My husband and I have been David Baldacci fans since the 90s. We checked an audiobook of his from the library and have been reading/listening ever since. A couple of his books have been disappointing, but I always like to come back and try every new one.
For some reason I really like this new series of his. It’s a new series featuring John Puller. When I say “for some reason” I mean it. I like this guy but I’m not sure why. He’s a super-macho army Special Investigator with CID. Physically, he’s in amazing shape. Intellectually, he’s super smart especially when it comes to warfare and investigative techniques. Personality-wise, he’s very compassionate towards the little guys and suspicious of the rich and/or powerful.
He seems pretty great, right? He is, but he’s also one of these guys with super fighting skills – both with his body and his weapons,. And that’s the problem: I don’t usually like reading about those kinds of characters. That’s why I say “for some reason.” I don’t know – yet – why I like John Puller, but I do.
I’ve now read the first two books in this new series. Let me summarize each one:
Puller is called out on a case in a remote, rural area in West Virginia coal country far from any military outpost. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. The local homicide detective, a headstrong woman with personal demons of her own, joins forces with Puller in the investigation. As Puller digs through deception after deception, he realizes that absolutely nothing he’s seen in this small town, and no one in it, are what they seem. Facing a potential conspiracy that reaches far beyond the hills of West Virginia, he is one man on the hunt for justice against an overwhelming force. (from the publisher)
Now John Puller has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida. The local police have ruled his aunt’s death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller’s father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.
What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt’s death was no accident. (from the publisher) The “forgotten” refers to the forgotten people who are abducted and sold through human trafficking. Some chapters are told through the eyes of one of the victims.
Some people have compared this series and John Puller to Jack Reacher. I can understand the comparison but I prefer John Puller. There’s a lot to like about the guy. There’s also a bit of mystery within his family. John’s brother, an air-force officer is serving a life sentence for treason but, so far, there’s no other information on him. Also John’s father is a retired three-star general who has dementia and often thinks he’s still in charge. I’m hoping this series is a long and successful one. I, for one, look forward to the next John Puller adventure.
Both audiobooks were read by Ron McLardy and Orlagh Cassidy. McLardy did a superb job. Cassidy did the female speaking parts and they all tended to sound like the same woman. In addition, there was music and some good sound effects. Overall, a good book to listen to.
Both books were published by Grand Central Publishing. Zero Day in October 2011 and The Forgotten in November 2012.