Deliver Us from Evil (Shaw Series #2)

Deliver Us from Evil (Shaw Series #2)

3.6 749
by David Baldacci
     
 

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From David Baldacci-the #1 bestselling author of The Whole Truth and First Family-comes his most timely, surprising, and heart-stopping thriller, DELIVER US FROM EVIL.

Evan Waller is a monster . . .

He has built a fortune from his willingness to buy and sell anything . . . and anyone. In search of new opportunities, Waller has

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Overview

From David Baldacci-the #1 bestselling author of The Whole Truth and First Family-comes his most timely, surprising, and heart-stopping thriller, DELIVER US FROM EVIL.

Evan Waller is a monster . . .

He has built a fortune from his willingness to buy and sell anything . . . and anyone. In search of new opportunities, Waller has just begun a new business venture: one that could lead to millions of deaths all over the globe. On his trail is Shaw, the mysterious operative from The Whole Truth, who has tracked Waller to Provence and must prevent him from closing his latest deal. But someone else is pursuing Waller: Reggie Campion, an agent for a secret vigilante group headquartered in a musty old English estate-and she has an agenda of her own.

Hunting the same man and unaware of each other's mission, Shaw and Reggie will be caught in a deadly duel of nerves and wits. Hitchcockian in its intimate buildup of suspense and filled with the remarkable characters, breathtaking plot turns, and blockbuster finale that are David Baldacci's hallmarks, DELIVER US FROM EVIL is one of the most gripping thrillers of the year.

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Editorial Reviews

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Equal parts Hitchcock and James Bond, it's the perfect literary cocktail...One of Baldacci's best."
Booklist (starred review) for Divine Justice
"A rousing success . . . Baldacci shows once again that he is a sort of thriller Renaissance man: a master of plot, dialogue, and character."
Newsweek on First Family
"It's his eager, expansive imagination that drives his books . . . Like other thriller writers, Baldacci depends on a mixture of inventive plotting, appealing characters, luck, and consistency. Unlike others, his books rely more on characters' relationships than whiz-bang technology or procedural twists . . . What he offers is in some ways more unusual."
Washington Post on The Whole Truth
"High-stakes action, shadowy government agencies, and [a] neo-Cold War backdrop . . . Baldacci pushes his plot ahead at such a blistering pace."
Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Baldacci's sequel to The Whole Truth (2008) lacks the creative plotting and masterful handling of suspense that marked his earlier thrillers. Evan Waller, outwardly a respectable Canadian businessman but secretly a human trafficker who sells children into prostitution, has expanded into arranging nuclear weapons deals with Islamic fundamentalists. Shaw, the lead of The Whole Truth, sets out to stop Evan, as does Regina “Reggie” Campion, a British femme fatale, who works for a clandestine group that tracks down and executes war criminals. Reggie and Shaw, both of whom intend to make their move while Evan is on vacation in Provence, cross paths while maintaining their cover stories. Shaw becomes attracted to Reggie, even as he fears that Evan, who's in fact a sadistic Ukrainian who served the Soviets, will abduct her. Crucial developments come across as contrived rather than clever. The ultimate resolution will surprise few. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"McLarty's subtle emotional intensity is particularly compelling as he presents horrifying scenes without theatrics."—AudioFile
Kirkus Reviews
In Baldacci's 19th (True Blue, 2009, etc.), boy and girl monster-hunters meet cute. Evan Waller, aka Fadir Kuchin, aka "the Butcher of Kiev," aka "the Ukrainian psychopath," is one of those deep-dyed villains a certain kind of fiction can't do without. Serving with distinction as part of the Soviet Union's KGB, he joyfully and indiscriminately killed thousands. Now, many years later, posing as a successful businessman, he's vacationing in Provence where, unbeknownst to him, two separate clandestine operations are being mounted by people who do not regard him with favor. Reggie Campion-28 and gorgeous-spearheads the first, an ad hoc group of monster-hunting vigilantes. Studly, tall Shaw (no first name supplied) is point guard for a rival team, shadowy enough to leave the matter of its origin ambiguous. While their respective teams reconnoiter and jockey for position, studly boy meets gorgeous girl. Monster-hunters are famous for having trust issues, but clearly these are drawn to each other in the time-honored Hollywood fashion. Shaw saves Reggie's life. She returns the favor. The attraction deepens and heats up to the point where team-members on both sides grow unsettled by the loss of focus, singularly inopportune since, as monsters go, Waller rises to the second coming of Caligula-ample testimony furnished by a six-page, unsparingly detailed torture scene. In the end, the stalkers strike, bullets fly, screams curdle the blood, love has its innings and a monster does what a monster's got to do. The characters are paper thin, the plot twists mostly telegraphed, but the betting here is that the Baldacci army will once again show the stuff it's made of.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446564076
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
12/28/2010
Series:
Shaw Series, #2
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
67,016
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Deliver Us from Evil


