Friday, November 4, 2011

DAVID BALDACCI novels on audio

It's a slice of America for an Army CID Warrant Officer:  an impoverished coal mining town full of squatters and jobless folk, an abandoned government project no one knows much about, and the murder of a military family in rural West Virginia.  In ZERO DAY by David Baldacci main character John Puller is sent to investigate, but runs into roadblocks, first with civilian detective Samantha Cole, created on audio by narrator Orlagh Cassidy, (who plays off the main narrator, veteran Baldacci pro Ron McLarty).  Cassidy sounds a little like Chief Johnson on The Closer, and her character ultimately flirts with Puller in banter and dialogue-exchange that's an efficient way of advancing the plot.  Cassidy also voices other female characters, changing her inflection and tone to suit the occasion, thereby keeping any confusion from arising about who is speaking.  With a dialogue-heavy text, it was a good choice to have two narrators, regardless of McLarty's skills, since it aids the book's "suspension of disbelief."  On rare occasions sound effects are added for color, as when Puller is almost killed in an explosion.  Is this a police procedural or a National Security related thriller?  Well, both.  The plot twists coming are not telegraphed, and a backstory involving Puller's Army hero father and convicted scientist brother round out an intriguing new addition to Baldacci's treasury.

1 comment:

  1. Zero Day by David Baldacci Baldacci has a new hero, a new ethos and another, never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller. John Puller takes over for John Carr without a Camel Club or a gang of cronies. Although Puller is dedicated Army, he runs without a safety net throughout the book. The Army is his life and his passion is it¿s Criminal Investigative Division. He is an elite Army cop and he is thrown into a situation involving mass mayhem. Every time he turns around there is another murder. Puller ends up partnering with Sam Cole and the two of them bond through their mutual desire to find the perpetrators¿ of mayhem in an impoverished coal mining community in West Virginia. Once again Baldacci paints such a vivid picture. He sets his stage with clarity and depth. His characters are both larger than life and realistically human. I worked in an impoverished Appalachian coal community years ago. Baldacci accurately captures the poverty and despair that often results from long term un or under employment. One can only hope that we see more of John Puller.