Thursday, May 6, 2010

Julie's Review: Divine Justice

Summary: Readers who have been holding their breath since the end of Stone Cold (2007), the previous Camel Club novel, can inhale: Oliver Stone did survive his plunge into the water. For the uninitiated, Baldacci’s Oliver Stone isn’t the noted film director; he’s a former government assassin who has made a risky living foiling government conspiracies. Now, having eluded capture after committing a pair of necessary assassinations, Stone (or John Carr, if you prefer to use his real name) is on the run, hiding out in rural America, where he discovers that small-town intrigue is at least as intricate and dangerous as anything he’s come up against previously. Combining the Camel Club series’ wit and fast pace with a Fugitive-like story (casting Stone as Richard Kimble, the man on the run who risks his life to protect the lives of strangers), Baldacci shows once again that he is a sort of thriller Renaissance man: a master of plot, dialogue, and character. It’s fascinating to observe how Stone operates when he’s entirely on his own, too. Not only is he evading his pursuers, especially Macklin Hayes, whose obsessive determination to capture Stone may be based more on personal reasons than professional ones, but he’s also cast himself adrift from his comrades, who are working feverishly behind the scenes to find him and keep him safe. A rousing success, although this should come as no surprise to faithful Baldacci readers. ~booklist

Review: Divine Justice jumps right in where Stone Cold left off and never lets up. For some reason I was under the impression that this was the last Camel Club book and as I'm done with the book I can see why it would be the end. Although I just wonder if Mr. Baldacci will be bringing some of these characters to a future book even if it's not a Camel Club book.

If this is the last one, it was definitely satisfying. What a cast of characters! Just when I think that Mr. Baldacci has thought of the worst person in the world, his next book he creates someone more evil. In Divine Justice, this person is Macklin Hayes. Oliver ends up in a small mining town in Virginia and of course it's not an innocent little town. He's stumbled onto something quite strange and mysterious. It doesn't take long before Oliver is wrapped up in the middle of the drama; all while being on the run from killing Carter Grey and Senator Simpson. This is where Joe Knox comes in. You see he's the hunter on Oliver's tail. Except he's in Macklin Hayes' pocket.

As in all Baldacci books there are 2 plots going on here. The one to find and rescue or retain Oliver Stone and what in the heck is going on in Divine, VA? Both stories are well sorted out and executed. There are several twists that I didn't see coming, which I always like. There is a character in the book that I thought for sure was in the thick of things. I like it when I turn out to be wrong.

The pace is no different than all of the Baldacci's I've read..fast and furious. Some authors would lose character or plot development with this type of pace but that isn't so with is novels. By the end of Divine Justice, I feel like I know John Carr/Oliver Stone. While some of his actions weren't always legal or right, maybe in some way they were justified but only in fiction. The ending is a bit unbelievable but as with most thrillers you do need to suspend belief.

If you've never read The Camel Club series, you should. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I know I wasn't.

Now I can catch up on the other 3 Baldacci books I'm behind on...First Family, True Blue and his newest release Deliver Us from Evil.


Final Take: 4.5/5


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