By Baldacci, David

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Baldacci, David
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446564083

CHAPTER 1

THE NINETY-SIX-YEAR-OLD MAN sat in his comfy armchair enjoying a book on Joseph Stalin. No mainstream publisher would touch the delusion-filled manuscript since the author had been unfailingly complimentary about the sadistic Soviet leader. Yet the self-published book’s positive opinion of Stalin appealed greatly to the old man. He’d purchased it directly from the writer not long before the latter was committed to a mental institution.

No stars could be seen hovering over the elderly man’s large estate because of a storm moving inland from the nearby ocean. Though he was wealthy and living in great luxury, his personal needs were relatively simple. He wore a decades-old faded sweater, his shirt collar secured all the way to his fleshy neck, which was thick with wattles. His cheap pants lay loose over his skeletal and useless legs. The hypnotic drum of rain on the roof had begun and he settled farther back in his chair, content to delve into the mind and career of a madman who had killed tens of millions of people unlucky enough to live under his cruel fist.

The old man occasionally laughed at something he read, at least the particularly gruesome parts, and nodded his head in agreement over passages where disciples of Stalin explained his graphic methods for the destruction of all civil liberties. In the Soviet dictator he clearly saw the leadership qualities necessary to drive a country to greatness while also causing the world to shake with terror. He tilted down his thick spectacles and glanced at his watch. Nearly eleven o’clock. The security system went on promptly at nine, with every door and window professionally monitored. His fortress was secure.

A crack of thunder seemed to cause the lights to flicker. They sputtered twice more and fluttered out. In the lower-level electronics room the battery backup in the security system had been removed, causing it to cease functioning when the power supply was interrupted. Each door and window was instantly disarmed. Ten seconds later the massive backup generators kicked in and brought the electrical flow back to full power, returning the security system to online status. However, within that ten-second span a window had opened and a hand had darted out and caught the digital camera that had been tossed from ground level. The window closed and was locked a second before the system armed once more.

Oblivious to this, the old man idly rubbed his hairless head; it was mottled over with scabs and patches of sun-damaged skin. His face had collapsed long ago into a pile of gravity-ravaged tissue that pulled his eyes, nose, and mouth downward into a permanent scowl. His body, what was left of it, had followed a similar route of degradation. He relied on others to help him perform the simplest tasks now. But at least he was still alive, when so many of his brothers in arms, indeed perhaps all of them, were dead, many by violent means. This made him angry. History showed that inferiors were perpetually jealous of those greater than them.

He finally put down his book. At his age three or four hours’ sleep at a time was all that was required, but it was now that he required it. He called for his attendant by pushing the blue button on the small circular device he always wore around his neck. It had three buttons, one for the attendant, one for his doctor, and one for security. He had enemies and ailments, but the attendant was mostly for pleasure.

The woman entered. Barbara had blonde hair and was dressed in a hip-hugging white miniskirt and tank-top blouse that allowed him a liberal view of her breasts as she bent down to help him up into his wheelchair. He had insisted on her wearing revealing clothing as a condition of employment. Old, rich, perverted men could do what they pleased. His wrinkled face nestled against her soft cleavage and lingered there. As her strong arms slid him onto the wide seat, his hand slipped under her skirt. His fingers glided along the backs of her firm thighs until they touched her buttocks. Then he gave each cheek a hard squeeze. He let out a small moan of appreciation. Barbara made no reaction because she was well paid to endure his groping.

