reading the book made it seem more real and interesting. The mystery was fun to try and figure out.
The narrator speaks a bit slow, and it is in some way taking the tempo of the Baldacci books down. But it might be the best way to get the atmosphere of the remote villages he likes. I really like the way you feel you get to know the places and people, but compared to the other action thrillers, Baldacci is slow moving.
Story starts off interesting, and accelerates all the way, with a cooldown after the major action half an hour before finish.
I enjoy the Baldacci books, they feel a lot deeper than Brad Thor or Vince Flynn.