Sunday, April 4, 2010

Julie's Review: Stone Cold

Summary: The modern-day paladins of the Camel Club are back in their third exciting adventure (after 2006's The Collectors). Justice-seekers Milton, Caleb, Reuben and honorary member Alex Ford, a Secret Service agent, are led by feisty Oliver Stone, aka former CIA assassin John Carr. Their associate, Annabelle Conroy, is a slick con artist on the run after stealing $40 million from lunatic casino owner Jerry Bagger, who killed her mother. Oliver's CIA past distracts him from Annabelle's cause: his old unit, Triple 6, was responsible for the death of Raymond Solomon, branded a traitor during the Cold War, and now Solomon's son, DHS security expert Harry Finn, is picking off Triple 6 members. Oliver could be next if Carter Gray, his former boss, reveals that John Carr isn't really dead. Gripping, chilling and full of surprises, Baldacci's latest reveals the anarchy that lurks under the slick facade of corrupted governments.

Review: You know you've been away from a series for a while when you don't remember what happened in the last book. Although for Stone Cold you don't need to really remember The Collectors, you just need to remember Oliver Stone. I always enjoy David Baldacci books but The Camel Club series is amongst my favorite. You see I love anything that deals with the government, the CIA, the FBI etc but only in fiction. You see I think if we really knew what went on behind the scenes of this country, we'd all be a little more scare or maybe feel a bit more safe. Stone Cold deals with what it's like on the inside of a corrupt CIA director and Senator.

There are really two stories/plots going on here. The first and foremost is that someone is killing Oliver Stone/John Carr's old Triple Six regime. It's not really a problem for him since everyone assumes he's dead. Heck, he even has a plot at Arlington National Cemetery. There is one person who does know that John Carr is alive and that's Carter Grey, former CIA Director and all around nasty guy. Of course, you know that the fact that Grey knows Carr is alive is going to haunt him. The story really goes back to the height of the cold war and the cold war spying industry. This is the part of the book that really fascinated me. I love all that stuff. Well now that it really doesn't exist. When I was a kid is scared the crap out of me.

The 2nd plot is one of Annabelle Conroy and the con she pulled on Casino owner Jerry Bagger. This is a good subplot but one I didn't really care about as much as Oliver's. It gets resolved halfway through the novel so we can concentrate on the main plot, who is killing former Triple Six members?

There are a ton of interesting characters in the book. Of course the Camel Club is ever present, Annabelle (aka Susan) is back, Harry Finn and a few others that I don't want to name because well it's fun for the reader to find out about.

I really did like the ending but it does leave me pause to wonder how Baldacci is going to wrap up the series.

This was a solid entry into the Camel Club series but not my favorite. I believe there is one more book left in the series, Divine Justice (Camel Club). This one is on my short TBR pile since I believe it resumes exactly where Stone Cold left off.

If you haven't read any of the Camel Club series, I highly recommend them. Especially if you like any of kind of government conspiracy or CIA novels. The first book to go and read The Camel Club.

Final Take: 3.75/5


Becky W. April 5, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

I love this series as well! Stone Cold is my favorite of the series, though Divine Justice is the first Baldacci book that I read. It made me go back and pick up the rest of the series. I've read a couple others that I've liked too! Vince Flynn is another author in the genre that is intersting. I recently read Term Limits and thought is was awesome!

Julie April 5, 2010 at 9:36 PM  

In my huge TBR storage container I believe there is a Vince Flynn. My dad and step-dad both really like him. One day I'll get to it. ;)

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