She wheeled him to the elevator and they rode in the car together to his bedroom. She helped him undress, averting her eyes from his collapsed body. Even with all his fortune he could not force her to look at his nakedness. Decades ago she would have certainly looked at him, and also done so much more for him. If she wanted to live. Now he was simply helped on with his pajamas like an infant. In the morning he would be washed and fed, again like a baby instead of a man. The cycle was complete. From cradle back to cradle and then the grave.

“Sit with me, Barbara,” he commanded. “I want to look at you.” He said all this in German. That was the other reason he had hired her; she spoke his native language. There were few left around here who could.

She sat, crossed her long, tanned legs, and kept her hands in her lap, occasionally smiling at him because she was paid to. She should be thankful to him, he felt, because she could either work for him in this grand house where the tasks were easy and the time in between long, or else go whore herself on the streets of nearby Buenos Aires for what amounted to pennies a day.

He finally waved his hand and she immediately rose and closed the door behind her. He leaned back on the pillows. She would probably go to her room, strip off her clothes, leap in the shower, and scrub hard enough to rub the filth of his touch off her. He quietly chuckled at this image. Even as a shrunken old man he could have some effect on people.

He vividly remembered the glorious days when he would walk into a room, the heels of his knee-high officer’s boots clicking on the concrete floor. That sound alone would send ripples of terror throughout the entire camp. Now that was power. Every day he was given the privilege of feeling that sense of invincibility. His every command was carried out with no hesitation. His men would line up the vermin, long columns of them in their filthy clothes, their heads bowed, but still they eyed the shine of his magnificent boots, the power of his uniform. Playing God, he would decide which ones would die and which ones would live. The living hardly got the better of it, for their reward was a hell on earth, as painful and miserable and degrading as he could possibly make it.

He shifted to the left and pushed against a rectangle of paneling on his headboard. The piece of wood swung outward and his hand shakily punched in the combination on the safe door revealed there. He slid his hand in and pulled out the photo, then settled back on his pillow and looked down at it. He calculated that it was taken sixty-eight years ago to the day. His mind was still all there, even if his body had deserted him.

He was only in his late twenties in the picture, but he’d been given great responsibility because of his brains and ruthlessness. Tall and slender, he had light blond hair that was striking against his tanned, square-jawed face. He looked so fine in his full uniform with all his medals, though he had to concede that hardly any of them were actually earned. He had never seen combat since he had never been able to muster much personal courage. The talentless masses could fire the guns and die in the trenches. His skills had allowed him to seek safer ground. His eyes filled with tears at the sight of what he had once been; and next to him of course stood the man himself. He was small in stature, but colossal in every other way. His black mustache was frozen for all time over the expressive mouth.

He kissed his younger self in the photo and then did the same to the cheek of his magnificent Führer, completing his nighttime ritual. He returned the photo to its hiding place and thought about the years since he’d fled Germany months before the Allies marched in and Berlin fell. He’d come here by prearrangement because he’d seen the inevitable outcome of the war, perhaps before his superiors had. He’d spent decades in hiding but once more used his “talents” to build an empire of wealth from mineral and timber exports in his new homeland, ruthlessly crushing all competition. Yet he longed for the old days, when the life and death of another human being was solely in his hands.

He would sleep comfortably tonight as he did every night, his conscience clear. He felt his eyelids growing heavy when he was surprised to hear the door opening again. He looked across the gloom of the chamber. She stood there silhouetted against the darkness.

“Barbara?”



Continues...

Excerpted from Deliver Us from Evil by Baldacci, David Copyright © 2010 by Baldacci, David. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at www.davidbaldacci.com and his foundation at www.wishyouwellfoundation.org.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Northern Virginia
Date of Birth:
August 5, 1960
Place of Birth:
Richmond, VIrginia
Education:
B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986
Website:
http://www.david-baldacci.com/

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