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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Forgotten by David Baldacchi (Puller #2)

The Forgotten (John Puller, #2)The Forgotten by David Baldacci

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: 
Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.

A picture-perfect town on Florida's Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt's death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller's father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.

What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt's death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.

Read as an audio book.

This was absolutely outstanding! I haven't enjoyed an audio book this much in ages. First - the audio book itself. I loved the use of an additional narrator for the women's voices, makes a world of difference. The subtle sound effects at first were a bit disconcerting (I thought something was wrong with the disk), but once I realized what was going on, they did add a nice touch of dramatic flair. The sound effects were selectively done, perhaps a bit here and there during an of action scene. And the narrators voice - I could listen to his voice all. day. long. Absolutely perfect for this book.

This is a new to me series and I started with book #2 not realizing (or I couldn't get #1 as an audio, I don't recall which) this was the second John Puller novel. Not a problem! There was reference to "something" having gone down in the previous book, which was the basis for why Puller was on leave, and that he had caused a bit of a ruckus in Virginia, but nothing to detract from either book.

To say I was hooked from chapter one would be an understatement. I thought the pacing was perfect, the plot engaging and the characters, fascinating. I was initially annoyed by the "bad cop" cliche, but when I realized this was going someplace, I was able to let it go with the flow.

Kudos to the author for the way he portrays his female leads in this book. Strong, willful, can hold their own in a gun fight, they stood as equals and I really appreciated that. I get so very tired of the damsel in distress and woman for sex tropes. Some very good twists with the female protagonists in this. Very good twists.

It was also refreshing to read something where the protagonist isn't a depressed, borderline alcoholic, lone cop/detective. I can't describe enough how refreshing it was to read about a character who can actually get along and work with other people to solve the crime/situation and isn't a total ass to people while investigating.  

Endings (yes, there are a couple 'endings') were not what I expected - I mean, knew generally how things would turn out, but the plot twists were quite fun and I enjoyed the authors sense of humor at the resolution.

I could gush more, buy why when you should be reading the book and not my review! Go! Now! Shoo! Shoo!

Highly recommended.

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