In this book, Baldacci introduces us to John Puller, a combat veteran from an army family. He is now serving in the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, and as purported to be the best investigator in the service. When an Army man is murdered in a remote West Virginia town in the middle of coal country, Puller is sent in to investigate. Not with a whole team, which strikes Puller as odd, but all by himself.
Working with the local Deputy, a woman with family issues of her own, Puller unearths many facts that many people (including his superiors) do not want coming to light. But when the situation turns into a potential terrorist attack, Puller finds himself fighting against enemies both foreign and domestic. The final revelation of the plot seems over-the-top, but thrillers like this are supposed to be over-the-top, and the villain and the villain's plans are certainly suspenseful.
This is a new set of characters for Baldacci, and I enjoyed this novel -- I hope it's the start of a new series. Puller is a fully fleshed-out character, with a professional and personal history that informs his actions. The local characters in coal country, and the setting itself, are strong. This was a very enjoyable read, as most of Baldacci's novels are.
I am a fan of the way Hachette Audio handles Baldacci's novels, with Ron McLarty doing most of the work, handling the narration and the male voices. Orlagh Cassidy handles the female voices, and they both do a fine job. There are occasional sound effects and musical cues, enough to add to the listening experience, but not enough to be distracting.