Hell’s corner by David Baldacci

hell'scorner_davidbaldacciWhen it comes to spy stories nothing can beat Americans at it. David Baldacci has come out with a suspenseful story that keeps you prying till the end. David Baldacci has not only made Camel Club a notorious group but also a crew of fastidious goons who stand against insurmountable odds.

The book is about Oliver Stone – pivotal to the story and ex agent living under an alias. He is a member of the elite camel club. Camel club, for starters, is nothing but a group of ex CIA aka secret agencies members who were either expelled from service or left on their own accord due to government’s histrionics

Starting plot is crucial to the story. A bomb explodes & shots are fired arbitrarily in Lafyette park – this place is next to White House and is highly fortified. No one knows it yet but British PM who is on a courtesy visit to meet American President was supposed to walk from the White House to the next door house reserved for PM but due to last minute changes, Brit PM travels with his motorcade in a car. Brit PM is saved by stoke of luck & four people jogging, resting & walking are caught in the act. Oliver Stone is one of them.

Oliver Stone is one of the victims caught in the act and due to him being an ex agent and his presence in the situation, he is quickly absorbed in the govt machinery as an agent. He goes about unraveling the case with a Brit MI6 agent i.e. sexy looking Mary Chapman. Whenever they feel they have caught on to some kind of lead – Person is killed with a bomb or a bullet to his head. With death trailing him, Oliver Stone tries to make sense out of commotion with his Camel Club buddies.

A new character enters into the fray who has a small but a crucial role in the story – Mr. Riley Weaver who is the head of National security. Only one person died in the explosion at Lafyette park and bullet shots were fired with no particular intention of killing anyone. This is bizarre and makes Riley anxious about something big about to take place – someone somewhere attempting to do something as horrendous as 9/11 but he just doesn’t know it who it could be. Marisa Friedman, one of his best field agents who is disguised as Washington lobbyist is chasing a traitor named professor Turkkel. He could be the clue to all that is unforeseeable.

Riley’s path crosses Oliver many times in the book and from the first meeting they don’t like each other. There is information flow amongst them but Oliver is not convinced about anything and anyone’s real role in this entire set-up. He keeps on digging for the truth until he can corroborate it otherwise. His eureka moment comes after 400 pages (wait! There are another 200 pages to go :)). As his camel club gang members start getting miffed & wounded, Oliver’s revenge has become more personal than professional. As Oliver Stone has understood the plot and its architect, he realizes that brains behind this plot has to be somewhere around Hell’s corner- epitaph used for Layefette park because of the high security it has. The book ends in a very spectacular fashion gripping you with surprises in its last 200 pages

This book has swept me of my feet and recognized David Baldacci a writer of classic spy novels in my perception. Suspense captivated me and clues were like disentangling a puzzle. Perseverance of the agent seems authentic and worth reading. Pace of the book is faster than his other books. Last but not the least – espionage is only as good as it can be described in a book.  As far as spy (read thriller) novels are concerned, this book my favorite till date. I give it my best rating yet – 4.75/5


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