Book of the Day
David Baldacci’s latest, the 5th in the Will Robie series (End Game, Grand Central Publishing, 2018) is as fast-moving and lethal as his readers have come to expect. Robie is reunited with his sometime adversary, sometime partner, and sometime lover, fellow assassin Jessica Reel in this thriller, set in rural Colorado.
The Blue Man has gone missing. In addition to his position as their immediate supervisor, and the one who passes on assignments to them, he is a senior national asset, one that cannot be permitted to end up in the wrong hands. In spite of the fact that both Robie’s and Reel’s forte` is not in the realm of finding missing persons, they are dispatched to Colorado to find Roger Walton, aka Blue Man.
What they find is a haven for every sort of misfit imaginable. White Supremacists, prepper enclaves, and vanilla-flavored New Age communes dot the local landscape. It isn’t immediately evident that any of these splinter groups either were involved or have knowledge of Blue Man’s disappearance, but it is very evident that wars between and among the various groups could erupt at any moment.
Outsiders are not particularly welcome; insiders are not always either. Gunfire and murder are the order of the day, and Robie and Reel have no trouble finding their usual level of mayhem. Either Baldacci has thrown in a generous dose of social commentary, or the existence and prevalence of hate- and anti-government groups is understated and under-reported.
No Robie and Reel novel would be complete without the sexual tension between the two of them that readers of the four previous Robie novels are accustomed to. Add to that a second level of the same, and even an old flame of Blue Man’s from his early years and you have two of the components of vintage Baldacci – blood and sex. Who could ask for anything more?
A purist might argue about shallow plots, thin storylines, or not-quite believable characters. A fan of fast-paced adventure thrillers would reply “it’s the telling of the tale, man, don’t be so picky.” So would I.
Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L. based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website www.ssv.org, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.
Update: Danny won the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award with his manuscript Serial Justice – so he will not be unpublished for long!