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Hell's Corner by David Baldacci
By David Baldacci, Grade: A. #5 in Camel club Series.
David Baldacci has a new fan now. When I accepted the book for a bit of different reading, I hadn’t heard of Mr. Baldacci. After reading the novel, I am beginning to think that I must have been living under a rock for the past few years to not have heard about a writer as brilliant as he. In simple words, this book was awesome. Hence, Mr. Baldacci has a new fan now. Me.
This is the back blurb:
Oliver stone- once the country’s most skilled assassin- stands in front of the white house, perhaps for the last time. The president has personally requested that Stone serve his country again on a high-risk, covert mission. Though he has fought for decades to leave his past career behind, Stone has no choice but to say yes.
But Stone’s mission changes drastically before it even begins. It’s the night of a state dinner honouring the British PM. As he watches the Prime Minister’s motorcade leave the White house, a bomb is detonated in an apparent terrorist attack against both leaders. It’s in the chaotic aftermath that Stone takes on a new, more urgent assignment: To find those responsible for the bombing.
Stone’s opponents are elusive, capable and increasingly lethal. Worst of all, it seems that the park bombing may just have been the opening salvo in their plan. With nowhere else to turn, Stone enlists the help of the only people he can trust: The Camel Club. Yet that may be a big mistake.
In the shadowy worlds of politics and intelligence, there is no one you can really trust. And Hell’s Corner truly lives up to its name.
The story is very complex, with six hundred and thirteen pages of intense action. To explain the story, I would have to give away most of the twists and turns, which are plentiful in a novel this long. However, I can give you a brief outline of what happens.
Oliver Stone is a man with a troubled past, which followers of the Camel Club Series would know about. In this latest adventure, he has to figure out who it is behind the bombings at Lafayette Park, also known as Hell’s Corner, because the safety jurisdiction is split: The D.C. Metro cops patrol Pennsylvania Avenue. The sidewalks are the Secret Service’s turf. And the park itself comes under the jurisdiction of the Park Police. Hence, of course, the name. He works with MI6 agent Mary Chapman and the camel club to uncover the truth. As for the story itself, think lots of action, suspense and a dramatic ending, and you’ll get the gist of all that follows. It is brimming with twists and turns, and that is no exaggeration.
Well, I loved the story. I hadn’t read any of the other books in this series – hell, I hadn’t read any book by the author, but I was still able to understand what was happening. The book can be read as a standalone, although I am sure that its quality would only get enhanced if you read the other books first.
The characterization were superb. I have always liked James Bond-style action, and this one had that. Also, the suspense was amazing. The perpetrator of these crimes was someone completely unexpected. It is the kind of story where you point a finger at everybody but the actual criminal. It was totally awesome.
However, I did have one problem. Stone is old – older than sixty. I don’t mean to be stereotypical, but it was a little odd to read of a sixty year old person performing the astonishing physical feats which he performed. It did not convince me.
Besides that, the story is bang on, and after loads of romantic novels, and one non-fiction, it became exactly what I wanted.
Over all, Hell’s Corner is a novel with an absolutely thrilling story, and some great action. Go for it, definitely!