Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book #70

The Sixth Man, by David Baldacci. Unabridged audio.

Do you remember that story a year or so ago about a certain celebrity (I wish I could remember who it was) who had an eidetic memory, the extremely rare condition that goes beyond "photographic" memory. An eidetic can never forget anything.

Are you familiar with the TV show "Chuck?" In it, someone has the entire corpus of US Intelligence downloaded into their brain.

I am guessing that David Baldacci remembers the news story, and perhaps has watched Chuck. At least his book is a neat combination of the two scenarios. Edgar Roy is an eidetic who is employed as The Analyst by US Intelligence. Not an analyst; The Analyst. The entire flow of data gathered by the US (called "The Wall" in the novel) floods Roy's mind, and he makes recommendations based on that information.

When six dead bodies turn up at Roy's farm, the program is thrown into disarray. Has The Analyst gone insane and turned sociopath? Or does someone want him out of the way? Despite Roy's success, there are people in Washington who are not thrilled by this program. Some for legitimate reasons, some for personal or political reasons.

Former Secret Service personnel Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are hired to look into Roy's case, and shortly after more bodies start to pile up. King and Maxwell find themselves caught between powerful Washington factions, most of whom don't care who they harm (or kill) on the way to meeting their own objectives.

Baldacci has written some of my favorite thrillers, and I have particularly enjoyed most of the King & Maxwell tales. This is one of the strongest ones -- the plot is a bit unbelievable, and I don't buy the motivations of all of the villains, but the plot moves along at a great pace, the drama builds up well, and the resolution is satisfying. All in all, a very fun read.

No comments:

Post a Comment