Army veteran Travis Devine, the protagonist of this disappointing thriller from bestseller Baldacci (One Good Deed), had a distinguished career serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he quit under mysterious circumstances to join Cowl and Comely, a high-pressure Wall Street investment firm. Every weekday, he takes the 6:20 a.m. commuter train from the suburbs into Manhattan, where he toils until evening. His life’s upended when he gets a text from an unknown person informing him that a colleague, Sara Ewes, whom he had a romantic interest in, was found hanging in a storage room in his office building. That death, which may not be the suicide it appears to be, triggers a cascade of dramatic developments. Devine becomes a murder suspect, others are killed, and he’s tapped to conduct a covert investigation into Cowl and Comely by a Homeland Security official. Despite lip service paid to recent real-life revelations from leaked documents about U.S. companies’ role in international money laundering, the implausible plot, in which the DHS official gives Devine no real guidance, makes it difficult for the reader to suspend disbelief. Baldacci has done better. Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (July)
From the Publisher
"Corporate conspiracies, corruption, and murder—all come together in one of thriller fans’ most anticipated books of the summer . . . Baldacci’s experience in this genre truly shines as he builds complex layers of riveting twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat!"—Reader's Digest
"David Baldacci is a master storyteller."—Associated Press
"David Baldacci is one of the all-time best thriller authors."—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A master storyteller."—People
"Baldacci delivers, every time!"—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author
There's no word on plot, but this summer thriller is a stand-alone—Baldacci's first in over a decade—and boasts a million-copy first printing.
A complex, high-powered thriller that will keep the reader guessing.
Former U.S. Army Ranger Travis Devine regularly takes the 6:20 commuter train to a job he hates at Cowl and Comely, the New York firm where he is an investment analyst. He's one of many “Burners,” or interns, who slave 80 hours a week and more for low pay in hopes of not being fired at the end of the year. Devine works there to appease his father, who had despised his son’s choice to serve his country instead of immediately going out and getting rich like his two older siblings. The morning train passes by the home of Cowl, whom the Burners are making richer and richer. Passengers get daily unfettered views of a gorgeous bikinied woman at Cowl’s swimming pool. She seems oblivious to the yearning gazes of the male commuters. Then, one morning at work, Devine receives an anonymous, untraceable text saying, “She is dead.” None of his fellow Burners received it. “She” is Sara Ewes, a colleague with whom he had once had sex. How could anyone know? It was a secret because dating within the company was a fireable offense. Apparently, she had hanged herself in the building. At home, Devine has interesting roommates, including a pizza-loving, Russia-born male computer hacker; a woman who's building a dating website with phenomenal potential; and another woman who has recently graduated from law school. The Russian tries and fails to track the source of the text for Devine. More people die at the company, naturally freaking everyone out. Devine is a suspect, but a retired Army general protects him—for a price. Devine must help them unravel a secret at the company, and if he refuses, they will “send my ass right to USDB” (United States Disciplinary Barracks) for an act he had committed while in the Army. Readers will suspect nearly everyone in this fast-moving whodunit. Clues abound, like the color of a bathing suit and mysterious references to Waiting for Godot. A great line states that diversity in the high finance world looks like “a jar of Miracle Whip all the way to the bottom.”
What fun! This is a winner from a pro.