Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Forgotten, David Baldacci: The Review

"As the captain signed off on some documents and received his pay in plastic bundles taped down, he looked at the passengers as they were herded up a long metal stairway. They all looked terrified.
They should be, he thought. The unknown was not nearly as terrifying as the known. And he understood quite clearly that these people were well aware of what was about to happen to them. And they also knew that no one else cared.
They were not rich.
They were not powerful.

They were truly the forgotten."

Military Investigator, John Puller while investigating
a disturbing letter his father received from his aunt, is
forced to confront dangerous criminals involved in the
ultimate monstrosity: human trafficking.

The Concept
Have two highly trained, combat experienced, do-things-my-own-way 
(John Rambo type), military men take on a super rich criminal organization
masterminded by one of the world's most wanted criminals. Set it on the
beach of Paradise, Florida, have them pick up a couple of beautiful combat 
ready women, throw in a good number of warzone worthy action scenes 
on land and water, and we're good to go. 

The Story
Military Investigator, John Puller decides to use the rest of his well earned 
leave to investigate what his aunt describes as 'mysterious occurrences at 
night' on the beaches of Paradise. The course of the investigation pits him
against a well resourced, well connected criminal organization kidnapping
people and selling them as slaves.

On the other end, ex military man Mecho escapes from a slave ship on 
the (high) seas, swims most of the way to shore, and decides to turn his 
considerable killing skills on the 'slavers' who abducted him and others like

The story is not only highly unlikely, it is also unfocused, incoherent and
packed with too many happy coincidences.

The Writing
In the beginning, the writing was so poor, I was sure I'd been punked and 
sent  a five man joint authored fan rendition of their version of the original.
But then I persisted, knowing you don't really pick up a Baldacci for its
beautiful writing, and I got my just rewards. Great action scenes interspersed
with poor dialogue, improbable scenarios and a few more action scenes.  

The Resolution
The end is like the rest of the book. If you focus on the action you may
be able to prevent your brain from noticing that everything else is below 

The Verdict
Should your read it? No.
Unless you read a book exclusively for its action scenes or you have a 
thing for things so ridiculous they are unintentionally funny.   

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