The Barnes & Noble Review
When four decidedly eccentric members of a Washington, D.C.–based conspiracy watchdog organization witness the brutal murder of a National Intelligence Center employee, they become entangled in an all-too-real drama that includes an intricate terrorist plot to kidnap the president -- and ignite WWIII.
The purpose of the Camel Club is to scrutinize those in power: to find the real truth behind the actions of political leaders. Led by an enigmatic cemetery groundskeeper who calls himself Oliver Stone, the group of misfits -- who include a rare books specialist, a former Jeopardy! champion, and a former Defense Intelligence operative -- meet weekly to discuss possible conspiracy theories and what, if anything, to do about them. But during a late-night meeting on the secluded Theodore Roosevelt Island, the group witness two men murder a man in cold blood and then take steps to make it look like a suicide. As Stone and crew try to figure out who the murderers are, a terrorist cell in and around D.C. -- led by a high-level government leader -- mobilizes for an event what could be very well be the beginning of the end of the United States…
Thanks to its combination of chilling real-world events with radical conspiracy theories, fans of political thrillers will absolutely devour Baldacci's The Camel Club. With a cast of misfit characters that is as endearing as it is memorable and an intrigue-laden plot to rival any contemporary suspense thriller, this is Baldacci (Absolute Power, Total Control, et al.) at his very best -- action packed, thought provoking and, above all else, wildly entertaining! Paul Goat Allen
If anyone can make terrorism entertaining and ironically exciting, it's thriller vet Baldacci. New York stage actor Davis helps to brighten up a bleak subject with almost perfect pitch (his female characters' voices are often disconcertingly lodged in the baritone range), as he brings to audio life the adventures of a gang of four Muslim men who live in the Washington, D.C., area and meet regularly in isolated places to discuss and argue about international politics. Led by a likable chap who calls himself "Oliver Stone" because he and the film director share a supersized fascination with conspiracies, the Camel Club is basically an excuse for its members to feel involved and important. But when they accidentally witness a real high-level conspiracy in action, the four are suddenly at the center of a world class disaster which could lead to an American nuclear attack on Damascus. Baldacci works hard to balance all his many characters and their connecting stories, and Davis holds up his end with clever, sharp-edged subtlety that helps listeners stay in the picture. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 22). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Just outside the White House gates, a ragtag group of conspiracy theorists gathers to find the hidden truth behind the actions of the power elite in Washington, DC. Led by the mysterious and aptly aliased Oliver Stone, the Camel Club develops wild conspiracy theories about the inner workings of the U.S. government-theories that, on rare occasions, turn out to be accurate. While the club is generally considered a nuisance, this time its members have witnessed a murder, and their subsequent investigation may uncover clues that could prevent a nuclear war. In his latest political thriller, Baldacci (Absolute Power) takes a page-turning look at the repercussions of cultural and religious differences between ethnic groups-and at unlikely saviors in the thick of the battle. The terrifyingly vivid plot has more twists and turns than any conspiracy theorist could ever conceive. Strongly recommended for most popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/05.]-Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
A lukewarm would-be potboiler of uninvolving intrigue about a kooky quartet of conspiracy theorists-one by the name of "Oliver Stone"-who witness the murder of a federal agent. Almost 8,000 Americans have died in attacks on U.S. soil. Rocket-propelled grenades have pierced the White House, there's been another prison fiasco in Afghanistan, a dozen soldiers are dying every day and the war has opened a new front on the Syrian border. Thus the author's bleak imagining of the near future. Throughout, Baldacci (Hour Game, 2004, etc.) drops reliable twists, revealing the federal agent murder to be-surprise-a minuscule piece of a much bigger plot involving snipers, nukes, a presidential kidnapping and an even gloomier vision of the future. Baldacci is not a particularly graceful writer, e.g., "Like all Secret Service agents, his suits were designed a little big in the chest, to disguise the bulge of the weapon." Worse is the author's chronic inability to draw convincing characters. Scooby-Doo had villains more complicated than these; distinctive quirks of the characters, such as one wearing 19th-century clothing, make them only mildly interesting. Baldacci himself seems only partly engaged in the task here. He writes as if he imagines his typical reader to be a business traveler staring down a long layover. Sure to be a bestseller, but the guy's phoning it in.
If anyone can make terroism entertaining and ironically exciting, it's thriller vet Baldacci. New York stage actor Davis helps to brighten up a bleak subject with almost perfect pitch (his female characters' voices are often disconcertingly lodged in the baritone range). as he brings to audio life the adventures of a gang of four Muslim men who live in the Washington, D.C. area and meet regularly in isolated places to discuss and argue about international politics. Baldacci works hard to balance all his many characters and their connecting stories, and Davis holds up his end wih clever, sharp-edged subtlety that helps listeners stay in the picture.