David Baldacci is one of the world's most popular storytellers. In his blockbuster thrillers Zero Day and The Forgotten, listeners met John Puller. A combat veteran and special agent with the U.S. Army, Puller is the man they call to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. But all his training, all his experience, all his skills will not prepare him for his newest case, one that will force him to hunt down the most formidable and brilliant prey he has ever tracked: his own brother.
It's a prison unlike any other. Military discipline rules. Its security systems are unmatched. None of its prisoners dream of escaping. They know it's impossible.
John Puller's older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason and national security crimes. His inexplicable escape from prison makes him the most-wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance at capturing Robert alive, and so Puller takes on the burden of bringing his brother in to face justice.
But Puller quickly discovers that there are others pursuing his brother, who only see Robert as a traitor and are unconcerned if he survives. Puller is in turn pushed into an uneasy, fraught partnership with another agent, who may have an agenda of her own.
They dig more deeply into the case together, and Puller finds that not only are her allegiances unclear, but that there are troubling details about his brother's conviction....and that someone is out there who doesn't want the truth to ever come to light. As the nationwide manhunt for Robert grows more urgent, Puller's masterful skills as an investigator and strength as a fighter may not be enough to save his brother - or himself.
©2014 David Baldacci (P)2014 Hachette Audio
I have read or listened to just about every Baldacci story. I actually think some of his earlier work is some of his best. This novel hearkens back to some of the earlier work with strong characters who have emotions and some baggage but aren't paralyzed or relationship-dysfunctional (latest Kind-Maxwell for example or Robie-Real), it includes conspiracies, twists, and a satisfying ending. The week point in this whole novel is the scene around the cabin. Since I don't want to spoil the novel or the scene lets just say the characters behave so out of character that it jolted the story and well felt odd like the reader/listener is in a different novel. Two intelligent, deliberate characters with supposedly lots of experience behave like armatures .. it is such a shock that it takes a while for the reader/listener to recover. I checked with a friend of mine who also listened to the novel and who is actually the one who introduced me to Baldacci and he too found the behavior of the characters in the scene disruptive to the flow. The reader mental jerk in the story line is very disruptive but a few scenes later I recovered and went on to enjoy the remainder of the story. Would I recommend this, yes. If you like Baldacci you will enjoy this story.
I can't say this is not a decent listen. It has good characters, a tight plot and good twists and turns. But Baldacci seems to be taking the route of James Patterson and others who just seem to pump out books. It's as if they use a central theme, change the characters and go for it. There are so many many many details in this book and they just go on an on and of course, they all come to a 'logical' perfect conclusion. Again, not saying this isn't a good story - I just feel like I knew the ending having read all of Baldacci's other books. Only 3 stars and truly, I think I'll give the next Baldacci a pass.
First, let me say I detest the sound effects being used in audio books these days and the ones in this book are some of the cheesiest ever. Let us use our imaginations which is what novels are meant to do. We don't need cheap sound effects to "see" what is happening in the story.
Now, the writing in this particular story seemed to be aimed at the possibility of a movie and it would likely be a successful one. But as a book, not as much. It was simplified and "scripted".
The narrators....well, McLarty always reads in a halting, new reader, manner with odd pauses at the end of a line even tho it's not the end of the sentence. His pauses within a sentence are often in the wrong place. And his voice always feels as tho he's yelling at me or that he's deaf and speaking loudly like an older person who is hard of hearing, even when I have the volume down very low. And it's very monotone. Just not a pleasant voice to listen to for me.
Ms Cassidy is ok. She doesn't have that much to read so hard to get a feeling for her but she didn't turn me off to the book.
Overall, it's worth listening to as long as you don't expect the best mystery ever written.
I had to force myself to finish this one. The story was hard to follow and in general just not very interesting. I'm not one to criticize but this may have been the worst narration of the hundreds of audiobooks I've listened to.
It is an OK story with a teen age level action/plot. Here's the thing that gets annoying. Every character is some kind of super person. If the guy is a IT software guy, he got photo memory, is the best in the world. If he's an investigator he the best in the army with genius investigative capabilities. Of course the dad is a legend, a solder's solder. The other main characters are the fastest, most decorated, over achievers there are. Now, I don't want boring, just realistic. People I can relate to.
Poorly written, lamely narrated. I took a chance on Baldacci's brand of pulp, and discovered it to be trite, predictable, and thoroughly brainless.
I suppose there's a large contingent of functionally illiterate listeners who will appreciate this tripe, but it's a miss for me.
I wish I could get the time I wasted on this pablum back.
Nothing stands out
I would try a new female reader. Ms. Cassidy does absolutely nothing to alter her voice.Can be confusing, with female to female conversations.
Might be easier way to understand story. Unless Ms Cassidy plays all female roles.
Patterson in churning mode.
Needs to wake up.
Approximately fifteen hours of listening, read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy, The Escape is book number three in the John Puller - Victoria Knox thrillers. As in the other books, McLarty and Cassidy do a great job, smooth transitions. Production is very typical of Baldacci, lots of attention to music and special sound effects. There are three male Pullers in this story. John, the main character, Robert, his older brother, who’s escape from prison is the subject matter, and John, Sr., daddy in a retirement facility. Words for the listener that took me some time to figure out: When the author simply says ‘Puller’, think John, Jr., the main character, and you’ll usually be right.
The story surrounds The Escape of Robert Puller from prison and John Puller’s pursuit of his brother’s freedom and justice for the evil doers. Not giving any secrets away here, because you can easily guess Robert has been framed. He’s a Puller, they’re always good-guys. Not quite up to Baldacci standards, in my opinion. There are many characters to keep mental track of, some who’s omission wouldn’t have done the story any harm. If you’re a fan of the Puller-Knox thrillers, it’s gonna be your kinda book. Some interesting twists, enjoy!
I always search for David Baldacci's newest releases because I know it will be a good read. But this audio book is one of his best. I follow the John Puller series but this is a satisfying third novel. It explains and resolves questions left over from the first two novels. Very Satisfying. The narrators read with clarity and sensitivity to the characters.
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