This classic Baldacci thriller from 1997 is finally back - in unabridged audio and available in CD and download editions!
Sidney Archer has the world. A husband she loves. A job at which she excels and a cherished young daughter. Then, as a plane plummets into the Virginia countryside, everything changes. And suddenly there is no one whom Sidney Archer can trust.
Jason Archer is a rising young executive at Triton Global, the world's leading technology conglomerate. Determined to give his family the best of everything, Archer has secretly entered into a deadly game. He is about to disappear - leaving behind a wife who must sort out his lies from his truths, an accident team that wants to know why the plane he was ticketed on crashed, and a veteran FBI agent who wants to know it all....
©2002 David Baldacci (P)2013 Hachette
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
One of the best things about this novel is how quickly Baldacci gets you to bond with the Archer family. It only takes a couple of chapters before you are really feeling the impending weight of the unfolding mystery. The book starts off with a plane crash and then a one month rewind -- not a spoiler because it happens so quickly. I really liked the way he setup the story. You are left with nothing at the beginning and the twists and turns are slowly revealed with excellent descriptive detail.
The narration is good, I am not crazy about the way Jonathan Maroz performed it; but he did not detract from the suspense.
This book will appeal to someone who is very much a mystery thriller reader. If you are new to Baldacci it will motivate you to read some of his others. It is a must if you have been a long term fan. I consider it a solid wall-ball double, to make a baseball analogy. I would have liked a little more character development and bit more editing. But overall, it is a solid read.
I love David Baldacci... But Jonathan Marosz has to be one of the worst narrators I have listened to... And that is after 10 years of listening... His voice is repetitive in its rhythm and he is reading it worse than my 8th graders... There is no performance... I will buy the paperback, because I just can't bring myself to listen to much more... Really really disappointing!
The two main characters are respectively sappy and stupid and must be so in order to carry this extremely weak storyline. By the time I reached the closing chapters, I was unable to even finish the book as my credulity was finally strained to the breaking point. The narrator was good. Too bad he really did not have enough substance to work with.
J. A. V.
BOOK REVIEW: Total Control by David Baldacci
The Up’s and Down of Marriage
Jean A. Vachon
WICKENBURG, AZ - Sidney Archer is a lawyer in good standing for an important law firm. Her husband is a computer whizz working for a prominent company. They have a beautiful daughter and a solid marriage. They belong to the privileged of this society.
The husband leaves for a mysterious meeting without telling his wife... His plane crashes in the Virginia countryside.
Sidney’s world falls apart. Steve, her husband, for some unknown reason changed planes at the last minute. He is a serious suspect in the plane crash.
A special agent is assigned to solve the case. He is unrelenting and humane in his efforts to solve this complex puzzle.
Murders abound in this gripping story by David Baldacci. The agent even suspects the wife as she tries to establish communication with her husband...
The search for total control through the quest for power and money by evil characters results in all kinds of complications.
Sidney, loyal no matter what, fights to stay alive, to find her husband, and to unravel the mystery of her husbands disappearance.
In brief, I really liked this novel. It kept me interested from beginning to end even through numerous and complex incidents. I even persevered to the point of listening several times from the middle of the story to understand perfectly the relationship between the different characters.
In the end, the force and loyalty of this marriage triumphs over evil although not in the way that the reader might expect.
This book is vintage Baldacci, literally. When I downloaded it, I thought I was getting the latest new Baldacci novel. By the time I was halfway through it, I had to check the copyright date, which turned out to be 2002 (Audible release date 4/2/13). I would not be surprised to hear that Mr Baldacci wrote this in the mid '90s.
No kidding. The tech in this novel is severely dated. We've had several generations of computer and communications technology since 2002. Most of the youngsters using computers these days probably have no idea what a floppy disk is or why anybody would use a telephone modem to connect to the internet. And why would anybody have a cell phone that can't do a google search or take a picture or tell you exactly where you are. What? No texting? Oh, yeah, right...that's how things were in the deep dark distant past, back when FBI agents were luddites who used Smith-Coronas.
Well, in spite of the historical nature of this novel, it is a pretty good thriller, one that I recommend. Also on the plus side, the reader did a fine job. I just wish that Audible had made it clear when I "pre-ordered" this audiobook that I was getting an 11 year old novel. I might have saved my credit for Baldacci's latest. I'll be checking much more closely in future.
Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.
This reader felt that the characters were poorly drawn, vocabulary lost through repetition, same for descriptions of emotional reactions. Primary characters lacked real personality (or personality which fit their description). For example, husband and wife were far more unaware than any people with their backgrounds and/or educations could/should be. Too much gratuitous violence throughout. Emotional reactions did not match experiences being undergone - too many exhausting bouts of tears from heroine who was supposedly a person of strong character and profession. Ending was long and almost tedious.
Left me feeling that the only worthwhile person was an FBI agent who was a vital character who could have been a charmer but didn't quite make it as relevant because of his age. as opposed to that of the primary character.
I love Baldacci and most of his books. The narrator did his best with what he had to work with but I left the book wishing I hadn't invested either money or time.
Almost felt that Baldacci was not the primary author.
WTF? I feel like I am being punked by Audible. I have never noticed a narrator, and this is the second book in a row that has a bad/horrible narrator. I can't listen to this. ARGH! Got to call and get a refund. But so disappointed in Audible, they are destroying my favorite authors.
Can't get passed the narration
Anger and disappointment
Why oh why? Don't you have anyone listen to these books before putting them out?
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
Story was engaging, but lacked credibility. Yes, the Federal Reserve Bank can make major decisions that can significantly alter financial positions. And the broad stroke explanations provided in the book are OK as far as they go. But it's too much of a stretch to expect the villain in this story to have been able to manipulate and profit in the manner described. Based on my personal business experience with former members of the Fed, I felt it was a little too far fetched. On the other hand, I did find the high tech content to be very believable.
The narration was flat and underwhelming, Marosz was monotone and inflectionless.
With so many really good books available, even ones by Baldacci, I can't think of anyone to whom I'd recommend this book.
No. It is because I'm a junkie of this genre I selected it in the first place. I have enjoyed other offerings by this author, and I truly expected much better than I got.
I'm not sure even Scott Brick could have saved this poorly written, poorly edited piece of... well, stuff will have to suffice.
I am an editor and there is so much from beginning to end, it would be hard for me to single out one or two scenes. Had I had this manuscript, there would have been cuts, slashes, and reworks throughout.
I was disappointed, too, that Audible didn't warn me that this was an older novel, or at the very least that it was set in a different decade/century. It was bad enough having a poor interpretation by the narrator of a poorly written/edited novel, but the inclusion of outdated technology was distracting until I got the timeline straight in my mind.
I love Baldacci but this one is a bust. Badly narrated, badly edited and just plain boring. I've decided to stop listening to it after a little more than half the book. It's just a waste of time. It sounds like this is a book written a while ago that got dusted off and sent to press. The technology is old (floppy disks, surveillance videotapes, the concept of "snail mail" having to be defined). And the supposedly smart lawyer is completely clueless when it comes to computers. Couldn't Baldacci have revised and modernized his book before submitting it? Does he need money that badly? Too bad...
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