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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Escape by Baldacchi (John Puller #3)

The Escape (John Puller, #3)The Escape by David Baldacci

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: It's a prison unlike any other. Military discipline rules. Its security systems are unmatched. None of its prisoners dream of escaping. They know it's impossible.

Until now.

John Puller's older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason and national security crimes. His inexplicable escape from prison makes him the most wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance at capturing Robert alive, and so Puller takes on the burden of bringing his brother in to face justice.
But Puller quickly discovers that there are others pursuing his brother, who only see Robert as a traitor and are unconcerned if he survives. Puller is in turn pushed into an uneasy, fraught partnership with another agent, who may have an agenda of her own.

They dig more deeply into the case together, and Puller finds that not only are her allegiances unclear, but that there are troubling details about his brother's conviction....and that someone is out there who doesn't want the truth to ever come to light. As the nation-wide manhunt for Robert grows more urgent, Puller's masterful skills as an investigator and strength as a fighter may not be enough to save his brother-or himself.

Read as an audio book. I really enjoy the narrator for these books, plus I appreciate the publishing company useing a female narrator for the female voices. It just adds a bit extra to the overall reading experience.

Premise of the book is Robert Puller, convicted of treason against the US and incarcerated at the facility known as "DB", has escaped. Which by all accounts should have been impossible. John Puller, investigator for the CID, decides to look into his brother's escape on his own despite being ordered not to because Family trumps Military. When he's picked up in Kansas City outside of DB by the Army, John's given an ultimatum, work for the Generals and the "Suit", or go investigate a murder in South Korea. Puller chooses the generals and the Suit, and shortly after is assigned a "babysitter" known as Veronica Knox. When the two start digging, and the bodies start piling up, they discover a spy plot that rivals anything either one of them have known previously.

This started out engaging, became a tiny bogged down a bit a third/half way through, then began to pick up speed as everything roared toward the conclusion.

There is so much that I like about this book and series
  • Interesting tidbits of military historyEngaging characters
  • Cheesy fun. Yes, cheesy. Like Puller is always "pulling out his M11 pistol", which makes me laugh. I don't need to have said weapon described as "his M11 service pistol" every. single. time. But there it is.
  • Overall plots are a bit over the top. But that's one of the things I enjoy about these political/military thrillers. A little over the top can be quite enjoyable.
  • Numerous curveballs in this one - I suspected there would be some curve balls, spitballs and knuckleballs, and I wasn't disappointed. It was a matter of who, what and when it would show up in the plot.
  • Thank you Mr. Baldacci for not having our main character hop into bed with the lead woman in every book. I totally stood up and applauded your ending!

Downside - I didn't like that poor Awol got left in Kansas. But at least the author remembered to go back for the cat. Nicely done tying up that loose end.

Of the three books in the series, I thought this book was the strongest (I haven't read #4 yet). Yes, it has it's issues, but for shear entertainment and engagement, it had me hooked from Chapter One.

Highly recommended if you've read one and two, and doubly so as an audio book.

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