Synopses & Reviews
The #1 bestselling author of The Collectors
and Simple Genius
returns with Stone Cold
...an unforgettable novel of revenge, conspiracy, and murder that brings a band of unlikely heroes face-to-face with their greatest threat.
Oliver Stone, the leader of the mysterious group that calls itself the Camel Club, is both feared and respected by those who've crossed his path. Keeping a vigilant watch over our leaders in Washington, D.C., the Camel Club has won over some allies, but it has also earned formidable enemies including those in power who will do anything to prevent Stone and his friends from uncovering the hidden, secret work of the government.
Annabelle Conroy, an honorary member of the Camel Club, is also the greatest con artist of her generation. She has swindled forty million dollars from casino king Jerry Bagger, the man who murdered her mother. Now he's hot on her trail with only one goal in mind: Annabelle's death. But as Stone and the Camel Club circle the wagons to protect Annabelle, a new opponent, who makes Bagger's menace pale by comparison, suddenly arises.
One by one, men from Stone's shadowy past are turning up dead. Behind this slaughter stands one man: Harry Finn. To almost all who know him, Finn is a doting father and loving husband who uses his skills behind the scenes to keep our nation safe. But the other face of Harry Finn is that of an unstoppable killer who inevitably sets his lethal bull's-eye on Oliver Stone. And with Finn, Stone may well have met his match.
As Annabelle and the Camel Club fight for their lives, the twists and turns whipsaw, leading to a finale that is as explosive as it is shattering. And when buried secrets are atlast violently resurrected, the members of the Camel Club left standing will be changed forever.
With unrelenting pacing, stunning reversals, and two of the most compelling characters in modern fiction, Stone Cold is David Baldacci writing at his breathtaking best.
"The modern-day paladins of the Camel Club are back in their third exciting adventure (after 2006's The Collectors). Justice-seekers Milton, Caleb, Reuben and honorary member Alex Ford, a Secret Service agent, are led by feisty Oliver Stone, aka former CIA assassin John Carr. Their associate, Annabelle Conroy, is a slick con artist on the run after stealing $40 million from lunatic casino owner Jerry Bagger, who killed her mother. Oliver's CIA past distracts him from Annabelle's cause: his old unit, Triple 6, was responsible for the death of Raymond Solomon, branded a traitor during the Cold War, and now Solomon's son, DHS security expert Harry Finn, is picking off Triple 6 members. Oliver could be next if Carter Gray, his former boss, reveals that John Carr isn't really dead. Gripping, chilling and full of surprises, Baldacci's latest reveals the anarchy that lurks under the slick facade of corrupted governments." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"When Baldacci is on fire, nobody can touch him, and this is an exhilarating thriller: fast paced, with a cast of engaging characters, a couple of mind-wrenching plot twists, and a general air of derring-do that keeps the proceedings from getting too heavy." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Baldacci's intricately woven plotlines, well-developed characters, fast-paced action, and surprise ending will leave readers satisfied and wanting more. A sequel worthy of its predecessors; highly recommended." Library Journal
"Baldacci can do this stuff in his sleep now, but it's still entertaining enough." Kirkus Reviews
"He's hit the jackpot again...Baldacci pushes the pace pedal to the floor and takes the turns on two wheels."--New York Daily News
"Baldacci brings an insider's savvy to his tale."--New York Times Books Review
"Baldacci does an excellent job of setting the scene and creating complex characters. (A) gripping page turner."--Associated Press
"The action is explosive. Readers will barely have time to catch their breath."--People magazine
The author brings back Oliver Stone, with his old friends and older enemies. Baldacci's adept character development coupled with deft narration from Ron McLarty makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Once again, Baldacci creates unique parallel stories that evolve and eventually intertwine. The expert McLarty gives clear and recognizable voices to all the characters. In particular, his consistent accents for the old Russian woman and for the acerbic Irish man capture the story's emotions and help bring home the plot. A whiny rare books expert and a bitter gangster round out the colorful cast. Hidden secrets, political espionage, and personal trust all clash in this fast-paced story. M.B. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 08]
Baldacci may not be a literary stylist, but he really knows how to spin a yarn, and with McLarty he gets a narrator who adds emotional depth to his characters without slowing down the breathless pace of his prose. McLarty uses his distinctive, almost avuncular delivery to excellent purpose in this action-packed thriller that finds the Camel Club members attacked by three tough customers seeking revenge... Aged baritones ofer no great challenge to McLarty's talent, yet his subtle shifts are admirable, from the toughtful, slightly rough-edged Stone to the rougher-edged Bagger to Gray's sneeringly perfect locution. But his art becomes more apparent as he effectively captures the voices of Annabelle, Finn and a gallery of other characters, including a bitter elderly Russan woman and a world-weary Irish-American man, providing them all a dimension not always on the page.
Baldacci weaves the strands of his plot flawlessly, with an attention to detail and character that set this book above the normal run of Washington thriller. McLarty, the actor-author who grew up in East Providence, assists with a fine set of accents (his Irish brogue for Annabelle's father, Paddy, is particularly good) that let listeners easily distinguish among the many characters.
Recurring characters Oliver Stone and his Camel Club are back to save the life of a beautiful con artist, to implicate a shady casino king, and to solve a string of murders of Washington, D.C., political staffers.
Oliver Stone and the Camel Club are back in their most dangerous adventure yet, a war on two fronts. Casino king Jerry Bagger from THE COLLECTORS is hunting Annabelle Conroy who conned him out of millions. Stone and his colleagues Reuben, Milton, and Caleb marshal all their resources to protect Annabelle. Yet all their skills may not be enough when a deadly new opponent rips off the veneer of Stone's own mysterious past. Bagger's menace pales next to newcomer Harry Finn's lethality. Seeming a normal family-man, Finn has already killed three men with more targets to come. When Finn also sets his bulls-eye on Stone, his reason why will be the greatest shock of all, making readers reconsider their beliefs in good and evil. As bodies and institutions topple, the story rockets toward a shattering finale that will leave the survivors of this explosive tale changed forever.
About the Author
David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia.